The Crystal Curse is death-defying puzzle game created by Sigtrap Games for HTC Vive. Make sure to invite your friends and family though, because much like the breakout hit Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, The Crystal Curse requires more than one person to play.
Inspired by the Indian Jones franchise and the lovably weird ’90s British TV classics Crystal Maze and Knightmare (a bit like Nickelodeon’s Legends of the Hidden Temple), The Crystal Curse puts you in 3m² room-scale space with a single objective in mind: solve the puzzle before you, or fall to your death in the spike-lined pit below.
And falling—as you might guess—isn’t a pleasant experience, so your party guests will have to race the clock as they lead you through each of the four rooms using clues projected on your computer’s monitor. And don’t try to play this one alone, because all in-game timers and puzzle hints are for non-VR players only. Trust me, I’ve tried and it doesn’t work.
For the VR headset-user however, The Crystal Curse presents a particularly innovative use of the Vive controllers. To maintain your body position in the virtual world—an important aspect of staying on top of a small virtual platform—the game requires you to keep one controller strapped into your belt, and the other free so you can manipulate in-game puzzles. Although not always perfect (I ‘fell off’ several times when I know I shouldn’t have), it’s certainly one of the most interesting ways to use the Vive controller we’ve seen of late.
“Tracking player movement with precision was initially a bit of an issue as we couldn’t just use the head position – if we did, people would plunge to their dooms just by looking over the edge of a precipice,” said game dev Gary Llyod, one of three Sigtrap devs present.
The Crystal Curse was created in just under 40 hours for Jamchester, a game jam based in Manchester, UK. The Sigtrap Games team was awarded the ‘Best Windows VR Game’, receiving an Xbox One Console for each team member.
As a game with only 4 levels, it’s more of a tech demo than a full game per se. But as free demos go, this one is an easy addition to your line-up of VR games/experiences to show off to a crowd of people.