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There isn’t much to get excited about on the Oculus Rift front this week, again, but there are some significant new releases for Gear VR. It’s not often the mobile headset gets its time in the spotlight but there are some genuinely interesting games for it this week, so maybe it’s time to blow off the dust.
Release Date: 07/25/16 Price: $6.99 (Oculus Rift, currently discounted)
Audio Arena is this week’s Gear VR game graduating to bigger headsets. It’s an arena-based game in which you have to dodge enemies in time to the track you’re listening to, whether using gaze-based or motion controls. Power ups will help to take care of opponents for good as you try to build a high score.
Recommendation: Audio Arena was a fun distraction on Gear VR and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be the same on PC.
Design it, Drive it: Speedboats, from Performance Simulations
I don’t think a game’s name has ever done such a good job of describing what you do in it. Design it allows you to make your own speedboats and then take them for a spin on massive lakes. The developer claims it boasts simulation-quality physics, which means you won’t be able to simply make any old rubbish.
Recommendation: Design it looks a little rough around the edges to say the least, but if you’re a speedboat enthusiasts what other choice do you have?
VR Fractals, from Phylliida
Release Date: 07/27/16 Price: $1.99 (Oculus Rift)
A 3D viewer for fractal art or, as the developer puts it, “expect about 5-20 minutes of gameplay for the price of a large candy bar.” Fair enough. There are 8 fractals included in the game right now along with a code editor to allow you to create your own.
Recommendation: If fractals are your thing, fractal away.
Russian Coasters, from Funny Twins
Release Date: 07/27/16 Price: $5.75 (Oculus Rift)
I’m not sure what makes these rollercoasters Russian. One of them is set in space. Is Russia in space? Anyway, this is your bog standard set of four tracks for you to endlessly drive around, each one carrying a different theme.
Recommendation: If you’re not bored of VR coasters by now then may god have mercy on your soul.
Heroes of the Seven Seas, from Mirage Interactive
Release Date: 07/27/16 Price: $4.99 (Gear VR)
It’s not often Gear VR has the most interesting looking game of the week but, honestly, I had to double check this wasn’t on Rift. This is a first-person adventure with full naval and land-based battles in which you and a crew of pirates will explore the seven seas.
Recommendation: It’s got an intense comfort rating but if you think you can handle it then Gear VR hasn’t had such an interesting release in ages.
Cabbage Harvest, from Vobling
Release Date: 07/27/16 Price: $0.99 (Gear VR)
Moving swiftly on, we have probably the best-named VR game of the week. You have to earn money by harvesting as many cabbages as possible. It’s a puzzle game that’s pretty cleanly presented. You also have to avoid being seen by ‘Bernie the Worm’ which I’m not convinced isn’t political commentary.
Recommendation: It’s cheap and fun. Not a bad choice for this week.
Here’s deadmau5 trying to sell you vodka. It’s got an entire CG section to it and features exclusive music from the DJ. At the end of it you can party in a 360 degree nightclub. Maybe don’t try and drink any vodka with the headset on, though. At least it’s not just another 360 ski slope or something.
Recommendation: If you’re not a deadma5 fan then you can steer clear.
Immersive Combat, from Spherica
Release Date: 07/27/16 Price: Free (Gear VR)
As far as 360 apps go, this is pretty interesting. It’s a series of choreographed fight scenes designed to be viewed in VR, which isn’t really something we’ve seen yet. Apparently it features “world champions” in Kung Fu, Muay Thai and Medieval Combat, though there is a slight hint of Kirk vs. Gorn to it.
Recommendation: It’s free and entertaining. Go for it.
Starfighter Adruxim Demo, from Fulby Technologies
Release Date: 07/27/16 Price: Free (Gear VR)
A first look at a new cockpit game for Gear hits this week. It’s another sci-fi experience though visually it’s not much to look at. I do like the look of the cockpit design, though, which is very minimalist and allows you to gaze out into space from wherever you look.
Recommendation: Try it out now and you’ll know if the full release is something to look out for.
Here we have a side-scrolling beat ’em up in VR yet? If not then RollerGirls From Beyond has the honor of being the very first. This looks absolutely bonkers and is designed to provide players with a challenge, something that’s been lacking in VR thus far. It’s only an early access release right now.
Recommendation: The art style is certainly bright and colorful, but I’m not entirely sure why this exists in VR.
This is free DLC for anyone that already owns the original Coffin Dodgers and comes included with the initial package. This is the original kart racer in which the elderly take back their rural streets. You can use weapons like fireworks to blow opponents away.
Recommendation: The original game is pretty popular, so VR support is welcome.