‘Hotel Transylvania’ VR Rhythm Game Comes to VR Arcades in North America, Europe & China


Hot on the heels of Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018), which hit the box offices last week, comes a newly announced VR rhythm game that lets you grove to the spooky beats DJ’ed by series’ characters Drac, Mavis, or Johnny. Called Hotel Transylvania Popstic, the game is said to be featured at around 500 VR arcades across North America, Europe, and China.

As first seen in a report by Hollywood ReporterHotel Transylvania Popstic lets you select songs from your desired character’s playlist, avoid obstacles, and hit incoming targets using a VR peripheral developed by production studio Specular Theory called a ‘Stic’.

Check out the video below for a quick taste of what Sony Pictures Virtual Reality and Specular Theory have cooked up:

Using an HTC Vive headset, the studio’s Stic peripheral appears to use a single Vive controller for tracking, projecting a virtual two-sided laser beam to hit beat-based targets. Specular Theory CMO and co-founder Ryan Pulliam says more Popstic-based titles are currently in the works, including “a whole series of games.” As a VR newcomer, or smaller kid, the idea of holding a stick seems far less daunting than using an unfamiliar controller’s many buttons.

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The game is said to include easy, medium, and hard difficulty levels, making it about as family-friendly as VR can get.

Image courtesy Specular Theory

“We noticed there weren’t a lot of games designed just for VR Arcades and there wasn’t a lot of games made for families — or for first-time users,” said Pulliam in a blog post. “That’s why we’re excited to feature characters from Sony Animation’s Hotel Transylvania franchise. Such a well-loved brand brings in families — and brand-new visitors. In addition, the game is simple and intuitive, which makes it easy to get started and eliminates the need for lengthy tutorials that delay gameplay and lead to long lines.”

The companies haven’t specified which VR arcades Hotel Transylvania Popstic is coming to, although arcades running the SpringboardVR out-of-home marketplace can access the game. If you’re in North America, Europe, or China, check with your local VR arcade to find out if Hotel Transylvania Popstic is on offer.

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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.
  • gothicvillas

    Beat Saber rip off?

    • DjArcas

      Sorry, was Beat Saber really the first rhythm action game you heard of or something?

    • LowRezSkyline

      Beat Saber, a rip-off of Star Wars and not really all that original as it is a copy of every rhythm game out there, but with light sabers.

      • china#1

        Don’t recall Star Wars being about slicing blocks… or music… or being a video game at all. (Actually they made a few.) Point is: I don’t think beatsaber had anything to with Star Wars regardless of the blue and red sabers. I don’t think the original comment was being that serious anyway.

    • F1ForHelp

      Let’s just water down any possible toxic behavior before it gets out of hand.

      Rhythm games are never really original. Most of them are more-or-less just improvements to previous ideas for trying to feel like a pseudo-DJ. However, Beat Saber was pretty successful for a reason, being one of the first rhythm based VR games. It was just overall fun and pretty empowering to play, personally.

      I wouldn’t doubt that Beat Saber had inspired something in this game, but there’s no conspiracy or any originality to claim or be mad at. Last note: I wouldn’t attack the original comment for asking a four word question. Have a good day!

      • G-man

        audio shield, box vr, holodance, …and quite a few more, beat saber wasnt the first. not by a long shot. it was just the first to have light sabers in it.

        • F1ForHelp

          Yeah I was hoping that writing “one of the first” would decrease the chance of getting this type of reply.

          But really VR is still new enough that any rhythm game created beyond today would still be classified in the “one of the first” category. This type of discussion is pretty subjective though.

          Now I have an off topic question: Why is beat saber being stereotyped by its use of light sabers? It was definitely the first to have any “slicing”/blade mechanics at all.

          Last point for now: Are light sabers that original of an idea to be thought of as stolen by the game? Even so, are they really the attractive part about Beat Saber? For me, definitely no. Custom blades became a thing pretty quickly, so I barely use the default.

          Sorry to go all keyboard warrior, but that’s just what I thought of to contribute to the discussion.

  • benz145

    Neat idea to use one controller to simplify things for the intended audience.