In The Atlas Mystery, you are now the newly hired floor manager of The Atlas Theater. Within its halls covered in 1940s style art deco survives a mystery of the previous owner which you must uncover. The game starts you out in the backroom and through subsequent escape room-style puzzles to unlock more of the theater. It is your job to uncover the mystery of the theater and lift the spirit looming over the darkened halls of Hollywood.
Construction Simulator 2022 rolled out for the PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox Series X|S and PC. With it comes over 70 real-world pieces of construction equipment from 25 world-famous brands. Unlike its predecessors, Construction Simulator has two separate maps with their own unique campaigns boasting over 90 contracts. Each map has a small group of land development companies looking to grow the town industries in various areas. These include business, residential, commercial, and more, each with their own manager for their projects.
Games, where you manage a city and grow it to a booming metropolis, are nothing new. However, town simulation games in VR are a fairly new occurrence. Little Cities from newcomer, Purple Yonder, a husband and wife team, brings cozy systems management to the Oculus Quest 2. Little Cities tasks you with taking over an empty series of islands and building out the streets, residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.
World of Mechs puts you into the suit of an armored mech adorned with machine guns, rockets, grenades, and more. If piloting a hulking machine on a battlefield was ever a dream you had, World of Mechs will make that a virtual reality. The game itself is broken into two parts, a single-player campaign and a 4v4 online with various match types.
Rhythm games are plentiful on the Quest 2, from wildly recognized hits like Beat Saber, Pistol Whip, Audica, and Synth Riders. There’s also a generally unknown corner of indie rhythm games that deserve the spotlight like Unplugged, Ragnarok, Smash Drums, and Thumper. AVICII Invector: Encore Edition borrows a lot from Thumper and turns the hit music from AVICII into a motion and timed-button press virtual reality game.
Virtual Reality games need to do a few things for me to captivate my attention. There needs to be immersion in the world, which usually combines visuals and sound into the story, as well as being able to interact with the world around me. The other thing that VR games need to do to hold my attention is to give me that ‘one more thing’ to keep coming back to, albeit a gameplay loop, enthralling environment, or an engrossing story. Wanderer, which launched in January 2022 on PSVR, Steam VR, and as a native Oculus game (which is where I played the game using Steam VR and my Meta Quest 2) checks all of those boxes for me.
Lucky’s Tale was one of the first VR platformers, originally released on the Rift in 2016. Immediately becoming a mascot classically aligned to 3D Mario and Banjo-Kazooie style collection games. The story starts off with you being woken up as your best friend Piggy gets kidnapped by a tentacled monster named Glorp.
I shouldn’t have to say too much about Tetris’s gameplay. Tetris has been a staple of video gaming since 1984 and has appeared on various consoles and handhelds over the last thirty-seven years. My first introduction to the game was on my original Game Boy, which my mom still has and plays on to this day. For many of us, Tetris was that go-to game we enjoyed and put tons of hours in throughout our gaming journey.
Clash of Chefs VR for Oculus Quest 2 puts you in charge of one of four types of restaurants in either a single-player or versus mode to see who is the best chef. Your four kitchens are American, Italian, Japanese, and Mexican. Each one gives you access to certain types of food like burgers, fries, pizza, pasta dishes, sushi, ramen, tortillas, tacos, and nachos.
Simulation as a genre is a very broad label over games that typically simulate real-world scenarios. In the case of Lawn Mowing Simulator, a chore or real-world job. What makes games like Job Simulator, Power Wash Simulator, or Lawn Mowing Simulator, to me is the way I can take part in a simulation for something I otherwise would not get a chance to. I don’t have access to large lawn mowers or a desire to run my own mowing company. Having the opportunity to cut grass may not seem exciting to some, but in Lawn Mowing Simulator the main draw is the zen-like monotony which can be satisfying.
Virtual Reality and rhythm games are a dime a dozen. There are VR staples like Beat Saber, Synth Riders, Pistol Whip, and now Ragnarock joins the ranks. In Ragnarock you are a captain of a Viking ship tasked with beating drums as runes stream towards you. The runes stream down four paths from left to right. Hitting the runes in time results in a power meter going up. Viking knots on the side of your hammers light up with each successful hit. When you hit your stride and combo enough runes together you can activate a powerful point multiplier.
Breathedge is one of those games that does its best to honour past games of the genre whilst also blazing its own path. The ride through space sure is a fun one, though ultimately your mileage through the vacuum of space may vary. You are “Man”, the last known survivor of a galactic wreck. You are tasked with taking your grandfather’s ashes to his out-of-this-world funeral. Once your spaceship crashes you must begin to find supplies to survive and scour space to find a way back home.
Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is about as wholesome a game as it gets. You play as young Alba, first taking steps as a toddler alongside her grandparents on a small island. You learn how to control Alba in this flashback sequence. There you learn how to walk, run, and take photos. At the end of each day, all Alba will need to do is shake her head in agreement or disagreement when asked a question. After the short tutorial sequence, you time jump and play as teenage Alba tasked with cleaning up the island. Along with clean-up, it is Alba’s mission to get enough signatures from neighbors to stop the building of a large tourist high rise.
The Climb 2 follows in the same steps, or ledges, of the previous title The Climb. The Climb was a great must-have title for the Quest platform, and The Climb 2 is no slouch either. There isn’t a story in The Climb 2 unless you count your own journey within each level. You climb up mountains, across rope ladders, hanging off skyscrapers, or jump from ledge to ledge, crafting your own story. The Climb 2 is focused on simulating heights and the gameplay mechanic of navigating through each of the five levels and the various paths within each that can vary in length, difficulty.
In Death: Unchained is a procedurally generated game for the Oculus Quest that originated on PCVR in 2018. Focusing on archery with a bow and then later a crossbow, you will work to kill enemies and navigate around various levels taking down hordes of enemies. In Death: Unchained makes you traverse through the world using a teleport mechanic as you shoot arrows at the ground. This allows you to zip towards or away from them while targeting or running away from battles. Traversing the levels can be a bit of a dance in ways as lining up your shots from a distance can be rewarding albeit difficult to accomplish.
Gnomes & Goblins is a passion project from executive producer Jon Favreau. In the game, you are surrounded by characters that resemble Grogu from the Mandalorian. The charm of Gnomes & Goblins can be seen and heard throughout the short run time in this creative cinematic experience. Gnomes & Goblins in VR melds exploration and adventure gameplay mechanics.
VR games oftentimes follow a certain trope like recreating something you can do in real life, throwing you into a zombie apocalypse, or giving you a gun. Lone Echo on Oculus Rift differs in standard VR gameplay and drops you into the body of an android dubbed, Jack, alongside Captain Olivia Rhodes on a mission on a space station near the rings of Saturn. The game starts out with you aiding Captain Rhodes in some basic tasks as you go through tutorial-like stages by teaching you how to use your IO-sensor, welding torch, repulsion traversal jets, and a rocket pack. In the opening act of the game, you will move around the space station accessing control ports and panels, turning dials and levers to complete small puzzle sections.
Vader Immortal Episodes I-III places you in the shoes of a smuggler aboard the Windfall after evading the Hutts with a shipment of spice. While jumping through hyperspace, you’re immediately taken captive by Darth Vader and held in his prison upon Mustafar. The VR experience found in Vader Immortal is similar in scope and scale to the Batman VR experience on PSVR. While going through Vader Immortal’s three episodes you more or less play through a short 90+ minute movie, where you teleport from point A to B while engaging in various puzzles and interactive areas within your ship, the castle above ground, and the lower portions of Mustafar, as you travel deeper within the depths of caverns and mines.
Down the Rabbit Hole is a familiar retelling of Alice in Wonderland’s tale of fantasy and intrigue, though this time in VR where you interact with the world in ‘third person god-mode’. The story starts off moving Alice through a house and searching for a key to open up a hatch in the floorboards. After you fall through the floor and down the rabbit hole, you are quickly greeted by the white rabbit. He tasks you with finding your way through to the party for the red queen and acquiring invitations along the way.
BoxVR brings together the rhythm of music and movement into a fitness gaming package that is one part color coordinated jabs, hooks, uppercuts, and blocks, along with leaning left, right, and squatting down. If you haven’t tried a fitness VR game or think that gaming and fitness shouldn’t be in the same sentence together, then you need to try BoxVR.