Eye of the Temple is an upcoming VR game that takes full advantage of the room-scale abilities of your VR headset, letting you walk, dodge, and duck your way through a vast temple complex. You use your own two feet to make your way through, which really brings you closer to the feeling of truly being Indiana Jones. Oh, and there’s a torch and whip. And a hat.

The game’s ‘First Steps’ demo, which is available for free on Steam, offers a pretty generous amount of gameplay. It took me about 45 minutes to finish, of course with a few deaths and back-tracking to account for. There’s an almost overwhelming amount of extra things to do and pathways to explore, and that’s just the demo.

If the full game, which is said to arrive on PC VR headsets sometime in 2020, can manage to serve up the same level of wonderment in a bigger package, we may have a really interesting and well-realized game on our hands. Moreover, we’ll have one that really pushes the capabilities of room-scale locomotion.

If you’ve ever been to a large-scale VR attraction like The Void, the principle behind Eye of the Temple is essentially the same: even though you’re physically walking in a 2 m² area (20 ft²) in your house, you’re shuffled around the in-game world in such a way that you never leave your playing area. This is done in a number of clever ways.

Firstly, the game makes heavy use of moving blocks which are just big enough to stand on and transport you through the world. These can take you horizontally through the puzzle-like configuration of multiple blocks to reach specific goals, but also up and down to different levels within the game. It’s a good way of getting you to travel longer distances than you normally would with only so much space in your living room, office, or bedroom.

And believe me: you’ll need all the space you can get, lest you want to violently bump your desk, closet, or priceless Ming Dynasty-era vase.

The second method is even more clever, although it definitely felt the weirdest in terms of overall comfort. Rolling pillars are there to move you forward in game while you physically move backwards, as if you were trying to balance on a cartoon tree trunk spinning in water. This, in practice, lets you reset your standing position while moving forward in the game, although it really just felt like another cool skill-based trap to traverse.

I also saw a minecart track which wasn’t accessible in the demo, so you might consider that three really fun and engaging ways of moving around so far.

As for non-block based locomotion puzzles, the most difficult of which is a room with a very Indian Jones-themed ceiling drop, you’re also given a torch and bull whip, the latter of which unfurls automatically when you reach a far-away lever or other puzzle element. The whip will definitely take you a while to get used to; I flailed around and missed targets more than I care to admit.

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The torch is used in puzzles too (find the fire at point A, light the torch and get it to point B to activate something, etc) but it also adds a cool exploration vibe to it all, as the torch’s light dances around dynamically and helps bring dark indoor spaces to life.

Indie developer Rune Skovbo Johansen started work on Eye of the Temple back in Spring 2016—basically the very beginning of room-scale gaming. Since then, it seems many VR games have taken a turn towards seated play, and methods that rely more on artificial locomotion to get users moving in-game, making this both a unique, and uniquely well done adventure-themed puzzle game so far.

If you want to keep tabs on the full game, you can wishlist it on Steam here. There’s no specific launch date yet outside of ‘2020’, so we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled in the meantime.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • 3872Orcs

    I’ve been looking for a new puzzle type game to scratch that Talos itch. This certainly looks interesting so wishlisted!

  • This looks cool! I would like to try it!

  • I remember your positive comments rob, I would love to try it as well!

  • Downloading the demo now. . . .


  • Darshan

    I hope in future games will use data of all camera positional tracking feed/ Guardian feed ( if guarding allowing access to game engine) to understand where player is in real world then dynamically arrange game world so that player always within same boundaries of safety still being transported to other world properly. I honestly don’t know presently guarding feed or camera feed being shared with game or not, probably not but it should be, also game AI to be trained to utilize this feed.