Creative gardening, collaborative theatre, and cross-platform multiplayer confirmed.
We’re less than a week away from the long-awaited release of the Oculus Quest standalone VR headset and with over 50 launch titles already confirmed, it appears as though we’ll have plenty of content to look forward to this coming Tuesday. Of course, this just the tip of the iceberg for the Oculus Quest; the company has already begun teasing a selection of titles scheduled for release later this year.
In Oculus’ final update to their ongoing #QuestCountdown developer blog series, the company shines a spotlight on a handful of upcoming genre-defying experiences that will soon be available on the standalone headset.
Coming soon to the Oculus Quest, Rift, and Rift S, Funktronic Labs’ creative exploration game Fujii is a visually-stimulating abstract experience that will have users performing a combination of biome exploration and “creative gardening.”
“Fujii is a game to get cozy with, and Quest’s standalone form factor empowers people to do just that,” explains Eddie Lee, founder of Funktronic Labs. “We’re also excited to see players experience Fujii in a number of environments, thanks to the unique portability of the headset.”
We had a chance to check out Tender Claws’ interactive live theatre experience The Under Presents while attending this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and to say our time with the bizarre collaborative performance piece was interesting would be putting it lightly. A pleasant combination of outlandish storytelling and live performance, The Under Presents is a one-of-a-kind social experience that allows users to collaborate on-stage with professional actors in real-time.
“VR is broadening both the possibilities and the audience of gaming,” states Tender Claws Co-Founder Samantha Gorman. “It encourages new thinking around how to spatially design worlds that the player can inhabit. It also fosters new methods for creating immersive and responsive characters. Overall, VR brings a fresh sense of exploration that rewards open experimentation and new approaches. In The Under Presents, we collide theater and gaming. To achieve this, we were most excited to work closely with Piehole, a live theater company based in New York.”
Sairento VR—developed by the team over at Mixed Realms—is an action-packed first-person shooter for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift that blends parkour with gunplay, resulting in a fast-paced immersive thrill-ride. This new Quest edition, Sairento VR Untethered, offers the same action-packed experience minus the cumbersome headset cable. This is a huge improvement for the futuristic ninja experience as Sairento’s gameplay involves a hefty amount of movement when dodging bullets, slashing foes with your katana, or just straight-up exploring the cyberpunk-inspired environments.
“At its heart, Sairento has always been a game that emphasizes a lot of physical movement,” says Mixed Realms CEO Aldric Chang. “Whether it’s ducking around a corner, sidestepping a salvo of bullets, or putting yourself within striking distance of a foe—it’s all part of encouraging you to act out your inner ninja. The cordless form factor of Quest allows us to fully realize our vision. Players are free to make full use of their play area to strafe around an enemy, perform spinning sword slashes, or twist and turn stylishly to avoid a hail of bullets—all without the worry of tangling any cords.”
Image Credit: Resolution Games
Finally, there’s ACRON. Brought to us by the talented folks over at Resolution Games (Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs, Bait!), ACRON is described by its developers as a cross-platform multiplayer VR game inspired by conventional board game mechanics. The experience works like this: one player steps into VR and plays the role of a large tree, meanwhile other players take on the role of the rebel squirrels via iOS or Android devices. While the experience may sound simple, its use of asymmetrical VR gaming mechanics could blend nicely with the Quest’s standalone functionality.
“Standalone VR’s portability creates an ideal scenario where you can easily bring the experience with you to a friend’s house or gathering so everyone can play along,” states Resolution Games Co-Founder and CCO Paul Brady. “It’s also an awesome spectator game, so we think players will have fun with casting as they cheer on their favorite team. We hope it becomes a tool for VR players to share in the experience with others in a highly social way.”
Fujii, The Under Presents, Sairento VR Untethered, and ACRON will be available for download on the Oculus Quest later this year. Until then, I guess you’ll just have to make do with the fifty over Quest titles available at launch.