Tag Archives: best Oculus games

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Outstanding New Oculus Releases for Summer 2020

Great New Oculus Releases for the Weirdest Summer Ever

No world is out of reach. Grab your headset and let these enchanting worlds come to life with this month’s titles.

The Line

by ARVORE Immersive Experiences
Release Date: July 9th, 2020

Winner of “Best VR Experience” winner at the Venice Film Festival, The Line is set inside a miniature model of São Paulo, Brazil in the 1940s and features narration by Rodrigo Santoro of Westworld fame.

As you fiddle with machinery and twiddle with knobs in this 20-minute roomscale experience, you’ll reveal an unlikely love story between two miniature dolls.

Paper Beast

by Pixel Reef, published by Plug In Digital
Release Date: July 24th, 2020

Explore a beautiful, strange and beautifully strange world of artificial life – a new ecosystem evolving in hidden spaces deep inside the Internet – in Paper Beast, the newest creation from Another World creator Eric Chahi.

Paper Beast offers two games modes, a puzzle-based adventure and a sandbox, but the real star here is the environment, populated by (artificially) intelligent creatures resembling something like a cross between Wayne Douglas Barlowe’s alien animals and ’90s visions of cyberspace.

Add the ability to alter the landscape, plus a soundtrack featuring Japanese punk trio TsuShiMaMire and electronic producer Roly Porter, and we’re more than intrigued, we’re obsessed!

The Under Presents: The Tempest

by Tender Claws
Release Date: July 6th, 2020

The Tempest is the latest interactive live theatrical adventure from The Under, a multi-player VR experience from Tender Claws, and gives players the chance to work magic with Prospero in an innovative new approach to the Shakespeare classic. (In order to participate, players will need to purchase a ticket and set a showtime, as this is a “live” experience, running through September.)

Also available: Timeboat!, a single-player adventure about an arctic research ship, complete with time travel and a mysterious dolphin.

Layers of Fear

by Bloober Team S.A.
Release Date: July 9th, 2020

Much as we enjoyed the original 2016 release, Layers of Fear is even better in VR. Drawing less on jump scares than atmosphere to create its sense of dread as it puts players behind the eyes of a troubled painter losing his grip on reality as he tries to create his masterpiece.

As perception blurs the lines between reality and hallucination, the artist’s mansion seems to rearrange itself, doors disappearing and reappearing in different places, oil paint dripping from the walls like blood, and artistic genius dances a minuet with madness.

Its very premise makes this one part psychological horror and one part virtual art gallery (albeit a gallery for those who prefer Francis Bacon and Francisco Goya to Manet or Monet).

Enjoy the art, and remember that paintings can’t hurt you…or can they?

Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted

by Steel Wool Studios
Release Date: July 16th, 2020

On the other hand, maybe jump scares are your thing! In that case, check out Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted, bringing the ridiculously popular franchise to the Oculus Quest with a collection of both classic and brand new mini-games set in your favorite twisted pizza parlor.

It’s particularly poignant as hundreds of Chuck E. Cheese’s are now being shut down, likely due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the already creepy and wonderful animatronic mouse and his colleagues upon which this insanely popular indie hit is based are now littering desert landfills nationwide. (Someone save them!)

Featuring updated scenes from Five Nights at Freddy’s 1 through 4 as well as Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location, this collection makes hiding from murderous animatronic animals more visceral than ever.

Personally, if I were hired as a night repairman for a pizza restaurant, I’d probably quit after the first night of being chased by a killer Chuck E. Cheese knock-off – nostalgia for good times past or not – but your mileage may vary.

OGR’s Top 5 Favorite Experiences for Oculus Quest 2020 (You Might Not Expect)

Each of these titles was chosen for its particular excellence for being expressive and benefiting from the Quest’s tetherless and dynamic form factor. Being able to quickly move between areas of your apartment or house or soccer field to punch, fish, groove or get strange enhances the value of these excellent Virtual Reality works.

In no particular order:

Real VR Fishing

Developer: MIRAGESOFT, Inc.
Publisher: MIRAGESOFT, Inc.
Website: https://www.realvrfishing.com
Release Date: September 12, 2019

This little gem came seemingly out of nowhere but has quickly won over not only our hearts but those of the Internet. Based out of South Korea, Miragesoft has filmed various locations around their country with high resolution 360 video that they then mapped over a 3D mesh and enhanced with various digital add-ons, flocks of birds, weather and lighting.

You can also use your own custom music library, which it plays through a built-in player that lets you shuffle, repeat or manually select tracks.

Furthermore, many varied and photo-realistic fish you catch can be added to a huge aquarium in your lodge, so you can enjoy them all together. Various unlockable upgrades to your fishing gear, aquarium, and home base can be added through your hard work out on the lake.

Constant updates are being added, most recently a complete saltwater fish update, with multiplayer promised by Q2 of 2020. Oh yeah, and did we mention the fishing physics are great? Seasoned fishermen have given the game their seal of approval, particularly in an advanced mode that doesn’t use color cues but only nuanced haptics and your rod, tackle and line. An amazing and transportive experience.

The Under Presents

Developer: Tender Claws
Publisher: Tender Claws
Website: https://tenderclaws.com/
Release Date: November 19, 2019

Tender Claws established themselves early on as one of the main VR developers to watch and moreover have helped to advanced the very nature and quality of the medium with their postmodern narrative efforts via Virtual Virtual Reality. and now The Under Presents.

Using a terrific warpy-world pulling locomotion mechanic, dioramas, time-delayed self-cloning and all sorts of other tricks of the trade, The Under Presents is a haunting, hilarious, imaginative, deep and puzzling romp through wonderfully creative scenarios tied together by a plot that would make Italo Calvino proud. An essential if sometimes flummoxing VR experience.

Wander

Developer: Parkline Interactive, LLC
Publisher: Parkline Interactive, LLC
Website: http://www.parklineinteractive.com/
Release Date: May 21, 2019

Wander fills the very important gap for Quest left by the absence of Google Earth VR. It allows you to travel very smoothly through many awe-inspiring locations around the world, bookmark them, search them using voice or keyboard and learn a few fun facts along the way.

Far from as comprehensive as Google Earth but a rich and inspiring experience nonetheless, this is a beautiful thing to share with others, or just wander through alone, investigating many places you may never personally get to in your own life…or that may not be here much longer.

Dance Central

Developer: Harmonix Music Systems, Inc.
Publisher: Oculus Studios
Website: http://www.dancecentral.com/
Release Date: May 21, 2019

This port of the original console game from the makers of Rock Band is a perfect pairing for the tetherless and nimble Oculus Quest. While we do recommend getting one of the various aftermarket head-strap add-ons that better balance the weight of the headset, Dance Central will give you the fun of going to your own nightclub where you will make new friends and learn or practice some pretty great hip-hop moves.

The app also has a calorie tracker and pretty banging – although decidedly short – catalog of songs, which does include tracks from Cardi B, Flo Rida, Psy, Ellie Goulding, Salt-N-Pepa, Young MC, Chainsmokers and Chvrches. Unfortunately, it seems they do not have any new DLCs planned, and the forum link for song requests is broken at their support page, but this is by far one of our favorite little corners to hang out – and sweat it – out in VR.

Box VR

Developer: FitXR
Publisher: FitXR
Website: http://www.fitxr.com/
Release Date: May 21, 2019

If you want a workout you will feel in the morning and not just swing like a lunatic at your opponents – like in some boxing VR games – this one uses extremely precise movement to register your jabs, dodges, crosses and uppercuts. With a lot of music in various categorized genres, a professionally designed athletic program and a huge community, Box VR is a true fitness tool that you can use with some assurance that it takes into mind consistency, development and mitigating injury.

Of course, the ultimate responsibility is yours.

Top 5 Oculus Releases – November 10th-16th – Slime, Stealing and Strategy

This week’s top five Oculus releases incorporate a little of everything, from cooperative heists to alien agriculture. There’s also plenty on offer for mobile VR users – no Rift required.

Slime Rancher: VR Playground

from Monopark

Slime Rancher: VR Playground game screenshot courtesy Steam
Slime Rancher: VR Playground – screenshot courtesy Steam

We loved the original version of this game – so much that we named it 2017’s Game of the Year on our sister site – so of course we’re beyond excited about the VR version.

A cute farming simulator inspired by classic JRPGs that – at least for us – can turn into an unsettling metaphor for industrial agriculture surprisingly quickly, Slime Rancher is fascinating and addicting.

Its simple “suck and blow” mechanic (using a vacuum tool) is easy to pick up and belies the complexities at play beneath the surface as herds of slimes eat, breed and mutate.

A big part of the fun is exploration the wilderness around your ranch, and Slime Rancher: VR is a stand-alone experience letting you explore three of its environments. While it doesn’t include a full implementation of the entire game, there’s plenty to suck and blow, and the focus seems to be more on the relaxing and exploring elements than the factory farming bit, which is fine with us.

Oculus Rift | 1 GB | FREE from Steam to owners of the original game

Crow: The Legend

from Baobab Studios

Crow: The Legend - screenshot courtesy Oculus
Crow: The Legend – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Directed by Eric Darnell (best known for Madagascar), this week’s most hyped VR release is an animated retelling of a Native American legend and featuring the voice of Oprah Winfrey, John Legend and Constance Wu, among others and was featured at Cannes.

Oculus Rift | 6.6 GB | FREE from Oculus
Oculus Go | 1.9 GB | FREE from Oculus
Gear VR | 1.9 GB | FREE from Oculus

Covert

from White Elk

Covert game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Covert – screenshot courtesy Oculus

A clever two-person cooperative concept based on heist movies, Covert makes good use of an asymmetric dynamic in a similar vein as Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. The VR player is the thief, physically breaking in to highly guarded locations, while a non-VR player acts as the hacker, breaking into the security systems to assist the thief in getting away with the goods.

Crawl acrobatically through laser grids like Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment! Hack like the hackers in Hackers! Live out other film-based fantasies, maybe even from movies that came out past the 1990s!

Oculus Go | 2.1 GB | $9.99 from Oculus
Gear VR | 2.1 GB | $9.99 from Oculus

Voxel Fly

from Cenek Strichel

Voxel Fly game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Voxel Fly – screenshot courtesy Oculus

We’re suckers for well-made, old-fashioned shoot-’em-ups, and Voxel Fly combines the entomological science fiction aesthetic of classics like Space Invaders and Yars’ Revenge with a voxel-based, blocky approach to graphics that’s one part Zaxxon and two parts Zenzizenzic.

Honestly, you had us at “space bugs,” but multiple game modes and different ships to select – from classic space fighters to blimps – just add to the fun.

Oculus Go | 56.2 GB | $1.99 from Oculus

Voronium – Locus Sols

from Gamalocus Studios

Voronium - Locust Sols game screenshot courtesy Steam
Voronium – Locust Sols – screenshot courtesy Steam

We’re also suckers for well-made tower defense games, in or out of VR, and Voronium – Locus Sols definitely delivers on that front. Combining tower defense and FPS mechanics with a science fiction narrative, this is a solid blend of strategy and action.

Oculus Rift | 5.5 GB | $14.99 from Oculus or from Steam