HTC Vive Game Reviews - VR Game Reviews

At the end of the day - it's tough to really say this game is amazing with how far VR has come since the release. HTC Vive VR Games Review

Operation Warcade VR

Sitting at a price of $19.99 USD on the steam store – Operation Warcade VR may look like another wave shooter but it is trying to think outside the box..or inside the cabinet in this situation. The game features you basically shooting at enemies while you scroll from left to right. The enemies look kinda tiny but I guess that’s the point. Like most wave shooters, you have power ups such as multiple uzis or special grenades. The real difference of this game and other wave shooters is the “immersion” mode that activates. Suddenly you’re in a separate mini-game, more or less, such as throwing knifes or using a bow. I was very impressed by the polish of these minigames and they controlled and felt quite natural. Operation Warcade’s Immersion Mode boasts a lot of levels/objectives as the description boasts 36 levels which I don’t doubt from my 20 minute or so play through. As with waveshooters, you tend to get a feeling of the game after a short time but apparently there is bosses in the classic mode which I did not try.

The game looked really good and played fast on the “ultra” graphics setting which is always a nice bonus. The music was a very intense dance music for most of my playthrough that kinda fit the game play. I noticed at the top of the cabinet you can always change music(or turn it off) which is also a nice added feature. At $19.99, I’m a little hesitant to necessarily claim its the best wave shooter but its a fair price with the immersion mode and great amount of different levels.

At the end of the day – it’s tough to really say this game is amazing with how far VR has come since the release. It still holds up on its own but it’d be tough for me to be held to play compared to something where you actually MOVE in the game while completing the game such as Serious Sam VR : The First Encounter or Arizona Sunshine but it is what it is. The immersion mode at least grants it a little glimpse into the insanity VR offers from time to time which is more than I can say about a lot of wave shooters.

For a low price of $9.99, Ocean Rifts is a very fair price in my opinion. HTC Vive VR Games Review

Ocean Rift

Ocean Rift, a game released by Picselica Ltd in September of 2017 is a game that can’t help being compared to other titles such as theBlu but in fact – it is far from a clone or copycat. Ocean Rift is much more akin to Nature Treks VR, a game I gave a favorable review to last year. Like Nature Treks VR(NTVR from here on out), Ocean Rift has you exploring open environments using a fluid locomotion. Like NTVR, the creatures tend to move about in their business and its up to you to find them. Like NTVR, there is a GREAT variety of species to discover. Lastly, like NTVR, its possible to miss something if you happen to go a wrong way.

Ocean Rift pits you into a variety of ocean environments that are generously proportioned for your exploration. You can choose these in any order and they range from dolphins to huge prehistoric dinosaurs. There is an attempt at learning implemented(although I did not start any environment with this turned on so not sure how in-depth it is). The controls are simple and minimal – involving propelling yourself through the water. It’s interesting enough for someone familiar with VR but simple enough that hopefully someone new could grasp. It does feature some scary moments although not emphasized by music like some of the horror games on VR do so well.

For a low price of $9.99, Ocean Rifts is a very fair price in my opinion and pushes it into the 10/10 category. If this game costed, say, $30 – I’d probably give it a much harsher score but as is – it should be the staple of how these games are fairly priced. I got a good hour out of it while rushing slightly. I did find most of the title animals, except ironically, the huge humpback whale. It’s very easy to miss some of the creatures due to the depths of the water but with patience, you can find them all. At the end of the day, I’d say Ocean Rift is less of a “WOW” game – much like NTVR in comparison to theBlu. theBlu, you can put the headset on someone and they’ll see awesome things while in these other games, you have to dig out your own moments to experience.

Pegasus Door HTC Vive VR Games Review

Pegasus Door

Pegasus Door Review

Another wave shooter on the VR? Pegasus Door is classified as a “mix between FPS and Tower Defense game, but in VR” in the Steam store description so what do I think?

Pegasus Door pits you against waves of robots while defending your armory. If your armory is destroyed – I assume you are game over. I played about the first 7 or 8 rounds in my play through and saw 3 distinct enemies – walking robots that kind of look like something out of Talos Principle, flying robots that seem to focus on your armory and turret type robots that are deployed and simply stand still firing at you. I am not sure if there is anything else or not beyond this point but there didn’t seem to be any bosses or new robots in the few levels I played which is probably fine for a budget priced game.

Pegasus Door looks good but had a few minor issues to myself. What buttons are available to press on the armory isn’t clear as a new player but once you figure it out, its all fairly intuitive. You can drop your gun on accident using the grip key but it faithfully returns to the armory for you to grab again. Another issue is the Steam store description – “tower defense” – there is definitely no placement of defenses in the game unless that comes much later(which I kind of doubt).

One of the extra positives I can say about Pegasus Door is it actually allows some locomotion around a fairly large area. One of the things I dislike most about wave shooters is that you usually stand in a predesignated spot but this one actually allows you to move about. It’s not my favorite movement type(teleport) rather than full locomotion but it is way better than nothing.

Zipping around the game, I did have a decent time. It’s probably more content than some of the higher priced wave shooters and I possibly enjoyed it as much or equal to them. Because it involves movement, its not as great for VR beginners but definitely can stand out for those who have some VR legs but want to try something different. Is it worth the purchase? For a low price, there isn’t much to lose compared to higher price games. I enjoyed my time playing but I personally wouldn’t play it more than 30 minutes before moving on to something else.

Compared to other games, the weight of the VR is felt more in this game. Since much of the game is played passively(ie standing and watching), I'd almost suggest playing it seated. HTC Vive VR Games Review

The Invisible Hours

Murder? Intrigue? Following people around? Welcome to the Invisible Hours. The Invisible Hours is a game best described as a VR movie with multiple scenes happening simultaneously. To handle all the things going on and watch them, you will find yourself pausing and rewinding time. Time is a big part of what this game is about.

The game reminded me a bit of your typical Clue setup – A bunch of guests are at a mansion and the host has been murdered. Who did it?! That’s the premise for the Invisible Hours. For $29.99, you will get quite a bit of game time – myself I clocked in about 3-4 hours. I would normally not say this is enough play time but to be fair, this is 3-4 hours of constant dialogue. In a strange way, I would consider the Invisible Hours more of a “play” than a “movie”. It’s lacking special effects and focuses more upon the stories of each character and their own interactions – not flashy effects.

Playing the game – it looks good and sounds good. My only problem, initially, was the movement but that was because I didn’t understand I could rotate myself when teleporting by holding down the button. I didn’t figure this out until Chapter 4. Another problem of the game is the “object” mechanic. It works fine when you’re used to it but at the start of a game – there is a lever you must pull to start the game. In any other VR game in existence, you would instinctively grab the lever and pull it down. In this game, you need to think of your hand as a laser pointer and instead point at objects and pull the trigger from a relative distance. Needless to say, starting the game should never be an issue. It’s not as miserably cryptic as Euclidean but still never a good start to the game.

Compared to other games, the “weight” of the VR is felt more in this game. Since much of the game is played passively(ie standing and watching), I’d almost suggest playing it seated. I try to play all my games standing but you really feel a bit of VR fatigue while waiting in this game. For $29.99, it may be a tricky purchase. It’s not a game – you don’t win or lose. In fact, you’re pretty much invisible(ironically). The best way to think of it as a super-special 3d MOVIE – is it worth buying? That’s what it comes down to. I personally enjoyed the game but I also purchased it on sale. $29.99 feels fair for an asking price from the developer due to the presentation and amount of dialogue but as a buyer – it comes down to personal preference. Do you want to play a game you win? Skip this. If you want to have a VR play – here you go.

It might sound like I am a hater of the game but I'm not - for the non-discounted steam price - I'd still say its worth it. The 8 hours I got out of it felt worthy of the price - especially compared to other titles. HTC Vive VR Games Review

Dead Effect 2 VR

After 8 hours of playing Dead Effect 2 VR, I feel enough grasp on the game to really write my opinion down. Although, sadly, I “ragequit” the game more or less after encountering yet another high HP boss that requires me to either replay or grind out higher damage weapons. Here’s my story of Dead Effect 2 VR.

Things started rough for me playing this game. I really disliked the locomotion control but eventually was explained by a dev how to setup locomotion from my hand rather than vision(the way I was playing Serious Sam : First Encounter). The “special ability” also was incredibly not obvious to me. I thought it was pressing the trigger on my empty hand as I saw a little zap emit – but no, this was something else. To use your special ability, you had to hold down the menu button and then press either your trigger or side button. When an ability can trigger or not, is also not obvious while playing the game. I find myself constantly trying to use them and failing without any message(“low energy” or “ability is on cooldown” message would be great.) There was other issues on that first part of the game that I found such as knowing how to manipulate the “fields of energy”. My instinct was to touch the wave and move it but instead there is arrows on the side of the panel you press. Once I figured that out, I found myself once again frustrated with the shotgun and two handed guns. It is such an awkward way to play and difficult to move, reload, etc. I swore off two handed weapons very early in the game.

Once I finally got a grasp on the rougher edges of the game – there was actual enjoyment to be found. I found myself using the special abilities with competence while moving around the battle field ala Serious Sam. The balance felt right at these early levels as headshots felt rewarding and enemies weren’t overtuned. The first time I started using an Area of Effect weapon – I never looked back. The balance of these seem too strong(although they can have a little kickback if you get hit by your own explosion). Knocking an enemy down(or group of enemies down) makes taking out a lot of the enemies a piece of cake.

When a level ends, you are presented graded results and rewarded a bonus item. Speaking of items – the game has no shortage of these. There is body parts, implants, ranged weapons, melee weapons and consumables. On top of that, you can upgrade yourself through skills – both passive and active. This part of the game reminds me a lot of Borderlands/Diablo style drops complete with “rare”, “legendaries”, “mythic” type items. Compared to these games, I don’t find Dead Effect 2 VR to be quite as satisfactory. Maybe its just me but I just look at the number and if I see a higher level , I take it. I feel a lot of this problem is due to the fact that you can upgrade individual weapons. It’s hard for me to really comprehend the value of keeping – say, a fully upgraded level 12 pistol vs keeping a level 13 unupgraded pistol. I personally wish the weapon upgrades were removed (besides the augments) and just balance around unupgraded weapons.

This brings me to my main gripe of the game and why I quit – HIGH hp enemies. And I’m talking – ridiculous, end of the game style bosses but scattered throughout normal chapters. Without spoiling much, I won’t explain which enemies in particular bothered me but needless to say – it’s an exercise in patience, and less skill. In one of my Lets Plays, for example, I put the speed at 400% and it takes forever to destroy an enemy. The “weak spot” damage feels negligible on bosses – even when using the slowdown and focus firing upon the face. Sorry but 16 pistol shots to the face of a boss – with an equal level weapon – should be at least 10% of that enemies health. How it works out, however, is its more like 1-2% of that total HP. Meanwhile, when he counters, I’m looking at 10-15% of my HP. To counteract this war of attrition, you basically can carry many consumable health packs which makes it possible to defeat even the biggest and baddest with solid patience.

So how do I feel about this game? It might sound like I am a hater of the game but I’m not – for the non-discounted steam price – I’d still say its worth it. The 8 hours I got out of it felt worthy of the price – especially compared to other titles. I liked it better than Doom VFR which completely lacked motion options out of the box. The game isn’t too scary to me at this point in my VR playing experience but it still has a few jump scares when you’re not expecting it. The variety of weapons, mission types and actual “rpg” feeling to a shooter makes it rewarding to stick around and play longer than other shooters. It’s an actual, true full-length VR game that feels near polished.

Overall, for the price of $6(or less depending upon a sale - I only paid $3), its a nice Christmas themed game that is easy to pick up and play. HTC Vive VR Games Review

Merry Snowballs

It’s Christmas – let’s celebrate by smashing children with snowballs and lightning, no really – lightning. Merry Snowballs is a christmas themed wave shooter with a very polished appeal. The graphics remind me a bit of Civilization 6’s leaders which was unexpected for a game that is quite cheap(even cheaper on sale).

Merry Snowballs is, at the core, a waveshooter as said previously. The game boasts 25 levels(varying enemies/tutorials/power-ups) as well as boss fights. The one boss I fought actually required a little bit of different playstyles to defeat but it was enjoyable that the extra effort was put into the game. In addition, the game features a 1-3 star ranking for each level for those who want to achieve perfection and get 3 stars on all levels – replay value jumps up. There are various tutorials scattered around the game that explain new abilities/power-ups which help bridge new players into the game – not that it is very complicated to begin with.

Overall, for the price of $6(or less depending upon a sale – I only paid $3), its a nice Christmas themed game that is easy to pick up and play. It isn’t scary and actually can boast a little difficulty. I was surprised there was no cover mechanic besides the shield but some people prefer not having to crouch/duck behind stuff in real life.

It's free - How can I not recommend it? It really doesn't feature any less content than some games that are in the $5-$15 range that are essentially the same game so I give it my seal of approval. HTC Vive VR Games Review

Nick – Christmas VR Game

Reviewing Free to Play games is always difficult. How much can I really expect from something that is free? Opposed to some sayings like “Nothing in life is Free”, Nick for the VR is actually free with no catches. As I write this review – they aren’t even promoting any in-game items or additional purchases so I’m not sure what Firstborn Games’s motivation is besides a little bit of good publicity.

That said, Nick is actually a game that works. Despite being free, everything worked fine and made sense besides the lumber(read later). The goal of Nick is you’re basically fighting evil little robotic elves who are attacking your base. The enemies come from 4 directions and the game shockingly features teleport locomotion rather than just standing still like many wave shooters. While running around your base – you can power your base with power cells, grab ammo from presents, create lumber and board up your windows with a hammer. Free tip : The Hammer is OP vs enemies if you want to save least on casual it was very strong. The game even features a tutorial in addition to the regular game which explained all the finer points of the game.

The only difficulty I faced while playing the game is the lumber. When I used the saw mill, the lumber didn’t pop out. I’m not sure if there was something else I needed to do but it seemed like it was a problem. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt though that I was doing something wrong – I didn’t have much time to experiment between waves. Another small issue is sometimes the enemies get stuck trying to get inside and they hop around randomly outside a window.

Overall – Nick looks good. It’s polished, dare I say featuring some nice Christmas themes and some one-liners similar to a Duke Nukem or Serious Sam game. It’s free – How can I not recommend it? It really doesn’t feature any less content than some games that are in the $5-$15 range that are essentially the same game so I give it my seal of approval.

It's a great DEMO game, especially if you have family, friends or a party to show off your VR. For myself, I can't really see much reason to revisit. HTC Vive VR Games Review

VR Slugger

VR Slugger is basically a baseball game for the VR by Poly Poly Games. By baseball, I mean Homerun Derby with various game modes. In my Let’s Play I erroneously compared it to Wii Baseball but I don’t think thats true after thinking about it since Wii Baseball did actually have a baseball game/scoring. VR Slugger is one mini-game perfected. The actual batting system, the variety of approaches and look of the game is actually really good. If you enjoyed this mini-game enough, you probably won’t see another Homerun Derby game looking this good or have such variety of modes.

The game features a Practice Mode, Time Attack, Puzzle Mode and Legend Mode.

The Practice Mode I couldn’t try but I’m assuming it is like it sounds. Time attack is what I would consider the “classic” style of a Home Run Derby – hit as many homeruns as possible in the given amount of time. Puzzle Mode was strange to me, it looked like you were supposed to hit certain areas of the field but alas, I didn’t get far. Legend Mode looked like it had the most bells and whistles with various pitchers and their “hitpoints” displayed, which you had to defeat by aiming the ball at certain parts of the outfield/home run area.

One of the bigger problems I ran into was I couldn’t stand on the left side of the plate(bat right handed). It was NOT due to the game but something with my room setup. I believe you need a generous amount of room space to enjoy the room. It’d be nice if there was a “reset camera” type button that realign the game to where you were standing in real life and if there is, I missed it.

For the asking price of $11.99, I wouldn’t buy it but to be fair, I’m not a fan of time attack/mini game style games. I don’t think its a bad game and to some, it might be worth the price. It’s a great DEMO game, especially if you have family, friends or a party to show off your VR. For myself, I can’t really see much reason to revisit.

I really have no bad things to say. The warning, again, is its not a game. You don't win. You don't hunt the animals. You don't get points. HTC Vive VR Games Review

Nature Treks VR

Nature Treks VR – a game that came out of nowhere for me. I was a big fan of theBlu and after playing some other nature/casual/simulators, I was sort of thinking this genre was a one time thing. Nature Treks VR, brought back the nature/walking simulator genre to a new height and puts it as one of my favorite VR games right now.

To be fair, Nature Treks VR isn’t really a game. It’s more of an experience. You walk around – listening to ambient electronic music which has some minor visualizer results. There is a generous amount of area to explore in each environment and the author actually is releasing new environments(as of this review, a new environment was released Nov 2017.) You don’t win or lose – you just experience.

The animals you encounter are all very well detailed and animated despite some strange clipping(they will walk THROUGH objects/trees.) You have no interaction with them and them no interaction with each other or you. The sizes are spectacularly diverse from small rabbits to giant whales. The author even put in the extra effort of having juvenile sizes to roam with the adults.

I need to emphasize too – this game does have WALKING. You actually FREE roam OR teleport. Free locomotion, something I couldn’t even hope for in the Doom VFR release is in THIS game. It works great – using the controller as your orientation and movement. There is some small glitches/visual errors like animals walking through trees but that is about it.

I really have no bad things to say. The warning, again, is its not a game. You don’t win. You don’t hunt the animals. You don’t get points. You just walk around and look at cool sights, animals and have minor manipulation of the environment. If that sounds like a thing for you – then this is up your alley. If you enjoyed theBlu but wanted to walk around and explore also – this is for you. It doesn’t look quite as good as theBlu but to be fair, the exploration/feeling distance helps make up for it. The game deserves a bit of attention and even for my Lets Play, I had to split it up into 3 videos due to the detail and interest each environment boasted.