The Haunted Graveyard is a short walking-only VR experience that will leave players feeling creeped out or mesmerized by its delightfully kooky characters and Disneyworld’ish dark-ride style presentation.Continue reading
Ragnarock is a VR exclusive rhythm game made in the style of the massively popular Beat Saber. It feels like Beat Saber has created this whole new genre of rhythm games in the VR marketplace, where players dance and wave their controllers to the music to hit notes. The thing is about this growing little sub-genre though, is that so much of the featured music revolves around some form of electronica, I think is the term. When Ragnarock popped onto the scene airdrumming to its fantasy prog rock/metal soundtrack, I was sold on the game very quickly.
Ragnarock has a lot of neat visual mechanics that affect the gameplay in ways we hadn’t seen in other dance VR games. The absolute coolest of which, is that you play your songs aboard a Viking longboat as a drummer. The better you perform, the faster your Viking rowers make speed down this beautiful icy river. This is a real dang cool way of showing players basic score with no numbers, just a scenic journey.
The drumming can get a little difficult due to issues with height adjustment. I had trouble figuring out exactly what my drumsticks should look like before starting, so ended up having to start a session, end it, start a session, and end it, all so I could mess with the settings in trial and error. Still, the drumming felt good with haptic and visual feedback, especially once I had found a decent setup. Maybe developers can add some in-game advice about calibration? This should be about how to align your drums properly, how to stand, etc, for the best play session.
I openly admit I am very terrible at Ragnarock, and heck, I’m bad at most rhythm games. Despite this, I had an excellent time just listening to the songs and trying to make it further down the river with my Vikingfriends. Hopefully WanadevStudio can continue working on adding new songs and rivers and boats to the game, and by the time I come back to play next we’ll really Rock.
Interested readers can buy Ragnarock on SteamVR.
Gnomes & Goblins is one of those products that seems like it was designed to introduce people to the potential wonder of virtual reality games. Available on SteamVR and Viveport Infinity, I enjoyed my time in this fantastical experience. We play as a human exploring a magical forest of strange creatures and get to see their tiny villages and strange cultures as we walk through the paths presented by the game’s developer, Wevr.Continue reading
Horror Bar VR is a delightfully ridiculous bartending type game. No other game has been able to pull off telling us to make a cocktail of blood and acid, garnished with a human nose, with such great humor and commitment to maintaining its core mechanics.Continue reading
Star Shaman is an indie VR first person shooter roguelike from Ikimasho that offers its players a lot of unique style and energy. In the trailer the developer released at launch, we see a woman dancing some crazy moves as she plays through a level in ways that really inspire me – Will I have as good a time as her? Probably not, but I’m going to damn well try!
At its core, Star Shaman plays fairly similar to something like Space Pirate Trainer. For the uninitiated, this means you stand in one spot and are dodging incoming fireballs and missiles and using an arsenal of weapons to shoot down a variety of enemies that come in waves.
There are some pretty big differences here though. In Star Shaman, you’re actually moving between levels – though all start out looking the same at the beginning of the game for reasons that suit the story. The most major mechanical difference in the actual fights is that we have to summon our weapons to use them against enemies while dodging their attacks. This actually added a lot to the gameplay, as the motion of summoning my gun became part of my groove with dodging. I really felt in tune with the music in a way most typical rhythm games don’t give me.
There are more weapons and upgrades that are unlocked by continuing to play the game. You see, Star Shaman is roguelike in the style of FTL where players progress through tiers of battles at set difficulties with some story mixed in, until the next tier unlocks. The game advises us to be careful about going too far, but I’m still a little confused about how the progression works. There are multiple weapons to unlock, but they require us to grind huge amounts of attempts through the game.
It is implied with the fact you are drastically changing the worlds you’ve beat, by growing flowers and rebirthing life, that there will be a wide variety of enemies later down the road in gameplay than I personally reached. At least, I can’t imagine the developer would add all these beautiful effects, levels and creature designs and then not use them for a good fight?
I really do feel enamored with Star Shaman. I feel selfish about this, but I love the mystery of it – it’s not often I find a truly great game that none of my friends are talking about, and it’s up to me(!) to find the answers to the riddles. I should also mention somewhere here that the soundtrack is very much my jam, and I love it.
The Room VR A Dark Matter from Fireproof Games is one of the top virtual reality games available. That isn’t me being controversial, it’s a fact – A Dark Matter is one of the only VR games on Steam rated Overwhelmingly Positive by users. There is good reason for this widespread approval of the game, because dangitall this game was great.Continue reading
This is my first year delving into the VR scene, and goodness, I am thrilled about all of the cool projects that I’ve been finding. Most notably is the Venice VR Expanded Festival of 2020 as put on the famous La Biennale di Venezia Film Festival. This VR Expanded Festival is huge! It really just inspires me for the future of the virtual reality scene. There are so many well told stories on display with such a wide diversity of flavors and genres and creators.Continue reading
Popup Dungeon comes from Triple-B studios, developer of the excellent Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages. Ring Runner was a bit of an odd duck, as it was a spaceship game with these amazing controls and the combat all felt great to play and there was a ton of customization, but it would also make the player sit through a ton of dialog and exposition every few minutes. Popup Dungeon is a completely different game, in that it makes it clear that its story is non-vital. Popup Dungeon practically says to the player “I’ll bring the tools, if you can do a little research into using them, you can write your own story and do some really cool things!”Continue reading
Necro Mutex by game developer Denormalizer feels like it has been unfairly overlooked by just about everyone. As of writing, the game only has twenty-one reviews on Steam. I’ve seen overpriced lootbox micro-DLCs with more happy players than that! It’s a shame, because Necro Mutex is something truly special when it builds itself up.Continue reading