Jeff-PobstJeff Pobst admits that it’s probably not a new Rift owner’s first thought to go out and buy a tower defense game, but Defense Grid 2: Enhanced VR Edition proved to me how compelling a tower defense game can be in VR. It’s a tabletop scale strategy & puzzle, building game where you’re trying to stop all of the waves of aliens before they steal all of your cores.

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Hidden Path Entertainment has integrated a lot of really interesting information visualizations including a heatmap overlays and a point progression graph so that you can compare yourself to your friends. These are some very interesting visual cues that enable to track your progress and efficacy of your decisions over time, and one that was difficult to implement but dead simple to understand.

There’s also a very simple interface that even supports the minimalist input of using an Oculus remote, and Jeff said that they wanted to have a limited set of simple verbs and actions you could take. This allows you to get deeply immersed within this beautiful levels and while completely focusing on the strategic gameplay.

One of the more delightful surprises is that Defense Grid 2 integrates a hidden object mini-game that encourages you to fully explore and look at their beautiful miniaturized levels in great detail. You can switch between the third-person tabletop view and a first-person tower view in order to watch the action up close, but also get a lot of new perspectives on the different levels.

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I had a chance to catch up with Jeff Pobst, the CEO of Hidden Path Entertainment, and the Oculus Game Days event. I was struck with how excited and passionate he was about this game, and it’s one of those games that actually works really well within VR even if it’s not a genre of game that you immediately associate with wanting to play in VR.

Jeff says that there’s anywhere from 14-15 hours worth of gameplay in addition to the many difficulty levels, and a variety of different puzzles and opportunities to cultivate your strategic decision-making skills. Defense Grid 2: Enhanced VR Edition is an Oculus launch title with a comfortable rating, and sells for $29.99.

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  • AuxPlumes

    If I didn’t play a free flash tower defense game on the internet when I was bored one day, I wouldn’t care much. But it happens, and I spent 2 hours straight playing, optimizing my strategy, craving for more. Thid kind of game looks basic and boring for the majority if you never tried it, but this is a blast. The downside is the price : $30 is a bit too much, but I guess this is Oculus response to make profit via the software.

    • DiGiCT Ltd

      Agree $30 is way too high price for a mid poly game.
      Not sure the game is good, but the art looks way to simple for seeing it in VR, there are better looking games in this genre for cheaper already, seems just a VR port in a hurry for $30 to me.
      GTX970 for that ? No way.

      • Rick Kelsall

        For a mid poly game? WTF I was not aware of the polygon tax where higher polygon counts command a bigger fee. Here’s what you need to do. Go out and walk back in, this time talking sense because I’m not putting up with the bullshit man I’m just not. I’m sick of it. Mid poly game. Fucking ridiculous way to talk. Go on. Out you go…

        • DiGiCT Ltd

          Just to let you know, art is the highest cost for gamedev, especially when you create high poly, as there is more time to work on it needed, you better go out and learn something, and after you know you can give a better reply.
          So to the point, yes art is related to cost and sales price, it takes 80-90% of game developers time.
          If price is high for low poly is just greed as dev time does not take that long, even for VR to have a gtx970 minimal requirement is kinda stupid to run low poly on it.

          • Rick Kelsall

            What if you develop your own game engine like Source? Are art assets the biggest outlay then? Do developers earn less than 3D artists? The answer is NO and NO.

            And this crap about running low poly on GTX 970 being a waste wtf are you talking about man? With the advent of GPGPU its not just about poly count: Look up NVidia Flex, educate yourself. GPUs can do a lot more than graphics on the PC like physics and associate simulation.

            It’s like your brain is geared in the world of mobile development and you can’t see any bigger picture beyond graphics card = polys when actually things have developed beyond that crude 2010 perspective.

          • Tonydacreepa

            Get a room

          • Rick Kelsall

            You’d love us to get a room so you can sit mouth-breathing in the corner watching the argument and getting aroused. Disgusting.

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            You should go read first before talk as you clearly don’t see the point, $30 for that kinda looking game way no for me.
            I know vga cards can do more as just grafix, thats not the point.
            Writing your own game engine from scratch ??, what time your living in there are so many choices around for well developed game engines.

            On topic, my saying was that kinda art on gtx 970 is just overkill and the price too, there are way better games for that money to get.

          • Rick Kelsall

            I read every bit of your disappointingly inaccurate nonsense thanks. Your original point about cost = poly count remains the dumbest comment about game development I’ve read in years. Educate yourself before you blurt out such sweeping generalizations.

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            Sure kiddo, you know better, i just don’t agree.

          • Rick Kelsall

            I don’t know if kiddo is appropriate really, I was born in 1975, you know, years before you son.

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            Sorry you wrong about it, but can adjust to little brother :)

          • Rick Kelsall

            I’ll be honest with you, you stopped making any sense days ago. Good times having fun europarty is nice no?