Category Archives: HTC Vive

Uncover a Haunting Hollywood Tragedy in Immersive VR Escape Room Game “The Atlas Mystery”, Out Now

Top Right Corner — a leading creator in the XR (extended reality) space — is proud to announce that its virtual reality escape room title, The Atlas Mystery, is now available on Steam, Meta Quest (via App Lab), and Viveport. Set in a luxurious 1940s era movie palace, The Atlas Mystery invites players to solve challenging puzzles and uncover the shocking truth behind the theater’s dark history.

Created in collaboration between Hollywood and game industry veterans, The Atlas Mystery marries the two art forms through the lens of VR to immerse players in a detailed and captivating world inspired by classic cinema and adventure puzzle games like Myst. The Atlas Mystery combines challenging escape room style puzzles with a riveting investigative narrative full of shocking twists and haunting revelations, plunging players into a thrilling supernatural murder mystery. Players take on the role of the theater’s new floor manager and must solve a series of increasingly peculiar puzzles to ultimately uncover the twisted truth behind the infamous theater.

“I’m thrilled to open the doors to the Atlas Theater and invite players to immerse themselves in an atmospheric and detailed world inspired by my love of classic cinema,” said Eric Kleifield, the game’s writer and co-producer. “We challenged ourselves to build a full-scale movie palace stocked with rich mythology and hours of gameplay. Every object and every puzzle you discover weaves itself into an intricate murder mystery that should leave puzzle and escape room fans very happy.”

The Atlas Mystery is the result of a partnership between Welcome Villain Films’ Head of Creative, Eric Kleifield, and Top Right Corner, who previously joined forces on the highly-rated game Belko VR: An Escape Room Experiment — which was created in partnership with MGM and BH Tilt to promote James Gunn’s 2017 film, The Belko Experiment. Belko VR has received over 165k downloads on Steam since release, along with an “overwhelmingly positive” review ranking. The Atlas Mystery is a fleshed out spiritual successor to the title.

“As someone with both a background in producing films and making games, The Atlas Mystery was such a blast for me and the Top Right Corner team to create. Filled with dozens of puzzles and a classic Hollywood mystery to unwind, Atlas will appeal to VR enthusiasts hoping to disappear behind the silver screen,” said Dan Clifton, founder of Top Right Corner.

The Atlas Mystery’s soundtrack is a major part of the game’s cinematic authenticity and was composed by Hollywood talents Evan Goldman (additional composer on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Detective Pikachu) and Chris Ryan (orchestrator on Shazam!). The Atlas Mystery Original Soundtrack will release next week on Steam and additional audio streaming platforms.

The Atlas Mystery Key Features:

  • You’re In the Movies, Kid: Jump into a detailed and captivating world inspired by classic cinema. But be careful that you don’t become a victim of murderous movie magic…
  • Perilous Period Piece Puzzles: Enjoy the rich history of the Atlas Theater while solving hours of intricate and varied puzzles in VR.
  • Explore and Escape: Discover startling artifacts while you work your way through a twisted escape room-styled labyrinth. Can you make it to the end of the Atlas?
  • Artforms Meet Virtual Reality: Enjoy rich storytelling and cinematic music from Hollywood and game industry veterans whose credits include Belko VR, Child’s Play VR, Detective Pikachu, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Shazam!

The Atlas Mystery is available now for $14.99 via Steam, with support for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Valve Index, and for the Meta Quest via SideQuest, and Viveport. Fans who purchase the game on Steam can take advantage of a 10% off launch week discount.

Lindsey Stirling is coming to Synth Riders

Synth Riders invites players to come and explore a world “Underground” with the Lindsey Stirling Music Pack.  This pack captures Lindsey’s expressive and energetic playing style as you ride the rails and soar with her violin in five tracks spanning her career.  The new collection will be available from April 14th on Meta Quest, Steam, PlayStation VR and Viveport featuring five paid DLC songs and a unique visual Experience for “Underground”. 

A multi-talented musician, songwriter and dancer, Lindsey Stirling blends her trademark violin with a multitude of musical styles.  This pack highlights her diversity and versatility: whether playing alongside the powerhouse vocals of Lzzy Hale in “Shatter Me”, exploring her Celtic musical influences in “First Light”, in collaboration with Raja Kumari on the Bollywood-inspired “Mirage” and even in the Synthwave-inspired “Shadows”, Lindsey’s violin is your guide.

As an artist with a strong sense of visual style, the Synth Riders Experience for “Underground” is heavily inspired by the striking imagery of Lindsey’s own video for the song, while continuing to explore themes of confinement and freedom, key inspiration for the song itself.  This Synth Riders Experience is very much a playable video clip, with its hand-crafted visuals matched perfectly to the music creating a truly unique, immersive way to experience music.

In a first for Kluge Interactive, the Synth Riders team collaborated with Lindsey Stirling on location to create this amazing trailer, featuring an electrifying performance from her.

“As I played the Synth Riders version of Underground for the first time, I was so excited and surprised to see that the visuals were very inspired by my music video. The game is an absolute blast and I couldn’t help but have the cheesiest grin on my face the entire time I was playing. Also, as a bonus I got my cardio in by playing the advanced level. I think my fans will love it!”

Lindsey Stirling

The Lindsey Stirling Music Pack features five paid DLC songs:

  • Underground + Experience
  • Shatter Me
  • First Light
  • Mirage
  • Shadows

“Lindsey brings such a unique quality to her performances both physically and musically.  There is a litheness and energy there that makes her such a great match for Synth Riders’ gameplay – riding the rails really gives you the feeling of playing the violin along with her!”

Abraham Aguero – Creative Director Kluge Interactive

With the addition of the “Lindsey Stirling Music Pack” Synth Riders’ soundtrack now features 55 free and 35 DLC songs, all playable in a variety of difficulty levels and modes across the game. Meta Quest owners who haven’t yet played the game can try it out for free in the demo available on App Lab, featuring 5 songs with all modifiers.

The “Lindsey Stirling Music Pack” launches April 14th on Meta Quest, Steam, PlayStation VR and Viveport. All five tracks can be purchased individually for $1.99, or together as a bundle for $7.99 with a 20% discount.

Follow Synth Riders on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and join their Discord community for more news and events.

Immersive VR Escape Room Game “The Atlas Mystery” Launches April 13

The infamous Atlas Theater, a luxurious 1940s era movie palace and host to a shocking Hollywood tragedy, acts as the stage for independent developer Top Right Corner’s upcoming virtual reality puzzle game “The Atlas Mystery”. Releasing on Steam and Meta Quest (via SideQuest and App Lab) on April 13, The Atlas Mystery puts players into the role of the titular theater’s new floor manager. Players must navigate the labyrinthine halls of the Atlas and face a series of increasingly peculiar puzzles to solve a shocking supernatural murder mystery, and ultimately uncover the dark history behind the infamous theater.

The Atlas Mystery is a collaboration between Welcome Villain Films’ Head of Creative, Eric Kleifield, and Top Right Corner, who previously joined forces on the highly-rated game Belko VR: An Escape Room Experiment — which was created in partnership with MGM and BH Tilt to promote James Gunn’s 2017 film, The Belko Experiment.

“We really wanted to push the boundaries of what we can do at an independent level. Most escape room games confine players to small, singular environments,” said Kleifield. “With Atlas, the team at Top Right Corner seamlessly captured my love of this era and more than delivered on the vision for this experience, building a full-scale grandiose movie palace from the ground up. The Atlas Mystery is stocked with rich lore and an incredible level of detail, amounting to hours of puzzle-filled gameplay.”

The Atlas Mystery combines challenging escape-room style puzzles with a riveting investigative narrative full of shocking twists and haunting revelations, plunging players into a detailed and captivating world inspired by classic cinema and adventure puzzle games like Myst.

“The Top Right Corner team had a great time collaborating with Eric on Atlas. Our main ethos as a company is to use VR to bring audiences into unique worlds filled with spectacular detail,” said Dan Clifton, founder of Top Right Corner. “We can’t wait for players to step through the theater’s majestic doors and explore its mystique.”

The Atlas Mystery will retail for $14.99 and release next week for PC via Steam, with support for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Valve Index, and for the Meta Quest via SideQuest and App Lab. Fans can wishlist the game today and take advantage of a 10% off launch week discount on Steam.

The Atlas Mystery will release simultaneously with the game’s cinematic soundtrack, which was composed by Evan Goldman (additional composer on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Detective Pikachu) and Chris Ryan (orchestrator on Shazam!). To learn more about The Atlas Mystery and developer Top Right Corner, visit https://www.atlasmystery.com.

Tentacular Review – PC VR

Devolver Digital is known for their quirky game library and Tentacular might be one of their best games yet; especially when it comes to VR experiences.  After several hours of flailing my tentacles around in this adorable adventure I can easily say this is the most fun I’ve had playing an awkward eight-limbed mollusk since Octodad, even if I did have to play this one with six tentacles tied behind my back.

The premise is simple; you are a giant octopus who was found and adopted while still in your egg.  Raised alongside humans, this fish out of water story begins on your 16th birthday; a big day on the island of La Kalma where you are now an adult and must get a job and declare your purpose and contribution to society.  Already considered a social outcast of sorts due to your clumsy and destructive antics around the island, you have a lot to prove to your fellow citizens, and events are about to unfold that will give you just that chance.

Tentacular is a brilliantly designed game perfect for VR.  The experience unfolds as you travel from island to island, each presented as a charming 3D diorama that reminded me of the level design in The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets.  Each scene has just enough detail to bring it to life along with an eclectic cast of characters to interact with.  There is a surprising amount of dialogue in the game; none spoken but all delivered with easy-to-read speech bubbles, which leads to one of my few criticisms of the game.  There are many sequences in the game where you need to be doing some action that requires looking at what you are doing rather than at the text bubbles which are often out of view.  This can easily lead to lots of missed exposition and even instructions in some cases.  Important dialogue can be repeated but some story elements are lost forever if you miss their delivery.  Tapping characters on the head to trigger conversations is clever, and additional taps accelerate the dialogue one line at a time.

You’ll learn everything you need to know about how to play Tentacular while exploring the main menu.  There are numerous objects lying and floating around for you to grab with either of your tentacles that are extensions of your hands and controllers.  Holding the triggers activates the suction on your tentacles allowing you to grasp items and move or throw them around, which is mostly what the game will consist of.  All of the game systems have been incorporated into the design, so if you want to change options you press a button and a blimp lowers from the sky with a switch to access another island scene with more controls to tweak languages, graphics, speech speed, etc.  You can manually lower or raise the water level to accommodate standing or seated gameplay.  Even something as simple as resetting a scene or puzzle is physically represented by a Reset Shack with switches to reset the current scene or return to the main city.  The shack even has a guy living inside that will offer you hints; basically a charming page of IKEA-like instructions on what you need to do.

Tentacular is heavily story-driven although you do have a Playground area that slowly populate with new items as you unlock them during the story.  Otherwise you go from scene to scene, first with a meeting at city hall followed by a job assessment test and your first day at your new job, which leads to some truly surprising events of an extraterrestrial nature.  Every scene plays out like an activity set with certain tasks and objectives that all require manipulating objects within the scene.  One of my favorite moments was using powerlines to slingshot cargo contains and fuel tanks towards targeted structures and demolish them just like Angry Birds.

Tentacular is a charming interactive experience with a cute story and engaging physics-based gameplay that’s fun for the entire family.  The game is admittedly a bit linear and unless you are really having fun with the Playground area this is a one and done once you have finished the 5-7 hour story.  I played on both the Oculus Rift S and the Vive, and while the experiences are mostly identical I found the Rift S version looked slightly sharper and the Oculus Touch controlled more precisely than the Vive wands.  No matter which version you play you are going to have fun, and this has quickly become one of my top three VR games of 2022.

You can check out the first hour of gameplay on the Oculus Rift S in our first-look video with commentary.

Top the charts with Virtuoso, a VR music creation sandbox Out Now for Quest, Rift & SteamVR

Fast Travel games has launched Virtuoso, a creative sandbox that lets anyone fulfill their musical dreams in virtual reality. Developed by Really Interactive, and the first offering from Fast Travel Games’ publishing arm, Virtuoso is available on Meta Quest, Rift and SteamVR headsets for $19.99.

Enter the symphonic world of Virtuoso with an all-new mixed reality trailer:

Budding VR musicians can explore and jam out on special instruments specifically designed for virtual reality. Users with all levels of musical ability – from pitch perfect producers to tone deaf newbies – will enjoy finding their own unique sound. The Looper tool will let anyone form a one-person band, while the Tempo Sync feature makes sure the whole act stays on beat. Once rockers are done fine tuning their track, they can save and ship it out to the world by using built-in community sharing features.

Virtuoso is the next evolution of creating music in a virtual space, allowing both complete beginners and seasoned musicians the chance to create and play in a brand new way.” said Jonatan Crafoord, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Really Interactive. “With tools that will help new musicians stay on beat, and instruments built from the ground-up for virtual reality, there is something for everyone to use and build on to stretch their creative muscles.

Key Features of Virtuoso include:

    •  Be the artist of your dreams: Create music in real-time using the Looper and easily share it for all to hear! Even if you’ve never touched an instrument before, features like Tempo Sync and preset scales help you stay in time and on pitch.
    • Made-for-VR instruments: The six instruments of Virtuoso have been created specifically for VR. Set up your own custom drum kit with the Empads and tickle the keys of the three-dimensional Oorgan. You can also add vocals with lush reverb using the virtual microphone!
    • From opening act to headliner: The interactive tutorial along with intuitive instruments and tools means that everyone, from professional producers to casual music lovers, can become Virtuosos!

The official version of Virtuoso features a number of new and exciting additions, building upon the previous App Lab edition:

    • New environments: In addition to the galactic themed environment, create the song of your dreams in a wonder-filled forest. Too distracting? Choose the plain environment to get in a zen like workflow.
    • A Passthrough environment is also available, replacing the sci-fi and forest-themed environments with that of your own real-life recording space.
    • New Visuals: Instruments have received an updated look, allowing a more immersive experience for creators.
    • An Interactive tutorial ensures that even the least experienced players will be able to master the game’s instruments.
    • New drum samples and pitch change feature will give percussion masterminds more control over their tunes.

In addition, the UI has been updated and polished, along with several general improvements and bug fixes. The team at Really Interactive is committed to continue to update and improve Virtuoso after its launch, ensuring that aficionados won’t ever feel their creativity constrained.

Virtuoso is the first third-party title published by Fast Travel Games’ recently-launched publishing arm. For more information on Fast Travel’s publishing offerings please visit https://www.fasttravelgames.com/publishing.

For more information on Virtuoso and Really Interactive, please visit virtuoso-vr.com and www.really-interactive.se and follow the game on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. For more information on Fast Travel games, go to our website at fasttravelgames.com, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Blast Beat Review – PC VR

You can’t wave a VR controller around without hitting at least a dozen VR music games these days, and surprisingly, most of them are pretty good.  Obviously, Beat Saber set the standard but clones were quick to follow with just enough variance to set them apart in gameplay, while offering their own signature style of music.  Synth Riders is still one of my favorites when it comes to pure physical immersion in the music, and Audica allowed me to live out my John Woo dual-wielding fantasies, and most recently Ragnarock unleashed my inner Viking with some crazy Celtic shanties.  I’m amazed at the level of creativity these designers manage to come up with to get players physically engaged with their own music libraries, which leads me to Blast Beat.

Clear some space, put on some loose clothes, and maybe turn on a fan to cool you down because Blast Beat is much more than music appreciation.  This game is here to give you a workout with integrated fitness tracking, calorie burn goals, and a whole set of achievements to reward you for hitting those goals.  There are even global leaderboards for those that want to compete for best Blast Beater in the world.

It’s hard to lock Blast Beat into any one genre.  The musical selection varies as much as the scenery when it comes to choosing your level.  There are 24 songs with 11 more dropping soon that range from EDM to rock, metal, and even Celtic.  These are all integrated into some really awesome level designs with unique opponents that you will face off against in something that resembles a 3D fighting game taken straight from an anime.

There is a useful tutorial stage that will teach you almost everything you need to know.  While it covers punch counters, you’ll need to figure out squat and spin counters on your own – it’s not that hard.  Each level plays out the same.  You’ll meet your opponent before they retreat to the back of the scenery at which point they will start to fire incoming projectiles at you.  These are treated as the “notes” in this musical melee, with some having arrows indicating the direction they must be swiped while other can simply be punched or swiped any way you want.  Mixed into these notes are the occasional large objects that you must physically dodge either by sidestepping or ducking down.  These objects are scene specific and include things such as trees, sharks, swords, lollipops, and other crazy items.  Missing a note or failure to dodge any of these objects will reset your combo meter.

About halfway through the song the enemy will advance on your position and attack you from any of three stances.  You need to recognize the stance and dodge left, right, or duck to avoid getting hit.  After a few of these attacks you will get a chance to counter using punch, squat, or spin technics.   You are given only a few seconds to unleash as many attacks as possible, so in the case of punching (my favorite) you basically punch the enemy on the screen as fast as possible like a boxing speed bag.  There is a trophy for 100 hits, but my record so far is only 89; it’s exhausting, and your arms feel like rubber when it’s over.  The enemy will then retreat for a final round of note-hitting and object-dodging.  You can monitor your progress with the score bar at the top, and it takes almost a near-perfect round to even clear the level on standard difficulty.  Thankfully there are plenty of achievements that incentivize playing on the beginner level first.

The level of physical exertion is surprisingly exhausting, and I found myself having to take a break every third or fourth song.  The game only allowed me to set a 100-calorie goal despite having trophies for hitting 500 and 1,000 calories in a day.  I was able to knock out 100 calories in 2-3 songs.  You can also enter in your height and weight, but it’s all in metric with no conversion option for feet, inches, and pounds.  It’s super important that you get the height calibrated correctly.  I used auto-height and it had me just a bit too low, so I was constantly failing the uppercut moves (notes with up arrows) and getting hit by objects I was supposed to be ducking under.  I manually added a few inches and my scores improved dramatically.

There is considerable content in Blast Beat, both in the game as delivered as well as planned upcoming content coming soon.  You have unlockable color variations and attack styles for bosses, some truly impressive scenery that totally surrounds you in a 360-degree fantasy world, level specific elements such as notes and dodge objects – imagine punching slices of cake while dodging giant lollipops – and four styles of gauntlets used for punching.  The boss designs are incredible, ranging from a female warrior in the woods to a giant horned demon tossing swords or a giant sea serpent tossing sharks at you.  There is a lot of detail buried in these stages that you can appreciate when the fight is over.  My only complaint with the graphics is that on some stages the direction arrows for punching notes can get lost in the scenery.  There needs to be a better way to make those arrows stand out.

I played Blast Beat on both the Vive and the Rift S and found the Oculus to be the superior system for this game.  While the Vive does offer room-scale you really don’t need it.  Any defensive dodges can be done simply by leaning and keeping your feet planted in one position.  The punching and spinning counters feel so much better with the lighter Touch controllers where you maintain a fist-like grip, but no matter which system you play, USE THE WRIST STRAPS.  Your hands will get sweaty and…just wear them.

If you love VR music games, especially those with a focus on fitness, then look no further than Blast Beat.  I’m hopelessly hooked on this game to the point of playing it “too much” and feeling the physical effects the next day.  I was surprised at how much weaving and ducking and punching wears you out.  My tolerance is growing, and I am able to play 5-6 songs a session now, and I hope to unlock that 1000 calorie achievement soon.  I am impressed with the dedication of the devs who just released a major update a few days prior to this review and have an entire roadmap of upgrades planned through May 2022 and beyond.  If Beat Saber and Synth Riders are any example, these games can go on forever as long as fresh content is being added.

I’m not sure if they set out to make Blast Beat a fun alternative to exercise, but I haven’t had this much fun “moving” in a video game setting since the days of Wii Fit.  The awesome visual designs for levels and bosses, as well as the energetic and eclectic music selection had me playing this almost daily.  It’s a great way to loosen up and get the blood flowing, and how many video games can you really say that about?  Highly recommended!

DRUMS ROCK IN STEAM WITH EARLY ACCESS

Drums Rock opens the Steam store in Early Access. Players will be able to wishlist it now, and the Steam release date will be announced soon.

This new Steam version will bring improved graphics, with better textures and better lighting. Also bring new songs such as I Love Rock’n Roll by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Ruski Bruski by Professor Plumb and You Wanna Do It Too by Violet Road. These songs will also be added in the AppLab version.

We also updated our roadmap thanks to the feedback received from our users:

Deadness Out Now on Steam

Indie game developer ALIEN Studio is releasing Deadness, a horror VR game, on Steam VR, Viveport, and Valve Index, today.

Deadness is a spine-chilling and eerie game where you are helplessly confined to a wheelchair in a super-realistic VR environment.

Just like in reality, in the wheelchair, you can only move using your hands which control all the movements which makes the game feel even more realistic. Your imagination will fuel your fear as you try to hide from the undead.

Unlike other VR games, Deadness has a unique mechanic where you can only move using your hands which control all the movements as you would in real life sitting on a wheelchair.

Unfortunately, Deadness is facing some technical restrictions on the Oculus Rift platform. Although it would take some time, an update is being worked on to allow Oculus support.

VR Musical Sandbox ‘Virtuoso’ coming to Meta Quest, Rift & SteamVR on March 10

Fast Travel Games has today announced that Virtuoso, a virtual music creation sandbox that lets anyone bring melodic creations to life in VR, will make its debut on Meta Quest, Rift and SteamVR on March 10, 2022. Created by the studio Really Interactive, Virtuoso brings an immersive musical stage into your headset.

The Virtuoso demo tape… or rather, announcement trailer… features the track “Parade” by Scandinavian dance music duo Tungevaag & Rabaan recreated in-game:

Explore the unique instruments and effects of Virtuoso to find your personal sound and bring out your inner musician. With instruments that have been specifically tailored and tuned for virtual reality, as well as an interactive tutorial, you’ll go from music class dropout to worldwide pop star in no time. Use the Looper tool to become a one-person band, creating dance floor ready jams on the fly. Save and share your creations with friends and gain inspiration from other members of the Virtuoso community.

“Virtuoso is a new take on playing and creating music that is both accessible for complete beginners and amazingly powerful in the hands of experienced musicians.” said Jonatan Crafoord, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Really Interactive. “The instruments are built from the ground-up for expressing yourself musically in VR, while the tools and interactive tutorial help you stay on beat and in tune. We can’t wait to hear the music that the Virtuoso community will create in it!”

Key Features of Virtuoso include:

  • BE THE ARTIST OF YOUR DREAMS: Create music in real-time using the Looper and easily share it for all to hear! Even if you’ve never touched an instrument before, features like Tempo Sync and preset scales help you stay in time and on pitch.
  • MADE-FOR-VR INSTRUMENTS: The six instruments of Virtuoso have been created specifically for VR. Set up your own custom drum kit with the Empads and tickle the keys of the three-dimensional Oorgan. You can also add vocals with lush reverb using the virtual microphone!
  • FROM OPENING ACT TO HEADLINER: The interactive tutorial along with intuitive instruments and tools means that everyone, from professional producers to casual music lovers, can become Virtuosos!

When it arrives in March, Virtuoso will be the first third-party title published by Fast Travel Games’ recently-launched publishing arm. For more information on Fast Travel’s publishing offerings please visit https://www.fasttravelgames.com/publishing.

For more information on Virtuoso and Really Interactive, please visit virtuoso-vr.com and www.really-interactive.se and follow the game on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

For more information on Fast Travel games, go to our website at fasttravelgames.com, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.