Category Archives: Oculus Rift

Synth Riders Free Weekend on Steam begins today

Fans of active VR games are in for a treat this weekend, as Synth Riders is free-to-play for everyone on Steam. The full version of the game is free to download and play starting today at 10AM PT through Sunday, 10AM PT, making it the perfect time to put on the dancing shoes, bring friends, and check out this popular rhythm title.

Synth Riders is an award-winning VR rhythm game from Kluge Interactive, combining action and dance for an immersive musical experience that activates the entire body – a perfect way to get moving again after the Holiday break!

The Free Weekend event gives unlimited access to the full version of the game on Steam, including 56 licensed songs, custom song support, and cross-platform Multiplayer for up to 10 people. Players are invited to experiment with multiple game-changing modifiers, including a recently introduced, mind-bending Spiral Mode.

Even though this Free Weekend can only be made available for Steam, Oculus Quest players are always able to try the game for free at any time, thanks to the generous Synth Riders Demo available on AppLab.

“We are very excited to welcome all players curious about Synth Riders who haven’t had a chance to play it yet. With VR, being able to try a game for yourself is crucial, and offers a very different experience to just watching a trailer or looking at screenshots. We hope that everyone will really enjoy playing Synth Riders, and can’t wait to see you all in Multiplayer!” – Abraham Aguero Benzecri – Creative Director at Kluge Interactive

Synth Riders can be played for free on Steam from Thursday, January 20th, 10AM PT to Sunday, January 23rd, 1PM PT. The game supports all SteamVR headsets, including Oculus Quest via Link or Virtual Desktop. Players can save 45% by taking advantage of a time-limited discount to keep on riding when the Free Weekend ends.

Everyone interested in more news and promotions from Synth Riders are invited to subscribe to the Newsletter and join the official communities on Discord and Facebook.

Dive into VR horror with Propagation: Paradise Hotel

At the UploadVR Showcase 2021, WanadevStudio, home of the hit VR rhythm game Ragnarock, announced a new VR title from the Propagation VR franchise.

After making a name for itself with a first original experience hitting 350,000 downloads, the French studio decided to expand its Propagation VR universe with “Propagation: Paradise Hotel”, a new thrilling survival-horror adventure that will let you explore dark environments and cross paths with terrifying creatures, testing your nerves on the way.

The “Propagation: Paradise Hotel” VR experience is scheduled for late 2022, and the team is working for it to be available on all major VR platforms.

To follow the developments of “Propagation: Paradise Hotel”, a Steam page has been created where it is already possible to Wishlist the upcoming experience.

Players can discover the universe of Propagation by playing the free original Propagation VR experience, and on the Propagation: Paradise Hotel website.

Co-op Survival Horror Game Paranormal Hunter Revealed During UploadVR Showcase

Paranormal Hunter, the co-op survival horror game set in haunted locations full of malevolent spirits from EALoGAMES, will petrify ghost hunters on Windows PC via Steam Early Access in Q2 2022, as revealed during the UploadVR Showcase. Paranormal Hunter will launch with full keyboard and mouse, and VR support Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index, and Windows Mixed Reality. PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch versions will torment consoles alongside the simultaneous PC 1.0 release in late 2022.

Explore notorious haunted locations alone or with up to four players in online co-op. Conduct paranormal investigations in dilapidated homes, long-abandoned hospitals, and other ominous sites. Scour each scene for key objects and clues to summon the dark spirits refusing to move on while learning about each location’s tragic history, then banish each ghost before their dark energy spreads and consumes unfortunate souls.

Encounter terrifying spirits inspired by Japanese folklore and horror cinema. Avoid otherworldly pursuers, momentarily repelling ghosts with UV light blasts. Creep through twisting stages full of locked doors and blocked passages, moving cautiously to maintain precious sanity and survive to see the morning. Use the rewards from successful hunts to purchase additional equipment.

Dive into an immersive experience crafted to create moments of soul-shaking horror for solo and cooperative sessions. VR users can make use of a diegetic UI, with health and sanity meters represented via an in-game watch for an added atmosphere of authenticity. Engage in crossplay with both VR and standard keyboard and mouse players for a tailored and inclusive co-op ghost-hunting experience across all input methods.

“We are pleased to announce Paranormal Hunter for consoles, PC and VR headsets,” said Takatoshi Tatsumi founder, EALoGames. “Although seeking out the supernatural is a daunting experience, playing with teams of friends makes searching for spirits as fun as it is frightening!”

Paranormal Hunter will be available on Windows PC via Steam Early Access with VR support for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index, and Windows Mixed Reality devices in Q2 2022 for $14.99 with English, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Simplified Chinese-language support.

For more information, please visit the official website, follow Paranormal Hunter on Twitter and Facebook, and wishlist Paranormal Hunter on Steam.

Synth Riders mind-bending “Spiral Mode” coming to all VR platforms this Thursday

Fans of Synth Riders are in for a treat this Halloween with the mind-bending “Spiral Mode” coming to the game on Thursday, October 28th. The update debuts with a new stage and a new song, all available for free to players on Oculus Quest, PlayStation VR, Steam, and Viveport.

“Spiral Mode” puts a new twist on familiar gameplay, as the playfield spirals around the special new cylindrical stage. Guide walls and arrows lead the player through twists and turns, as they lean their whole body from side to side to follow the line of play. The new mode aims to give players an adrenaline rush as they unlock three intensities, each with more powerful turns and challenges to match. “Spiral Mode” is available for use in every song and difficulty, with most modifiers and in all areas – including Multiplayer.

Kluge Interactive celebrates this new release with an addition of a new, free song “Go!” by the incredible synthwave duo, Dance With The Dead. Just in time for Halloween, this killer blend of synth and guitar will get players ready to turn their Synth Riders world upside down. With the addition of “Go!”, Synth Riders’ music selection now features 55 free songs. An additional 30 tracks are available as DLC, including hits from Muse, The Offspring, and Caravan Palace.

“I’m excited to enhance our players’ experience even more with this twist on our gameplay, it’s not like anything we’ve seen in a VR rhythm game before!  Personally, I love playing Spiral Mode because the mechanic gives me a feeling of challenge and speed that reminds me so much of skating – one of my favorite hobbies! I hope that Spiral Mode will find many fans among Synth Riders players.”  – Abraham Aguero Benzecri – Creative Director

“Spiral Mode” continues a long tradition of regular, free updates from the development team that excite players and give them new, fresh ways to enjoy the game. Since its release on Steam more than three years ago, Synth Riders has tripled the number of available songs, introduced 360° of freedom in “Spin Mode”, and launched 10-player Multiplayer with Power-Ups.

The new “Spiral Mode”, a new stage, and a new song by Dance With The Dead are coming on October 28th as a free update for all Synth Riders players on Oculus Quest, PlayStation VR, Steam, and Viveport.

Galactic Rangers VR Now Live on Oculus

Independent game studio DGMA released their game Galactic Rangers VR, a first-person space action VR game on Oculus Rift and Oculus Rift S for $14.99 on September 30.

Galactic Rangers VR is an immersive shooter arcade experience for all trigger-happy players, who don’t mind a challenge and enjoy dodging projectiles, debris, and asteroids. Use your blasters and point at a target and shoot, blasting away enemies.

The story of Galactic Rangers VR centers on mysterious Space Cybernetic Invaders who have threatened the frontier worlds. You, like other Galactic Rangers, were ordered to go to defend the borders from an unknown threat, find out where the cyborgs raid and permanently destroy their lair!

Galactic Rangers VR is also available on Steam and supports a vast majority of VR devices such as Oculus Touch, VR/HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality.

Features

  • Easy to jump in wave-FPS
  • Realistic and colourful graphics
  • Tons of enemies you have to blast through
  • Fast-paced action
  • The story unfolds as you progress in the game
  • Tons of fun, shooting and dodging as you blast off the enemies
  • Cool gadgets and bonuses – super shield and time dilation

Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual! Review – PC VR

Early this summer I reviewed Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual! on the Oculus Quest 2 and while the game had its fair share of issues at least it was playable and I had a reasonably good time.  I did wish for better graphics than what the Quest was offering, and when I learned the game was coming to Steam I was understandably excited for a more visually pleasing experience.  Sadly, that is about the only thing this new release has going for it.  Gameplay is much smoother, details are improved and the annoying pop-up found in the Quest version is all but gone; at least in the parts I could play.

Therein lies my biggest issue with the PC VR version of Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual! – it’s unplayable.  I’ve had the game for nearly three weeks now.  I was loving it from day one, as I helped Sam & Max take down some crazy hydra monster outside their office building before going inside to see if I had what it took to join the Freelance Police.  The game looked marvelous and played perfectly as I checked off all the tasks, and then it was time to head to the abandoned amusement park where I was ultimately forced to abandon this game.

So if you are looking for a full review of Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual! then you’ll need to read my Quest 2 review, as my gameplay for this version ended at the very first stop at the park – bomb defusal.  The first time I tried to play this back at launch the screwdriver was not working properly.  I reported the issue and a few days later a patch released to fix this and numerous other issues.  When I jumped back in the screwdriver was functioning perfectly but now none of the squeeze/yank/twist motions were working.  My virtual hand would literally pass through the knob/handle/plunger and I was unable to perform any of those actions, which are much more frequent than using a screwdriver.  Poke and Boop still work fine.  So by fixing one issue the game became even more unplayable.  I’m not sure if other bugs exist in other carnival games because frankly, I am not remotely incentivized to even play beyond this first unplayable mini-game.

I typically don’t review games I don’t complete or at least play a substantial portion of, but having already completed this merely average game on the Quest I am simply here to tell you that Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual! is broken and unplayable.  It may ultimately get patched and turn out to be just fine but I’ve got other games to play, and don’t have time to keep coming back to this.  And you, the consumer, should certainly not be paying $30 for a game that is so broken only 30-40 minutes in.  I would have thought a Quest game could easily be ported over to PC but apparently not, so if you want to experience any of the humor Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual! has to offer then do it on the Quest.

Clash of Chefs VR Review – PC VR

As someone who managed to never work a single day in a fast food establishment growing up, I find it totally ironic and a bit demoralizing that here I am after 57 years on this planet slinging burgers, baking pizzas, frying nachos, and preparing sushi rolls all in the name of “entertainment”.  While I could easily see Clash of Chefs VR being used as an immersive training tool for each of these respective restaurants I found very little actual “fun” waiting to be had, as I plodded through lengthy mission checklists; 80 in all spread across the four cuisines.  In a world where we can’t even get people to work at McDonalds or Burger King for $15 an hour, Flatt Hill Games thinks people will pay $20 to do the same thing at home.

I will admit I did have a few minutes of fun with each of the four styles of cuisine.  Flipping burgers – although you don’t actually flip them – was fun enough trying to match the increasingly difficult orders of single and doubles, cheese or no cheese or maybe double cheese and the proper application of condiments.  Baking pizzas was perhaps my favorite part of the game, as you pound the dough flat, ladle on the sauce, shred the cheese, and then apply the requested toppings.  I find even the thought of sushi disgusting, so I spent very little time in that part of the game, but I did have fun with the Mexican food preparing nachos and tacos with all the assorted toppings.

Clash of Chefs VR lets you choose any of the four styles of food from the start then presents you with a lengthy series of challenges that grow increasingly more complex.  You’ll be inside your horseshoe food prep station that can be raised or lowered to the perfect comfort level while your fully customizable server will wait on the various people who enter your establishment.  A visual list of entrée flashcards will start to fill-up allowing you to prep for the current and future tickets, and a timer will constantly be creeping from happy to mad if you take too long or mess up an order.  And of course, you are scored for your efforts and ranked on leaderboards.

Ultimately, I had more fun figuring out how to “cheat” the game; thankfully the board of health wasn’t inspecting us.  I would start prepping burgers before the first customer even came in and have them lying around on plated buns on the empty portions of my counter.  Same with pizza, as during the first few missions they only order ham, mushroom, or pepperoni so you could get one or two of those prepped long before they were requested and just have them lying around.  Apparently the game doesn’t track freshness or hot food.  Looking at the completion times for the top leaderboard scores it seems others have found even more advanced ways to cheat.

There are also a few bugs lurking about the kitchen; no, not cockroaches but weird random stuff like dropping a ladle and having it vanish for the rest of the game forcing me to use the nacho cheese ladle to dip salsa.  I appreciated the authenticity of the bell to let my server know when an order was ready, but it was never necessary; they were always there to just take the food.  There were also a few minor issues with reliably grabbing plates and other items off the counter and some really annoying instances of my server telling me an order was incorrect when it clearly was – perhaps a scripting issue where the server was stuck on a previous order.  Whatever it was, this error forced me to have to restart the current stage at least three times out of the 20+ stages I played.  Considering this game was in Early Access for almost three years I was a bit surprised by some of the issues that remained in the final release.

Clash of Chefs VR offers up an all-you-can-eat buffet of content with the aforementioned 80 stages of single-player gaming along with some real-time and asynchronous competitive cook-offs.  The single-player stages start off easy enough, but all too soon the entrees get more complex with sides and drinks and ingredients that need to be sliced up or prepared separately.  It all seems very realistic in theory with fun controls that mimic these activities in real-life, yet shies away from ultra-realism when you are grabbing burgers off the grill with your bare hands or removing a pizza from the oven with no gloves or giant spatula.  I think one missed opportunity would have been to have some Yelp-style reviews posted after each stage and an ongoing restaurant review score that carried through all the stages.

I played Clash of Chefs VR on both the Vive and the Rift S and found no discernable differences between the two other than my preference for the Oculus Touch, which in this case felt much more secure in my hands than the Vive wands when whipping around hastily preparing food orders.  The graphics are simple and totally charming with easily identifiable food items that match up nicely with the illustrated flashcard order system.  There is a nice ambiance for each of the four restaurants with charming décor and fun animations for the server and patrons, including emoji’s showing their current satisfaction.

Despite the few hours of “fun” I managed to have exploring the early stages of each of the cuisines in Clash of Chefs VR, once things got too busy and the orders started getting too complex I turned in my chef’s hat and checked out.  I play games to relax when I’m not working; not simulate working at actual jobs I managed to avoid my entire life.  I’m not saying you won’t have fun with Clash of Chefs VR, but it just wasn’t something I found to my taste in games.

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Rhythm of the Universe: Ionia Review – PC VR

Having just finished Rhythm of the Universe: Ionia, I can easily say this is one of the top three best-looking VR “experiences” I have ever played, but it drastically falls short of being called a game.  Clocking in at around 90 minutes, this seems more like a demo or perhaps the first installment in an episodic series; wishful thinking on my part perhaps.  From start to finish I was totally captivated by the world that was unfolding before me; part Avatar, part Jurassic Park, and part Myst.  There was majestic music, great sound effects, and convincing voice acting that all combined to create a wonderfully complex and immersive environment, yet the one thing lacking was actual gameplay.

Don’t get me wrong; VR is a great place to experience these “walking simulators” type games, and in all fairness Ionia is only $15 and .75 of each purchase helps support Wildlife Warriors USA, but if you are going into this expecting any significant gameplay you could be disappointed.  I was, but only because I was so captivated by this enchanted world then unceremoniously ejected after four short chapters and a closing video from Robert Irwin.

The story setup is interesting enough; you and your sister Allegra set off on a quest to heal the Harpa, a magical creature whose life essence is tied to the environment that is slowly being destroyed by an approaching army.  Allegra leads you on most of this linear adventure; although you are left to explore and solve one puzzle on your own before reuniting.  The world does open up slightly for a bit of exploration but most of the time you are on a very well defined path.

Puzzles are few and far between.  There are a few xylophone puzzles where you must figure out the proper sequence of notes to play to advance the story.  In one area you must search for three missing tablets and return them to their pedestal to reveal a pan drum that you then use to unlock the path to the next area.  Most of the puzzles are music related and even the environments contain musical elements like giant toadstools that can be played like bongos.

Navigating the world of Ionia is handled through old-school teleporting, which I really dislike but can fully understand given the quality of the visuals.  Trying to move and turn in a continuous fashion would have tanked the framerate and likely caused motion sickness.  Your only representation in the game is a pair of hands (desperately in need of a manicure) with surprisingly detailed gauntlets crafted from red leaves layered on your wrists.  You can use these hands to grab items or grip vines and ladders to climb with actual climbing motions.  While not terribly exerting, these brief moments of physicality are a refreshing change from an otherwise passive experience.

I played Rhythm of the Universe: Ionia on both the Vive and the Rift S with the usual expected results from both.  My RTX3080 was plenty powerful to run the game with max settings (4) on all the options and I even cranked the resolution up to 1.5x and the game looked absolutely incredible.  Regardless of the VR system your in-game controllers are replaced with hands, but as always I found the Oculus Touch felt a bit more natural.  There are also plenty of dark areas in the world of Ionia, so the Vive’s screen door effect was more prominent in these areas.  I’ll have to give the nod to Rift S, but the game is certainly enjoyable on either.

Sadly, there is no real reason to replay Rhythm of the Universe: Ionia once finished unless you have friends over and want to dazzle them with one of the prettiest VR games available.  There are no achievements or trading cards to unlock and no secrets or collectibles that I could find.  If anything I would liken Ionia to a VR theme park experience.  I have yet to visit Pandora in Disney World, but I could only dream it is half as wondrous as this.  $15 is a small price to pay to experience Ionia; I’ve spent so much more on so much less, and even though is lacks a proper amount of gameplay and is over much too soon I still can’t help but recommend you check this out.  And don’t be a jerk and refund the game once you’ve finished it.  There is some serious artistic and visionary work happening here, and ROTU should be rewarded for their inspired creation.

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Rhythm of the Universe: IONIA, Stunning VR Adventure, Out Now for Quest & PC VR

ROTU Entertainment releases the long-awaited adventure puzzle VR game about preserving the environment through the power of music theory, Rhythm of the Universe: IONIA, today on Oculus Quest and SteamVR for compatible PC VR headsets. IONIA will arrive on PlayStation VR in the coming days.

Explore Ionia, a verdant land of music and magic on your quest to save the Harpa, a mythical being whose habitat is on the brink of destruction. Solve puzzles as you traverse ancient ruins, luminescent caves, breathtaking ravines, and lush forest canopies. Utilizing VR controllers, go hands-on with Ionia’s music-inspired flora and fauna.

IONIA shines a light on a truly immersive, gorgeous world unlike anything in VR gaming. At the intersection of visuals and musical flourish lies an important message about saving our natural world before it’s too late. IONIA’s achievements in art, sound, and design won multiple nominations at the Raindance Film Festival, several Indigo Design Awards, an Epic MegaGrant, and an official selection at 2020’s Cannes XR Development Showcase, part of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

While Ionia is a virtual world, ROTU Entertainment’s team of filmmakers, musicians, and visual artists looks to inspire positive change in the real world. Five percent of all proceeds from Rhythm of the Universe: IONIA will benefit the environmental non-profit Wildlife Warriors Worldwide, founded in 2002 by Steve and Terri Irwin. Robert Irwin, wildlife activist and photographer, appears in the launch trailer to celebrate the conservation efforts players will undertake in IONIA.

“Saving the Harpa and the Ionian forest mirrors our dreams for our own, precious world,” said Jason Parks, ROTU CEO. “We hope to inspire players to think critically about what they can do for the planet we share, through hands-on exploration only VR gaming can make possible.”

Save the Harpa today at the Oculus Store for Oculus Quest and Steam VR for Valve Index, Oculus Rift S, HTC Vive, Vive Pro, and HP Reverb G2. The PlayStation VR version will release in the coming days. Rhythm of the Universe: IONIA supports English, Spanish, French, Simplified Chinese, and German languages and is rated E for Everyone and equivalent in regions around the world.

For more information about Rhythm of the Universe: IONIA, please visit the official website, follow the game on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and join the official community on Discord.