There’s a few great VR party games out there, including the reigning champion Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (2015), although I think a new game is poised to take the VR Party Crown. Resolution Games, the studio behind Bait! (2016) and Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs (2019), released arguably their most promising title yet today, the unique couch co-op game Acron: Attack of the Squirrels!
We haven’t had access to a review copy before launch, although I did get an extended chance to go hands-on with a near-final version at Gamescom last week, which showed off a couch co-op experience that was not only extremely well-balanced, but one that you can truly break out at parties for hours’ worth of fun.
Acron supports Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Oculus Quest. If you’re like me, you’re constantly looking for great Quest titles, and this one easily ranks among the best out there, especially as one of the few VR party games that, in my opinion, has really nailed what makes async VR gaming fun and accessible.
In case you haven’t heard about Acron, here’s the gist: a single player wears a VR headset and takes the role of Giant Tree Guy, who has to defend against an onslaught of tiny squirrels that are eager to steal all four of the golden nuts. You can do this by tossing one of three ammo types that spawn in front of you, which will either slow down or knockout the pint-sized enemies. If a squirrel pal gets too close, you can also physically grab them and toss them around like rag dolls too.
The squirrels, played by up to
four eight users on mobile devices, have special abilities too though, which come in handy when Giant Tree Guy is accurately throwing a large number of projectiles. Depending on which of the four squirrels you choose, you can deploy a shield, dig a transport hole to get you closer to the base of the tree, sprint super fast, or build Lemmings-style bridges to help you get closer to the golden nuts. With all four squirrels working in concert, a less than attentive Tree Guy can be easily overwhelmed in the madness of it all.
The squirrels also constantly respawn, so it’s a race against the clock to either attack or defend the precious nuts. I can’t stress enough how important it is to communicate between team members so you aren’t all rushing with the same squirrel type, and have a cohesive plan.
There’s also fun extras like mushrooms that become jumping pads, pumpkins that serve as cover, bushes so you can get sneaky, and dynamic environments that change to create temporary obstacles such as watery moats that appear and disappear periodically. A total of six maps offers a variety of scenery though, with some favoring the squirrels and others more straight forward for the Trees.
Games are password protected, and can be played both locally and over the Internet, although it’s much more fun to have a bunch of people over scrambling to see who’s going to be the Tree next. Games can be played with a minimum of at least two other players.
All of this culminates into an extremely fun time that will no doubt have you fighting over who gets to be the Tree next, and who is maining the chunky little squirrel, Chunk, way too much.
Check out my play session below, which features me and the Resolution Games team getting pretty rowdy. There may be some appearance of lag in the video, although this is chalked up to the studo’s capture method, which includes the views of each mobile player and the POV of the VR player, yours truly. The game played very smoothly, both on mobile and in VR.
We have a proper review incoming, so check back for a deeper look of what make ‘Acron: Attack of the Squirrels’ tick.