Tag Archives: Shoot ’em Up

Top 5 Oculus Releases – Jan. 27th-February 2nd – Sails, Six-Guns and Steampunk

A little of everything this week, from third-person action to sailing sims. And instead of the usual generic wave shooters, fans of VR gun-play – and bow-play, for that matter – have an embarrassment of riches to choose from, with several new games arriving that actually manage to innovate with new approaches to storytelling, locomotion and the shooting itself:

VR Regatta – The Sailing Game

from MarineVerse

VR Regatta - The Sailing Game - screenshot courtesy Steam
VR Regatta – The Sailing Game – screenshot courtesy Steam

One of the things we love about VR is how it can let us experience things we might not otherwise have access to. For VR players without memberships at their local yacht clubs, there’s VR Regatta, a realistic sailing simulator that’s been garnering positive Steam reviews from both gamers and actual sailors.

The fact that this one isn’t recommended for players susceptible to motion sickness probably goes without saying.

Oculus Rift | $14.99 from Steam

Cold Iron

Catch & Release, LLC

Cold Iron game screenshot courtesy Steam
Cold Iron – screenshot courtesy Steam

The opposite side of the wave shooter coin, Cold Iron is a dueling game: instead of endless waves of enemies, players outdraw and gun down opponents one at a time.

While the drawing and shooting mechanics are garnering positive reviews, we’re also intrigued by the narrative thread and its “Weird West” setting – basically cowboy stuff with supernatural elements – which we’re betting has a good chance at overtaking steampunk as the fantasy setting du jour.

Oculus Rift | 3 GB | $19.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Seek & Destroy – Steampunk Arcade

from GamestormVR

Seek & Destroy - Steampunk Arcade - screenshot courtesy Steam
Seek & Destroy – Steampunk Arcade – screenshot courtesy Steam

And speaking of steampunk, Seek & Destroy – Steampunk Arcade gives you all the brass robots, gear-driven mechanisms and Tesla-inspired lightning gloves you could possibly hope for, if you’re a fan of science fiction Victoriana. At heart it’s a wave shooter, but with level names like “Panic in the Streets of London” and “Kick in the Crown Jewels,” we like that it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

It’s also compatible with the 3dRudder foot controller to make dodging steam-driven automatons all the more realistic.

Oculus Rift | 8 GB | $5.99 from Steam


from House of Secrets

KIN game screenshot courtesy official site
KIN – screenshot courtesy official site

Previously released on Gear VR, this overhead-view platformer set on an alien planet marks developers House of Secrets’ leap from VR music videos to games proper.

Both the combat and the 3D puzzle-solving in KIN look engaging, and we particularly like the contrast between the light, airy quality of the main character – and the enemies she encounters – and the clunky but colorful low-poly environments to explore.

Oculus Rift | 8 GB | $14.99 from Oculus

Down to Dungeon

from Far North Entertainment

Down to Dungeon game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Down to Dungeon – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Simple cartoonish graphics belie the depth of this fast-paced dungeon crawler for Gear VR. Played from a third-person overhead perspective, Down to Dungeon offers plenty of procedurally generated levels and hordes of enemies to dispatch – not to mention loads of loot – for discerning action RPG fans.

Gear VR | 205 MB | $2.99 from Oculus

Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases

In Death

from Solfar Studios

In Death game screenshot courtesy Steam
In Death – screenshot courtesy Steam

This Early Access archery game interests us both with its innovative approach to VR locomotion in VR – involving teleportation arrows fired from the same bow used to dispatch enemies – and its gothic architecture.

Oculus Rift | 6 GB | $19.99 from Oculus or from Steam

In the Cloud: VR Afterlife

from Future Lighthouse

In the Cloud: VR Afterlife game screenshot courtesy Oculus
In the Cloud: VR Afterlife – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Somewhere between in interactive vignette and a short film, In the Cloud: VR Afterlife is an excursion into cyberpunk/transhumanist paranoia that will appeal to those of us who used to read Mondo 2000.

Gear VR | 65 MB | FREE from Oculus

Baby Hands

from Chicken Waffle

Baby Hands game screenshot courtesy Steam
Baby Hands – screenshot courtesy Steam

Almost literally a sandbox, Baby Hands lets you fill the shoes – and tiny, destructive hands – of a toddler. Family-friendly but legitimately funny, given all the options for mayhem available even now in Early Access.

Oculus Rift | 5 GB | $24.99 from Steam

Check back next week for more Oculus releases.

Top 5 Oculus Releases – September 2nd-8th – Knock Howl Crash Shoot

Lots of shooters out for the Oculus Rift this week (even more than usual) and some horror offerings, too, but if you’re worn out by jump scares and the old ultra-violence, there are also some all-ages offerings and a couple of games ideal for VR newcomers. These are our top picks for Oculus games released this week:

Don’t Knock Twice

by Wales Interactive

Don't Knock Twice game screenshot courtesy Steam
Don’t Knock Twice – screenshot courtesy Wales Interactive

A first-person horror game tied in with the movie of the same name – starring Katee Sackhoff of Battlestar Galactica fame – Don’t Knock Twice looks legitimately terrifying. Players explore an authentic Welsh house to discover the terrible truth behind an urban legend. The game supports multiple control options, and nearly every object in the house – itself modeled entirely on the one used in the film – can be interacted with.

Developers Wales Interactive have already proven their ability to evoke creepy atmosphere and first-person horror with PC games like Master Reboot, itself set within a VR environment of sorts. Admittedly, there’s no shortage of VR horror experiences, but between the dev team’s track record, the details in the haunted house and the Bloody Mary-esque monster, this one looks better than most.

Oculus Rift | 1.8 GB | $19.99 from the Oculus Store or from Steam


by Rogue Earth LLC

Crashimals game screenshot courtesy Steam
Crashimals – screenshot courtesy Steam

Drawing obvious inspiration from Angry Birds, this game brings cute animals and destructible environmental puzzles into 3D. Crashimals also adds the challenge of steering – instead of just aiming a slingshot, players use guide animals in RC airplanes like cute, fuzzy little kamikaze pilots. With 72 levels and added challenges – destroy cakes while leaving presents behind, for example – this is a lot less simple than it appears at first glance.

Oculus Rift | 1 GB | $29.99 from the Oculus Store or from Steam

Wolf Must Die

by FuntaVR

Wolf Must Die game screenshot courtesy Steam
Wolf Must Die – screenshot courtesy Steam

Wolf Must Die is a wave-based shooter with a fairy tale twist: instead of guns against robots, it’s bows and arrows against cartoon wolves as players defend their village. Wolf Must Die aims at being fun for all ages, so this might be a good entry point for VR newcomers.

Oculus Rift | 50 MB | $7.99 from Steam


by Tantrum Lab

MINE! game screenshot courtesy Steam
MINE! – screenshot courtesy Steam

Sometimes all you want is a simple wave shooter, and MINE! delivers on that front. Defend your mine from waves of aliens out to steal or blow up your precious crystals in this static-view wave shooter. Using simplified controls, MINE! is meant for VR newcomers and conference demos. It’s also totally free – a bit basic, maybe, but you can’t argue with the price.

Oculus Rift | 50 MB | FREE from Steam

Hell Dimension VR

by Third Door Studio

Hell Dimension VR game screenshot courtesy Steam
Hell Dimension VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

Another shooter, but this one definitely isn’t for kids or beginners. Instead, Hell Dimension VR pays tribute to the gore and horror-themed FPS games of yesteryear – think Painkiller and Blood – with copious blood-splatters and bullets a-plenty. For added blood, gore and deformed monstrosities, try multi-player mode.

Oculus Rift | 1 GB | $8.49 from Steam

Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases:

Gappo’s Legacy

by Odysseus

Gappo's Legacy game screenshot courtesy Steam
Gappo’s Legacy – screenshot courtesy Steam

Yes, it’s another shooter wherein players blast oncoming waves of robots, but Gappo’s Legacy, still in Early Access, is attempting to push the boundaries of the VR shooter glut. Besides the story-driven tie-ins – apparently there are both TV and comics series in the works – Gappo’s Legacy adds multiple mechanics like shields and bullet time as well as mixed reality green screen gaming for arcades and festivals. Odysseus look like they’re trying to create a real virtual reality “experience” with this one as opposed to another wave shooter VR cash-in. Time will tell whether or not they’re successful.

Oculus Rift | 3 GB | $8.99 from Steam


by Surreal Games

VirtuGO game screenshot courtesy Steam
VirtuGO – screenshot courtesy Steam

Remember Klax? Arcade game with tiles falling off a conveyor belt that you had to stack for combos? A bit like a Connect 4 crossed with Tetris? Well, VirtuGO is that, basically (but in VR). Though not particularly original, this could be a lot of fun if Surreal Games gets the input and sound effects right so that the tiles combine with properly satisfying clanks.

Oculus Rift | 1 GB | $1.99 from Steam

Be sure to check back next week for more Oculus Rift and Gear VR releases!

Top 5 Oculus Releases – August 26th-September 1st – A Heavenly Week for Bullet Hells

Lots of new shoot-’em-ups for the Oculus Rift this week, but don’t worry. If a voyage to bullet hell doesn’t sound like heaven, there’s also soccer (or football, if you prefer) and sailing:


by Frame Interactive Studio

Headmaster game screenshot courtesy of Steam
Headmaster – screenshot courtesy Steam

Ostensibly a game about heading soccer balls – in other words, bouncing them off your head – Headmaster combines VR sports action with puzzles. Honestly, we’d have been satisfied with a well-designed sports game (and since it’s VR, there’s no worry of repetitive brain trauma), but we’re extra intrigued by the menacing yet comedic wrapping of a prison-like “Football Improvement Camp.”

The whole thing reminds us of The Prisoner if Douglas Adams had written it. Needless to say, we’re intrigued.

Oculus Rift | 1.8 GB | $19.99 from the Oculus Store or from Steam

Sea Hero Quest VR

by Glitchers Ltd.

Sea Hero Quest VR game screenshot courtesy of Oculus website
Sea Hero Quest VR – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Originally developed for mobile platforms, Sea Hero Quest VR makes its way to Gear VR this week. Ostensibly a free game about exploring the ocean, navigating by ship and tracking down mysterious sea creatures, it was developed in part by Alzheimer’s Research UK and scientists from University College London and the University of East Anglia. Because spatial navigation is one of the first skills to go in Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, Sea Hero Quest VR tracks players’ navigation within the game and uses the data to better understand the way our brains help move us through three-dimensional space.

Not only does this game involve steering a boat and photographing adorable sea monsters – honestly, adorable sea monsters were enough to get us “on board,” so to speak – it also contributes to incredibly important research. Science!

Gear VR | 375 MB | FREE from the Oculus Store

Blasters of the Universe

by The Secret Location

Blasters of the Universe game screenshot courtesy of Steam
Blasters of the Universe – screenshot courtesy Steam

After a long time in Early Access, Blasters of the Universe is an attempt to bring the bullet hell shooter into first-person VR. From The Secret Location, winners of the first Emmy for a VR experience (“Sleepy Hollow”), Blasters of the Universe combines seemingly endless gun customization with high speed bullet-dodging and a late ’80s cyberpunk/vaporwave aesthetic.

It starts off slow enough, but by the time you realize you need to move your entire body to dodge the incoming waves of neon bullets, the wave patterns have changed…and they’re coming in faster – as are the game’s relentless one-liners.

Oculus Rift | 4.9 GB | $12.74 from the Oculus Store or from Steam


by House of How

Spartaga game screenshot courtesy of Steam
Spartaga – screenshot courtesy Steam

It must be bullet hell week. Spartaga is a more traditional take on the classic shoot-’em-up, drawing on some obvious Zaxxon influences. Swedish ambient duo Carbon Based Lifeforms provides an electronic score that should go well with the game’s vivid tanks and spaceships.

Oculus Rift | 1 GB | $19.99 from Steam


by Chronish Games

Remnith game screenshot courtesy of Steam
Remnith – screenshot courtesy Steam

Yet another high-octane shooter in a week that’s already filled with them, Remnith provides a slightly different take on things by focusing on accuracy instead of speed – the more missed shots you make, the stronger your enemies get. It’s also got a graphics style that manages to mix dingy industrialized landscapes with flashes of vivid color, reminding us a bit of Blade Runner or the most interesting parts of the Matrix films.

Oculus Rift | 5 GB | $9.99 from Steam

Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases:

ARK: Survival Evolved

by Studio Wildcard, Instinct Games, Efectro Studios and Virtual Basement, LLC

ARK: Survival Evolved game screenshot courtesy of Steam
ARK: Survival Evolved – screenshot courtesy Steam

Arguably the biggest – or at least the most publicized – release of the week, ARK: Survival Evolved and its ambitious attempt at a sandbox survival game wherein one can both kill and ride dinosaurs could be amazing. Unfortunately, the game has been plagued by complaints about overpriced DLC, unfinished game elements and poor performance – and that’s just when running it on a regular desktop. We can’t imagine that the game runs any better in VR mode. Hopefully, the VR-exclusive spin-off ARK Park will be better.

Oculus Rift | 60 GB | $59.99 from Steam

Preta: Vendetta Rising

by Ilion Corp

Preta: Vendetta Rising game screenshot courtesy of Steam
Preta: Vendetta Rising – screenshot courtesy Steam

Another ambitious offering, Preta: Vendetta Rising attempts to bring the hack-and-slash fantasy MMORPG into VR space. Between complaints about its reliance on micro-transactions and gameplay that involves more grinding than fun, this one might not be all the way there yet.

Oculus Rift | 12 GB | $9.99 from Steam


by Lockem Reality

ChefU game screenshot courtesy of Steam
ChefU – screenshot courtesy Steam

If you’re looking for an ultra-realistic cooking simulator, this might not be for you, but if a culinary-themed take on Surgeon Simulator or Job Simulator sounds amusing, ChefU might be right up your alley…at least until KFC makes their VR chicken-frying simulator available to the general public.

Oculus Rift | 8 GB | $29.99 from Steam

Be sure to check back next week to see what else is cooking for the Oculus Rift and Gear VR!