New Retro Arcade is easily the best virtual reality arcade experience we’ve seen yet, but it was released prior to the introduction of motion controls from HTC and Oculus and before room-scale gameplay. Somehow the game seems like it was designed for both from the beginning, and now the developer is teasing a new version in the works for the Vive and SteamVR.
— DigitalCybercherries (@DCybercherries) April 30, 2016
The title is a brilliant recreation of an ’80s arcade which is populated with cabinets full of classic arcade games which actually work thanks to an underlying emulator. The UE4-based visuals are top notch, and thoughtful mini-games—bowling, darts, and a basketball arcade machine—couldn’t be a more lucky fit for today’s VR systems with motion input controllers.
The title, which we called a “must-play homage to video game culture old and new” in our review of the Oculus Rift version of the game way back in 2014, was begging for motion input and room-scale gameplay from the start—in fact we called out both in that same review, long before the HTC Vive or Oculus’ Touch controllers were announced:
“I would have loved to have seen motion input options, which would make the mini games much more fun, and make item interactions far more intuitive.”
“It’s your standard WASD + mouse or left stick + right stick movement scheme depending upon which you’re using. Movement speed is kept slow enough to not make me sick, but some people are more sensitive than others and might benefit from an alternative way of interacting with the scene…”
Being able to simply walk from one cabinet to the next in room-scale is going to be amazing, not to mention that interactions with nostalgic items like a gameboy and various cassette tapes (which can be played in a virtual boombox) are going to reach a new level of awesomeness. After room-scale and motion input, seemingly the only thing left on the wishlist is multiplayer support.