Some of the best VR puzzle games are the simplest ones. Titles like Cubism and Puzzling Places demonstrate perfectly that a good, well-crafted puzzle is all you need. No fluff, just you and your problem-solving skills. If you love this style of game then Carbon Studio’s latest, Mindset, has likely caught your eye. Littered with cube-based head-scratchers, as we find in our Mindset review, the studio has bravely paired the gameplay with a somewhat bizarre narrative and hand tracking for a mixed result.
Baobab Studios has built a reputation for adorable, finely crafted virtual reality (VR) experiences. Not videogames, more interactive movies like Namoo, Bonfire and Crow: The Legend. But its most famous characters came from Baobab’s earliest projects, Asteroids! and Invasion! These starred two hapless alien friends Mac and Cheez, who get into various scrapes. So it’s great to see them return for the studio’s very first videogame, as we review Galactic Catch.
When you have no nobody around you to rely on, you have to learn to trust in yourself. Or the other solution is to bend time and utilise many versions of yourself. And that’s exactly what Flat Head Studio offers in its latest puzzle game We Are One. Merging a critical take on current environmental issues with VR puzzle gameplay, in our We Are One review for Meta Quest 2, XR Source finds a videogame burning with ambition yet lacking the expression of others in this field.
A lot of my favourite VR games tend to be big action fixes. Games like Population: One or Resident Evil 4. But there are times when I want something different. A VR experience that challenges me to think creatively or a gripping narrative that hooks me with its performance. Sometimes, quite unexpectedly, I encounter both. Weirdly, that just so happened to be inside a radio station, sat on a DJ chair in front of a mic. Welcome to the radio talk show that is this Killer Frequency review.
Sword fighting is one of the best reasons to get into VR gaming. Whether you like a classic sword and shield combo, all-out assault with a couple of razor-sharp sabres or the almighty power of a two-handed claymore, VR melee is exhausting and super fun. It’s why games such as Blade & Sorcery: Nomad and GORN are so popular, there’s a viscerally brutal connection to the virtual world you find yourself in and a satisfying sense of completion when you are victorious. The latest in this genre comes from Cydream, in the form of challenging roguelike Battle Talent.
When it comes to making virtual reality puzzle games Innerspace VR are experts. The studio behind The Corsair’s Curse and Maskmaker first delighted players with the mind-bending A Fisherman’s Tale. A delightful story about a puppet who needs to fix a lighthouse during a storm. Whilst short, the game was playful with its sense of scale and wonder, treating players to some extraordinary puzzles. Another Fisherman’s Tale tries to recapture that early magic as the fisherman recants a brand-new tale.
Creepy mansions, asylums, hospitals, there are plenty of good locations to host a horror game. But could the top of that list be hotels? They’re not inherently scary but most of us are probably far more familiar with the seemingly endless, multi-door corridors of a hotel than some giant mansion. VR has already seen the likes of A Wake Inn utilise the setting – with mixed results. Now it’s time for Wanadev Studio’s Propagation: Paradise Hotel, a zombie-filled nightmare for Meta Quest 2 and Steam headsets.
Wolf & Wood is a developer that knows what it is doing when it comes to VR. Yet the studio’s catalogue is a really mixed bag. From the excellent, The Exorcist: Legion VR to the hit-and-miss that was Hotel R’n’R, its latest title The Last Worker is a return to form, sort of, on Meta Quest 2. It’s been a while since I last played a VR game where I switched between enjoyment and boredom in quick succession. Wanting more, then wanting less as narrative and gameplay collided into one package to be distributed to the masses.
Flatscreen ports have become a staple part of the VR release schedule. From major titles like Resident Evil 4 to smaller indie offerings, there are some excellent games coming across. However, there are those that do not fare as well, with janky controls and a lack of interactivity that VR players are used to. Sat in between these two extremes is Kill It With Fire VR, adapting the arachnophobia-inducing gameplay into an eight-legged escapade of fun and frustration.
If you’ve ever watched an episode of Clarkson’s Farm then you’ll know that farming isn’t easy. It’s slow, time-consuming work and yet richly rewarding when you see the fruits of your labour grow. Farming sims are nothing new in gaming, but quite often it’s part of a wider narrative. Across the Valley, aims to remove all the faff and give players an immersive farming experience that is all about tilling the soil and shearing sheep with your own hands. But if you’re hoping to create your own farming empire, this is not it.