Coming to part 4 of our ongoing series covering some of the most promising content to come out of the Oculus Mobile VR Jam, we now take a look at three very different apps—that through the lens of fiction—takes us to the past, the far-off future, and then back to the present again.
The final winners in the two category tracks—Games and Experiences—will be announced on June 3rd at 10:00am PDT. But don’t forget, you can vote for your favorite Mobile VR Jam app until May 27th, which will net a team $10,000 in cash and the title ‘Community’s Choice’.
We’ll be highlighting the titles we think show particular promise over the next couple of weeks until voting closes.
Attention weekend warriors, basement dwellers, and lovers of all things miniature: Scorched Battalion introduces a destructible, randomly generated table top for your pint-sized WW2 tanks to roll over. This turn-based game, which uses the Gear VR’s touchpad for input, puts you both in 3rd and 1st person POV as you sack those sillynanny Jerries back to Berlin. But be warned, there may be an unwanted guest to dispatch. Tally ho!
Featuring quippy characters that keep things moving forward at an engaging clip, made possible by a cast of talented voice actors, Scorched Battalion developers Daniel Fearon of Sven Coop fame, and animator Nathan Fearon have introduced an exciting, and oftentimes frantic pace to the game. Although the demo is largely story driven, a multiplayer version is in the works for the full game release.
Personally the game brings me back to the days of the original Worms Armageddon (1999), a title that nearly destroyed a few friendships after hours of backstabbery. I’ll be looking forward to different and interesting weapons upgrades in the future so that I can spend much more time with Scorched Battalion.
DK2 owners can also get in on the action, because the team has ported the game over for Windows, OS X (untested), and Linux so you can utilize the positional tracking and really get in close to the action.
There is a lot going on with Pulsar Arena: futuristic style, explosive flashing lights, cameos from some VR’s most well-known characters to boot, including “Cymatic” Bruce Wooden, and a host of avatars from other works from the lead developer Justin Moravetz of Proton Pulse and Vanguard V to name a few.
My only piece of advice with Pulsar Arena is this: keep a clear head for the task ahead, and if you can’t figure out exactly what that is, then may God have mercy on your soul.
After playing Pulsar Arena, I feel like I need to snort Ritalin—in a good way if that makes any sense. There’s so much going on at once that you have to selectively listen to instructions, tap on the floating gems to send them over to the other side of the hourglass-shaped arena where an AI player stands ready to do the same to you if you’re not quick enough or synchronized with the beat. The gems overwhelm you if you can’t, and that’s when your brain melts. In a good way.
You can also check out the game’s sound track created by Jake “Virt” Kaufman by clicking here.
Sherlock Holmes: The Wagner Ritual
Sherlock Holmes: The Wagner Ritual lets you follow along a modern interpretation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Adventure of Musgrave Ritual’ using a mix of 360 static images and a rendered space—your 221B Baker Street apartment—where you can pour over clues you find along with way.
The experience is smart, well constructed mix of mediums that we’ve frankly never seen before. The adventure’s pace is relaxed, inviting any level of VR expertise to join in on the mystery that lead developer Janina Woods says should ideally take the time of a TV show to complete.
Besides the narrative, the interesting bit is how you traverse from 360 image to the rendered apartment where you can inspect clues strung together like a physical representation of a Mind Palace. When you’ve come across something important in the story, a downswipe on the touchpad will temporarily pause whoever is speaking, and then you’re there to see how the clues interface with the story.
The source material is rich enough to support a number of sequels that I personally think would be more interesting with the addition of period costume. Either way, we’ll be watching out for more illuminated VR books from Woods and her developer cohorts in the near future.
We’ll be covering as many titles as possible right up until the winners are announced on June 3rd. In the mean time, don’t forget to vote for your favourites right here and stay tuned for part 5 of our round up.