RPGs, puzzles, and adventure games are great! You can get lost in the journey. Become someone else or spend hours challenging yourself with puzzles. The following list is not these things because sometimes we just need to play a game with a simple objective and turn our brains off a little.
Break-Neck Racing In 3D: Radial G: Proteus
Radial-G was one of the first racing games available for VR in the early days. Radial-G: Proteus takes that ambition and kicks it up a notch. With a better color palette and cell-shaded graphics, this update brings the eye-candy in spades.
The objective is simple enough: get first place. To help you along the way, you’ll find boosts and weapons all along the route. However, it’s not just your opponents that can halt your progress. The tracks themselves pose obstacles galore as you race along a mostly cylindrical course.
If that isn’t enough for you, try taking on career mode to unlock better vehicles and face greater challenges. Boasting standard controls or the option of tank-style motion controls, Radial-G: Proteus will serve those looking for a racing game in VR well, as long as you keep your head on a swivel.
Chaotic, Mech Fighting Goodness: Iron Rebellion
One of the best steps to a mech game done right, Iron Rebellion is a chaotic mess, in the best possible way!
Unlike a lot of other mech games, Iron Rebellion puts you in the cockpit with interactive controls and a first-person perspective. With a social space to allow you to get used to the way your mech moves and shoots, after a few minutes you’re ready to get out there blasting in online matches.
While the graphics can leave a bit to be desired, I can’t overstate how big a step to a proper giant mech game Iron Rebellion brings us. And for my fellow fans of Gundam, Voltron, and Power Rangers, being in the cockpit of a mech is incredible, even if it is an early attempt. A masterpiece, this is not. However, for quick, frantic mecha fun, Iron Rebellion is the game of choice for now.
Space Pirate Trainer: DX…Need I Say More?
Most VR enthusiasts will know about Space Pirate Trainer. Used as a demo game for in-store VR demonstrations, Space Pirate Trainer: DX is the upgraded, at-home version.
The game is simple enough: shoot the robots. Your weapons? The options are plentiful. You can choose to use an energy shield in one hand and a gun in the other. The gun offers an assortment of shooting styles from rapid-fire to grenade launcher to laser rifle. Not to be outdone, even the shield has the ability to become a laser cutter with a beam grapple to pull enemies toward you so you can slice them in half with it. This beam grapple can also activate various weapons around the platform you’re on. However, if you prefer a more bold approach, you can choose to duel-wield either guns or shields.
While there are bosses and a bit of progression, the real goal is a high score on the leaderboard. This makes the replayability nearly endless. Plus, sometimes you just need to shoot some robots after a hard day.
Simulated Jobs. What could be more fun?
Job Simulator exploded into VR some time ago. The freedom to experiment and play with everything around you mixed with an incredibly simple story/ objectives makes for an addictive game. Something you can pick up and play immediately as well as four different environments mean hours worth of fun.
Job Simulator was such a massive success that a sequel has been released entitled Vacation Simulator. As well as multiple DLC. All of which gives an increasing amount of things to try on top of the tasks assigned to you in each “mini” game.
Truly the reason for such a fun experience was the developers’ foresight in programming an astonishing amount of crazy things they anticipated the players would want to try. Wanna drink headlight fluid? Go for it (virtually, of course). The Simulator games are just plain fun to jump into and mess around.
The OG Returns: Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs
Angry Birds. Everyone knows the name, even if you didn’t play the mobile games. They’ve had many updates and remakes and expansions. They’ve even partnered with Star Wars and been in insurance commercials. Heck, they even had movies and tv shows. Now, they make a return to form, in full 3D VR!
Angry Birds: Isle of Pigs is a game that I had not expected to be as entertaining as it was. Honestly, I thought ” Angry Birds, why not?”. So I picked it up and, to my surprise, it was so much fun.
The developers have managed to update the classic gameplay into VR very successfully in a way that is instantly recognizable. You pick up a slingshot, pull back, aim, and let go. Easy enough. Although the real challenge here is the 3D aspect. Allowing you to choose from preset positions, you can lean or move a little to get a better perspective and plan your attack for a better hit or to rack up those points.
Great visuals, nostalgic game mechanics, and the ability to just drop in and play a level and back out if you want make Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs a sheer delight.
Shooting Gallery Done Right: Gun Club VR
Gun Club started its life as a mobile shooting game known for a remarkable amount of real-world guns and add-ons. Brought into the VR spotlight early, The Binary Mill has made massive improvements to the mechanics. Each weapon feels unique and brings with it a sense of realism.
To counter the realistic aspect of the weapons, your targets are cardboard cutouts. However, they still pack a few surprises, like being able to shoot back or having a hostage. You’ll only have a short time to take your shot, earning higher scores for headshots. Also, reloading takes precious seconds away from your time, so keeping an eye on both targets and your ammo can be a challenge in itself. Although, Gun Club VR gives you a chance to reload faster in the form of a quick-time event. These can change based on the weapon you are using, so choose wisely.
If you’re looking for a quick round of target practice, Gun Club VR is the way to go. All this, and a Zombie Mode, too! And let me tell you, watching some cardboard zombies waddle toward you in droves is as hilarious as it is terrifying!
Rhythm Games: Beat Saber and Moon Rider
Rhythm games have been around since the days of Simon. Becoming more advanced with the likes of Guitar Hero and Rock Band, it was only a matter of time before someone tried to add… lightsabers? Unlikely as it was, Beat Saber has been a phenomenal success. Now Beat Saber has become the premiere rhythm game for VR. Even gameplay videos have gone viral. A mix of striking visuals kin to Tron, with its neon aesthetic, and ever-expanding soundtrack make Beat Saber a must-have for VR enthusiasts.
There is one major downside to Beat Saber, however: on the Meta Quest 2 there is no support for open source music. This means that without a computer that is compatible and capable of connecting to the headset, you only have access to the initial music playlist and a handful of paid music packs.
Standing in opposition to Beat Saber is Moon Rider. An open-source rhythm game very similar to Beat Saber, but with some differences. One of the biggest is that the tracklist is fully open source. This means that people can upload all sorts of music you wouldn’t be able to find on Beat Saber normally. Also, some songs may have multiple target designs. This also means that the music list is constantly growing as well.
Being completely free to play, Moon Rider comes with a couple of caveats. One is it’s an online game, meaning you have to be constantly connected to wifi to play. The other is that it’s a browser game. The first of two browser-based VR games, you can access Moon Rider through a VR browser (I find that Firefox works best for me).
No matter which one you go with, or both, you cannot lose!
Online Shooty-Shooty: Gun Raiders
I have covered Gun Raiders in one of my other lists here on ViBE. Gun Raiders is an awesome first-person shooter with an assortment of weapons at your disposal. The unique movement controls, specifically the boost, glide, and jetpack, can be a little difficult to get used to. However, once you have it down, it is immensely useful and fun.
One of my favorite aspects of Gun Raiders is the ability to choose and change weapons on the fly, whenever you want. However, opening the weapon wheel doesn’t change or stop the match, so it can take some thinking ahead and keeping your head on a swivel.
With several different types of matches and a combat social space where you can test out all your weapons and movement abilities, Gun Raiders is a blast to drop into or out of at any time.
Like Diablo and Tomb Raider Had a Baby :Ancient Dungeon
I have a soft spot for procedurally- generated dungeon crawlers, I’ll admit. Although, that doesn’t make Ancient Dungeon any less fun.
Ancient Dungeon has a lot going for it. Decent combat to keep you on your toes. A constantly differing map with each run. Give the player a throwing knife where any other game would give you a shield. There are enough unique enemies and power-ups to keep each run feeling fresh. Ancient Dungeon has a charm and replayability that will keep players coming back. While there is the option to save after defeating a boss monster, I have found that I just quit and come back to a fresh dungeon each time. Although I do lose my current power-ups, I enjoy the surprise of it. I like seeing what I get and making the most of it.
Either way, Ancient Dungeon is a great game to pick up and go!
Zero G Ultimate Frisbee: Echo VR
Echo VR is a free-to-play online VR game. Completely zero-G, the movement mechanics take some getting used to. When starting Echo VR the player is taken through a tutorial to help the player understand the movement better. Afterward, the player is taken to the social space. One of my favorite aspects of the game. Here you can just have fun exploring, practicing for matches, sparing with others in the combat room, and more. There are times I just open up Echo VR to zoom around in the social space and throw some disks. Or play darts.
This is all before even getting into the matches themselves. Here, two teams face off in a zero-G arena to grab a disk and throw it through the opponents’ goal. Seems simple enough, but then again, your opponents are trying to do the same thing. To fend each other off, you have the ability to punch each other in the head to stun for a few precious seconds. Also, you are given the ability to block the punch, but only by raising your arms to your head, meaning you have to let go of a disk.
The back and forth in these games is a lot of fun, and you can drop in and out as you see fit. This means that Echo VR is an awesome way to waste some extra time, and you don’t even need to play a match if you’re looking to just chill for a little bit.