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Another week has come and gone but before you head off to Applebees for some half priced apps and reasonably affordable Long Islands (sorry if I’m projecting my ideal Friday night onto you) don’t forget to check out our weekly list of new Oculus releases.
As much as we’d all love to be in Rio right now battling cartels and contracting multiple separate strains of Zika Virus, some of us will be stuck watching the games in our air conditioned homes. To make this loss a bit more bearable, Oculus is taking on several new Olympics themed initiatives.
First of all, there will be 360 photos from the Rio games added to Oculus Photos during each day of competition. Secondly, several broadcast partners are joining with Digital Domain to broadcast regionally specific portions of the events to your Samsung Gear VR.
Ascension VR, from Temple Gates Games
Release Date: 08/01/16 Price: $9.99
We’re still waiting on Dragon Front to hit Rift, but Ascension VR may have already beaten it to the punch. This is a promising rendition of a classic card game brought to life within VR headsets. Online multiplayer and cross-platform play make this a serious contender straight out of the box, and it’s at a great price.
Recommendation: If card games are your thing then this is a great choice. More info here.
New Retro Arcade: Neon, from Digital Cybercherries
Who says the arcades are dead? They’re alive and well in VR thanks to New Retro Arcade Neon, which offers a virtual space to hang out with friends in and enjoy some air hockey, play light gun games, and just generally remember the good ol’ days. You can even run emulations of games in virtual cabinets.
This looks like a short and sweet treat for Vive fans; you help a stranded robot captain repair his broken ship before it comes under attack from spaceworms. It’s a sandbox experience, though, so if you want to you can simply mess around, smashing miniature robots with a bat.
Here’s a new space adventure for all you sci-fi fans. Space Rift offers space combat with a minimalist cockpit, and even lets you travel to the surfaces of asteroids and inside larger ships. It might not have the polish of some other VR games but there is a full single player campaign to embark upon.
Recommendation: Those of you starving for space might want to check this one out.
We wrote about this game previously and it looks like it’s not only received some updates, but it’s no longer a free demo as well. Doll City: Prologue is an intro to a larger world that is sure to deliver some memorable cyberpunk a adventures in VR. It’s reminiscent of Technolust, but less polished.
Recommendation: Hard to tell at this time if it’s worth investing in this currently, so probably wait a bit longer.
Mervils: A VR Adventure, from VitruviusVR
Release Date: 08/04/16 Price: $9.99
Take the concept behind Lucky’s Tale, expand it a bit with a more Super Mario 64style world selection system, and add in some RPG-lite progression mechanics, and you’ve got Mervils. The biggest downside, however, is the lack of polish in terms of the visuals and gameplay. It’s clearly made by a very tiny team.
Recommendation: If you like 3D platformers and collect-a-thons, then this totally worth getting early before the price goes up with future updates. Our full preview is here.
Envelop, from EnvelopVR
Release Date: 08/05/16 Price: Free
Depending on your needs, Envelop might be the most efficient way for you to get work done. We’ve already seen Virtual Desktop and BigScreen, but Envelop is unique in that it allows you to resize and duplicate your windows ad nauseum. You can actually envelop yourself in multiple desktops!
This little Gear VR is designed for relaxation and meditation. It’s recommended by the developers for when you’re “lying down in bed” or “sitting in a massage chair.”
It’s tropical aesthetics and soothing isolation should put all thoughts of Jerry from accounting who just can’t seem to stop microwaving fish at lunchtime out of your mind.
Recommendation: The price is just right at free and we could all do with a bit more zen in our lives. There’s no real reason not to give this one a shot.
Evil Robot Traffic Jam HD, from Element Games
Release Date: 08/05/16 Price: $9.99
Tower defense meets rush hour (the event not the fantastic movie who’s two stars better be working on threequel right now) in this Oculus Rift title. Create havoc, fight bosses, and take out some of those frustrations you feel every day sitting on I-680 just wishing you were already home.
Recommendation: The game doesn’t look terribly groundbreaking, but if you’re a tower defense fan who has already played through the phenomenal Defense Grid: Enhanced VR Edition, then you could find more fuel for your addiction here.