Tactera, today released on Gear VR as a demo, is a real-time strategy game that plays out atop a holographic table. Impressive visuals and responsive gameplay make this a must have—not to mention it will soon have an online multiplayer mode.
Choose your unit classes wisely, because you’ll only have three to pick from in your battle for control across the holographic tabletop. Take over neutral way-stations and start producing more of you pre-defined units (and quick), because the enemy isn’t going to stop throwing tanks, fighters, bombers, artillery, war Zeppelins, and many more classes at you in a battle for tabletop supremacy.
No controller is required for Tactera, as it relies on the Gear VR-integrated touchpad.
The futuristic, fast-paced game comes to us from the developer of Darknet, a Gear VR puzzle/strategy game that throws you into the shoes of a cyberpunk hacker. And like his award-winning Darknet, indie developer E. McNeill almost immerses us with atmosphere alone in Tactera.
The initial prototype of the game was created in only 23 hours of work by McNeill for the Orange County VR hackathon. Although admittedly he says his first stab at building “…was not a very fun game…it helped me discover the advantages of tabletop VR.” He then went on to create a working demo for the Oculus Mobile VR Jam, complete with beautiful low poly models and sound effects that became the basis of the game we see today on the Gear VR store. The demo went on as a finalist to the Mobile VR Jam, and was also featured in the third installment of our ‘Best of Oculus Mobile VR Jam’.
In the demo we were given, I was able to get my time down to about 6 minutes per battlefield by picking a balanced combo of fighter/tank/Zeppelin. This gave me light and quick air support for forward rushes, medium-paced but reliable ground support for muscle, and finally the slow-to-produce (and fly) Zeppelin for sustained barrages on unprotected enemy positions.
Units produce automatically, but you still need to assign them to enemy bases or strategic destinations on the map. If you’ve succumbed to virtual shell shock and forget a base, your units will linger and you could lose a decisive push.
At times, it was so convincing that more than once I bent down to get a closer look at a volley fired from an artillery gun or a Zeppelin, and completely forgot that I didn’t have positional tracking. Just like most games with online functions, I expect multiplayer to quickly put an end to my reigning 6-minute victories when the full game comes out in Q1 2016.
We can’t wait to see more from E McNeill, and hope to play Tactera, or a sequel thereof, on the consumer Oculus Rift in the coming months as well—if only so we can get that much needed positional tracking.
A demo of the game can be found in the concepts section in the Gear VR store. A demo was also made available for DK2 owners so they can get a taste of what’s to come.