Top 5 Oculus Releases – February 24th-March 1st – Scary Monsters and Super Creeps

We know that the expression is “Christmas in July,” but it might as well be “Halloween in March” with this early spring collection of new Oculus releases. From murder mysteries to madness to ravening dinosaurs, this week’s top five Oculus Rift and Gear VR games may well require a change of underwear.

Island 359

from CloudGate Studio, Inc.

Island 359 - screenshot courtesy Steam
Island 359 – screenshot courtesy Steam

A number of games, including the maligned ARK: Survival Evolved, have attempted to bring the Jurassic Park milieu into the VR survival game. So far, Island 359 comes the closest.

Beyond the obvious – beautiful graphics, immersive tropical jungle environments, and freakin’ dinosaurs – this release from CloudGate Studio brings some additional innovations, including “Virtual Self,” a new solution for full-body view in VR, as well as multiple movement and interaction mechanics for a more accessible overall experience.

Oculus Rift | 11 GB | $24.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Galaxy Race

from Magic VR

Galaxy Race - screenshot courtesy Steam
Galaxy Race – screenshot courtesy Steam

With Sprint Vector getting so much attention, this other futuristic racing game fell beneath the radar, but Galaxy Race combines hoverboard racing at breakneck speed with a unique, head-driven motion control mechanic that many players have described as hard to pick up at first but extremely satisfying with a bit of practice.

We also enjoy the cartoon-inspired character designs and the fact that you can throw discs – we call them “death Frisbees,” though that’s probably not their official title – to take out competitors.

Oculus Rift | 2 GB | $14.99 from Steam

A Most Curious Murder

from Simon Hultgren

A Most Curious Murder - screenshot courtesy Oculus
A Most Curious Murder – screenshot courtesy Oculus

A bit like Her Story in VR, A Most Curious Murder is a VR experience within a VR experience, encouraging the player to explore a police station – and the station computer’s VR video recordings – to solve a murder.

The motion detection for locomotion is an interesting idea – it detects head motion from walking in place – that didn’t entirely work for us in practice, but this is still a well-designed free experience for mobile VR users.

Gear VR | 567 MB | FREE from Oculus

Rise of Insanity

from Red Limb Studio

Rise of Insanity - screenshot courtesy Steam
Rise of Insanity – screenshot courtesy Steam

This horror experience from Red Limb Studio was already scaring the pants off of people in Early Access. Set in the ‘70s, Rise of Insanity garners high praise for its VR implementation, well-realized setting, and especially its atmospheric sound design.

Oculus Rift | 10 GB | $9.99 from Steam

Speak of the Devil

from Light Sail VR, LLC

Speak of the Devil - screenshot courtesy Oculus
Speak of the Devil – screenshot courtesy Oculus

An interactive movie with 13 possible endings, Speak of the Devil reminds us of a cross between The Blair Witch Project and the original Evil Dead, which is to say its deliciously frightening in spite of its occasional campy moments.

Gear VR | 1.2 GB | $2.99 from Oculus

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