VR is a quickly growing market in gaming. It seems like everyday developers are springing up to put their hats in the ring and push the technology to its limits. Here are my current top 5 games you can play on Quest, and without a computer!
5. I Expect You to Die: The James Bond Inspired Escape Room We All Need!
Bond, Not James Bond
I Expect You to Die is death trap fueled puzzle solving at it’s best. Your unnamed agent is sent into increasingly inventive situations from which you must escape using your wits and what’s lying around you. The 1960’s aesthetic is perfect for the “missions” introduced by hilarious narration. This game even has its own Bond-style intro theme song.
Shaken, Not Stirred
I Expect You to Die is, at its heart, an escape room. Some puzzles are timed, some are complex enough to have multiple solutions; However, all of them are fun and frantic. You will die, multiple times. Sometimes you’ll explode, sometimes you’ll suffocate from smoke, and sometimes it’ll be nerve gas that gets you. Don’t let that dissuade you, as the challenges and achievements are enough to keep you replaying them, and with a sequel now released, there is plenty to love here.
4. Echo: If Ender’s Game Was Real…Oh, Wait…
Zero G’s, A Thousand Directions
One of the best free-to-play games I have ever experienced, Echo takes place in a zero-G environment. It has a decent tutorial to acclimate you to this new way of movement.
You control a robotic body on a space station. While that sounds like the setup for a decent survival-horror game, this is a sports competition. After the tutorial teaches you to control small thrusters in your wrists to move, you will be unleashed into the “Social Space” (pun intended, I think). I have spent almost as much time flying around the social space as I have playing matches. There is a space to customize your bot, including emotes, color, and paint design. Various practice areas and toys litter the station as well. There are hidden hallways and even a dartboard. One of my favorite things included here is a tiny copy of the game arena. From combat practice to a miniature practice arena, there are lots to do here.
Launch Tubes and Punching Opponents in the Face, What More Could You Want?
The main draw here is the game matches. Two teams start at opposing sides of an arena littered with obstacles and handholds. The disk starts in the middle of the arena, and the launch tubes open. You are hurled into the arena, but the goal is simple: get the disk into the goal on your opponent’s side. There is some combat, in that you can punch someone in the head to stun them, and you can raise your hands to your head to block punches. However, the fun here lies with online matches. Get some friends together, or play alone (like me), either way, it’s a blast.
3. Ancient Dungeon: Procedurally Generated Monster Slaying Action
Looks Like Minecraft, Plays Like a Dungeon Crawler
Ancient Dungeon was an unexpected delight. I was looking for a free-to-play game and came across the demo for this game, so I thought “why not”? Unfortunately, the demo is closed, but the full game is out now, and they took the feedback to heart. The graphics are nothing to write home about, however that just serves to make it deceptively cute.
Starting with a sword and a throwing knife, you are dropped into the titular dungeon. There isn’t really a story, but plenty of monsters, awesome sword control, and decent physics for the throwing knife make it easily forgiven.
As you travel deeper into the dungeon, you’ll find forks in the halls, leading to different treasures, upgrades, or even different bosses. It is up to you to decide which way to go, how to spend the keys you earn or find along the way, what upgrades to take (as some abilities will negate others) and what to purchase from the shopkeeper. The name of the game is choices, and there are lots. You even have the choice to attack the shopkeeper, but it may not work out like expected. Plus, with each run being different, you never know where those choices may lead you.
2. Super Hot VR: Bots Breaking, Mind Bending
Time? What Time?
Superhot was previously released on consoles, and with its unique gameplay and onion-like story (cause it has layers..get it?), it became a hit for players of all kinds. It felt like this VR version was just a matter of time. Which is ironic.
The core gameplay is that time, and by extension, the enemies and weapons only move when you move. This combined with one-shot kills (or one-hit kills, if you’re using melee weapons) means you have to plan your moves carefully, and in VR it can be even more difficult to not move, depending on what positions you contort yourself into. Also, while the story is there, it requires some piecing together. Superhot is still a great time, even if you don’t delve into the deeper meaning.
Everything you can grab in Superhot can be used as a weapon. Glass bottles, knives, katana, ashtrays, and more. Some can be used to disarm enemies, some to kill. Between using everything that isn’t bolted down, and literally dodging bullets, Superhot will make you feel like an action hero straight out of the late 90s early 00s.
1. Vader Immortal: Need I say more?
Yes Darth Vader has a castle, and yes it’s awesome!
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: there are three parts of this game, and each costs about $20 Bucks. Is this game worth 60 dollars? Absolutely. Vader Immortal is incredibly immersive, and expertly captures key elements of the Star Wars universe. From the view of hyperspace as you pilot your starship, to the feel of a blaster in your hand, to the plucky droid sidekick. Each part has a section of the story and a Jedi training arena in which you fight waves of enemies using a lightsaber, blaster, grenades, and force. The better you do clearing the enemies in each round of the arena, the more emblems you earn, which unlock different lightsabers and gloves. That doesn’t sound too exciting until you realize that you can unlock Darth Maul’s dual lightsaber!
Stormtroopers, Rancors, and Vader! Oh, My!
The story is genuinely compelling. It allows for great training for the various weapons and force abilities you will wield in the story and the Jedi arena. You play as a smuggler caught up in Vader’s machinations on Mustafar, the lava planet. With the help of your droid partner: Z0-E3, or “Zoey”, you must escape, uncover Vader’s plan and stop him. Along the way, you’ll learn new skills, gain new abilities, and fight giant rancor! I don’t want to give too much away, but Vader Immortal will make you feel like a genuine Jedi, and best of all: it’s all canon!