Squingle is a psychedelic indie puzzle game that’s available now on PC VR and Quest. It’s also the perfect example of a game that probably wouldn’t be allowed onto Quest’s main ‘curated’ store because it’s difficult to understand at a glance, despite being brilliantly creative and highly optimized to run at 120Hz on Quest 2. Luckily, thanks to App Lab, you can get your hands on the game whether or not it fits Oculus’ vision.

Squingle is one of those games that you can look at and still not entirely understand what you’re actually seeing. But once you get your hands on the game all becomes clear: it’s a clever, trippy, and fun puzzle game that plays to VR’s spatial strengths.

To put it simply, the goal of Squingle is to guide a pair of spinning balls through a pipe. Sounds easy enough, right? Well like any good puzzle game, Squingle starts simply enough but introduces more difficult concepts as you go—like a button that reverses the spin of the balls or one that changes the axis of the spin. And the pipe? It’s actually a bit more like a cosmic bowel that undulates with twists, turns, and parallel tunnels.

There’s something really satisfying about moving the balls through the bendy, bubbly tubes. Without knowing exactly where the edge is (because it has some amount of flex), you wind up leaning heavily on feel (aided by haptics)—rather than sight alone—to know if you’re in danger of being penalized for bumping too hard into the edge of the track.

Beyond being a creative puzzle game that leverages VR’s strength of spatial input, Squingle is also quite beautiful in its own psychedelic way. The luminescent, trippy visuals are pristinely sharp and shiny, even in the Quest version—not to mention the game can even be kicked up to a smooth 120Hz refresh rate in the options menu.

All in all, Squingle is a small but fun and unique title with excellent technical merit. But it’s precisely the kind of game that would probably have a difficult time getting onto the main Quest store due to Oculus’ curation.

Thankfully, Oculus App Lab finally gives developers an official back door onto the headset, which means games like Squingle at least have some avenue to prove their value to customers. With any luck, maybe a look at the cold, hard data will show Oculus that this obtuse looking game is actually quite the gem. And maybe, just maybe, that will give Squingle a real shot at making the jump onto the main Quest store.

In the meantime, you can enjoy Squingle on Quest via App Lab (demo here) and on PC VR via Steam (demo here).

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  • Christian D

    I love the creativity of VR, hope they make their way to the official store.
    There are some other very polished games like Wind Wind on Applab, can not understand that this is not on the Quest Store.

    • kontis

      Oculus no loner allows small companies to release directly to the Oculus Store. They all have to prove themselves first in the App Lab.

      I think there are exceptions if you are super famous, have special deal with Oculus etc. Typical walled garden / dictatorship / oligarchy procedures. If someone doesn’t like it they can always release their software for one of the zero other stand alone VR platforms or even better, make their own.

      • ViRGiN

        And what is wrong with that approach, other than not being your dream vision?

        If it’s bad, it’s going to bite them back. But we both know it won’t.

      • Ad

        It’s depressing how devs basically spend all their time making games for quest even before they have any idea if the game will ever be allowed on the store. Facebook has crazy amounts of power in this and often their apps end up built in a way that they can’t really pivot to PC if they’re rejected.

        • Actually it’s pretty easy to go from Quest -> PCVR, but not so easy to go the other way. If a game runs well on the Quest it will scream on PCVR, and if it’s set-up properly it’s pretty trivial to change out VR frameworks. The real issue is that Oculus Store sales are pretty much 10x those of Steam and PlayStation VR (see the recent article on “I Expect You To Die 2”)

          • Ad

            If you make a game for Quest and then place it on PC, why would someone buy it?

  • Abi Kumar

    Thanks for sharing.
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  • Ad

    Lynx needs to get all the devs who make games like this and Puzzling Place together, get them all on OpenXR, and then have their games available as AR apps.

  • Kevin White

    I love stuff like this, or Blarp!, or Chromalab.

  • I like how it looks

  • cardosy

    It’s not just a great game, but a great introduction to VR. Highly recommend this one when showing VR to other people.