Amazing stuff to do in Virtual Reality

Written April 17, 2017 by Jeromy Condon

It’s no secret, I’m a huge fan of Virtual Reality.  Even as a budding technology, there are amazing experiences out there to be had, and many more to come.  I’ve been lucky enough to be able to test out the newest content available for the HTC vive, in my opinion the top VR platform out there right now, and have identified what I consider to be the top notch experiences right now.

Firstly, I’ll assume if you’re reading this you’re at least somewhat familiar with virtual reality.  At it’s simplest explanation, you’re pretty much attaching a screen to your eyeballs that track your head movements in 3d space, and holding controllers that let you manipulate content in the make believe world.  Let’s run through the top experiences I’ve found.  If you’ve just recently secured an HTC vive or Oculus Rift, here are the first things you’ll want to check out.

Steam

VR Minigolf is super immersive

There is a ton of content already available to be consumed on the steam service.  While new experiences are released on Steam almost daily, some have already risen to the top as the best out there.  Let’s check them out:

  • Arizona Sunshine $39.99
    • Easily the most immersive zombie apocalypse game out there.  Traverse the virtual world, secure weapons, solve puzzles, eliminate zombies.  Great sense of presence and easy(ish) to grasp controls.  A full featured game with replay value and tons of content.
  • Project Cars VR $30.00
    • A great car racing simulator, made even better if you have access to a force-feedback steering wheel, pedals, and shifter.  It’s quite an experience to be in the cockpit of a brand new Lotus racing down highway 101 on the California coast at full speed.  Take caution with this one though, the speed and immersion can cause a little nausea in those without their VR legs yet.
  • Cloudlands VR Minigolf $20.00
    • This is probably the best multiplayer experience I’ve found for VR sports fans.  It’s mini-golf, but without the constraints of reality.  The putting mechanics are top notch, and it feels real.  This type of game may well put putt-putt courses out of business.  It also features a fantastic course builder, allowing you to snap together your own courses as easily as building with legos.  
  • Honorable Mentions (definitely check these out too):
    • Tilt Brush By Google, Google Earth, Quivr, The Lab, VR Funhouse.

Dolphin VR

My goodness. The nostalgia!

This is my favorite experience to be had in Virtual Reality right now.  As a younger fella, I was brought up on the Nintendo Gamecube console playing Metroid Prime, Zelda, Mario Kart, ect.  Dolphin VR allows you to play those games in full, immersive virtual reality. Obviously you need to own the actual games, but if you do, there is no substitute for playing these games on your Vive or Rift. Even though much has gone into creatively hacking these games to allow for VR, it feels like they were made specifically for it.  Many lessons can be learned for VR developers in game design by playing through these triple A masterpieces.

Independent VR experiences

Pilot a shuttle craft into the hangar of the Enterprise? Where do I sign up!

There are a couple of experiences available outside of the steam service for your Vive/Oculus.  My favorite so far is Constitution Class Experience.  This experience puts you inside of a Star Trek shuttle craft in outer space with one goal: land in the enterprise docking bay.  For any Trekkie out there this is an amazing experience.  The spacecraft physics are top notch, and the controls allow you to feel like you’re in control without being overly complex. The experience is almost zen-like, as you pilot your craft in 3d space while listening to some of the more catchy Star Trek anthems.  Should not be missed by any fan.

We’re already hard at work crafting Virtual Reality experiences for some of our South Sound clientele.  We’re excited to embrace this new technology and eager to see how we can utilize it in this ever-evolving online marketing landscape. Stay tuned!