What do you get when you combine mandrake root, a ruby, and a suspicious red potion? How about eye of newt, a glowing green gemstone, and a foul yellow liquid? To be honest, I can’t really remember, but whatever it is, you’re sure to be delightfully surprised the with new powers you gain in Waltz of the Wizard, a new experience out on Steam that promises to make you feel like you’ve stepped into a Hogwarts potion class.

All you need is an HTC Vive and a penchant for exploration as you interact with uncountable objects in your medieval tower laboratory, which contains everything from a pint-size crossbow that lets you get into all sorts of mischief, to a magical glockenspiel—that when played correctly whisks you away to a number of alternate dimensions.

Waltz of the Wizard, a project from Iceland-based Twisted Realms developer Aldin Dynamics, is begging to be developed into a full game with more realms to explore and more potions to mix. Despite the lack of any clear story line, it presents an unbelievably rich landscape in a relatively small room footprint, showing a level of intention and craftsmanship that’s on par with many paid games and experiences out now for Vive.

htv-vive-secret-shop-art
See Also: Valve’s ‘Secret Shop’ HTC Vive Demo Introduces You to DotA 2’s Fantastic World Full of Magic

With magical powers at your behest, it’s easy to spend the better part of an hour mixing potions and transmuting golden coins into butterflies, or puppeteering your magical sidekick around the room—a talking skull that helps you (and scolds you) along the way.

SEE ALSO
Pioneering VR Demo 'Waltz of the Wizard' to Live on in New 'Extended Edition'

While the experience is clearly in need of a story line, you can’t help but marvel at your newfound ability to master the arcane, something VR fans have been craving since the DK1 days. If you’re looking for a new room-scale experience to show friends and family, you should probably snap this one up immediately for the low low price of absolutely free.

Download ‘Waltz of the Wizard’ for HTC Vive

Just make sure you have enough room to play at your arcane workbench, because the only way of moving around the room is on your own two feet—something that it slightly regretful considering the numerous enchanted items laying far out of reach on shelves across the room. More than once I banged my controllers against the wall in what (I hate to say it) I can firmly say is real presence.

Aldin Dynamics has been developing VR games and experiences since 2013. Their most recent project, Ghostline Analytics, a yet unreleased tool suite that is designed to “generate interactive recordings of users within VR worlds,” was extensively used in the making of the of Waltz of the Wizard to improve the design and interactivity of the experience. According to Aldin, Ghostline lets you “browse sessions using conventional screens, or step into them in virtual reality to evaluate content alongside your users.”

We’ll be keeping an eye on Aldin for whatever their magicians can conjure up next.

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.


  • Bryan Ischo

    It’s a fun game, but it’s much more of a demo that you’ll play for one to two hours than a game with lasting appeal. Also, when Tested reviewed it, it was more extensive. I’m pretty sure that they’ll be offering a paid upgrade at some point, which is fine, depending upon the price.

  • RavnosCC

    What’s the recommended minimum floor space requirement?

    • Elliot Maldonado

      Somewhere between 12’x13′. Fifteen feet from camera to camera.

      • Rayza

        Christ, that’s huge. Is there any good reason i couldn’t take the Vive into the garden? (when it arrives next week)

        • Elliot Maldonado

          Get 2 camera tripods spaced fifteen feet apart and take the Vive to the roof if you want. Watch the ledge though. :)

  • Pete

    What an awesome demo!! Really shows off the power of the Vive. 6 hrs on it so far with me & the fam.

  • Peter Hansen

    Cool. This is job simulator crossed with til brush, polished for medieval. Yawn.

  • J.C.

    This was an amusing tech demo, but sadly, that’s all we’re seeing on the Vive. An endless parade of “experiences”, While Oculus apparently has “real developers making actual games” locked up tight. The Vive is technically a better piece of hardware but Valve clearly assumed games would “just happen”. Oculus/Facebook are pouring their money into actual games for it…and clearly NOT into making sure they can actually get the damn things into their customers’ hands.

    I have a Vive, and while it held my attention for the first week or so, the lack of any COMPLETE games for it has me seriously reconsidering the value of the device. Elite Dangerous and Project Cars don’t count, as they both have to be set to Potato graphics levels, and only support seated, gamepad play. As far as I have seen, ZERO full-size games for room-scale have even been announced. What we get is a bunch of overpriced, partially finished shooting galleries.

    The closest thing Vive owners have to a REAL game is Vanishing Realms, and it’s currently about an hour of (extremely fun) entertainment. Even there, the “second chapter” is just a cheap arena, which takes about 15 minutes to complete and offers zero of the adventuring fun that the first chapter has.

    • Rayza

      Developers have had MUCH less time with the Vive than with the Rift. Have some patience, that’s something which is essential for any early adopter.

    • dotsmada

      I completely agree. I’ve had my Vive for over a month now and haven’t picked it up for about 2 or 3 weeks. Love the hardware and room scale but don’t really care for the games. I really hope Rayza is correct that it is just taking time to develop the new games. From what I can tell it’s just small one man shops making games right now. I hope that means the big studios are working hard to make some full games.