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Development 13 Sep 2018

The seven best experiences to get started on virtual reality

Interactive fairy tales, being in outer space or a radical remake of the classic game Tetris. These are some of the dream plays to take your first steps in this new audiovisual language.

Virtual reality is here to stay. Although the business generated by it has failed to match expectations, companies such as Facebook, Valve, Google and Sony persist with this technology which already offers the user a wide range of experiences.  Below is a selection of seven fantasies within the world of virtual reality which do not require a huge amount of skill but are unforgettable.

Moss

A fairy tale in which the player on the trail of a mystery of the library comes upon a book that tells the adventures of Quill, a battle-hardened mouse ready to take on a 1,000 risks. The game has an added touch of magic in that the mouse is aware of the presence of the player in the game and can communicate with him/her through sign language.

Platforms: PlayStation VR, Steam, Oculus, HTC Vive

Moss, PlayStation VR gameplay trailer.

Horizons

And if music were a landscape? And if this landscape could change at the whim of the listener? This is the delightful idea behind Horizons, one of the most stunning experiences of the Google virtual reality headset Daydream. Using the view controller, the viewer can interact with the environment and see the changes that affect the piece of music being listened to. A delightful synesthetic marriage of different perceptions.

Platform: Daydream

Bonobo:  Horizons VR trailer.

Catan VR

Some 22 million people have bought this well-known board game in which four players take on role of settlers on the mysterious island of Catán. The virtual reality version allows you to immerse yourself in a world of fantasy without changing the simple mechanics of the game, which still uses a board and cards except that gamers can be from anywhere in the world.

Platforms: Oculus Rift

Catan VR, trailer for Oculus Rift.

Superhypercube

Could Tetris be reinvented? The popular videogame creator Phil Fish has given a resounding yes to that question. Superhypercube does a remake of the classic created by the Russian designer Alexey Patjinov using three dimensions. The task now is not to complete lines but to fit an increasingly complex shape into a silhouette on a plane. The psychedelic atmosphere is reminiscent of the most visionary parts of film director Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001. A Space Odyssey’ (1968).

Platforms: PlayStation VR, Steam VR

Superhypercube, trailer for PlayStation VR.

Home: A VR Spacewalk

Created by the BBC, this awesome experience allows anyone to replicate the sensations of an astronaut floating in zero gravity. Among other unforgettable moments, the user can live the magical moment of opening the hatch of a space station and launching themselves into space or see how a fellow astronaut indicates everything is going fine with a thumbs-up.

Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift

Home VR Spacewalk, trailer for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Don’t let go

All you have to do is hold down the two ‘Control’ buttons on the keyboard for five minutes. Of course things are not as simple as they seem. Don’t let go is a highly entertaining five-minute experience that gives a taste of the true potential of virtual reality. Scorpions, snakes, spiders and all types of menaces will try to make the user take his/her hands off the keyboard.

Platform: Oculus Rift

Don’t Let Go Steam trailer.

Unethered

With a sense of humor that smacks of the Coen brothers, Unethered puts the user in the role of a peculiar DJ at an independent radio station based in a town in the coast of Oregon. The game is one of the few that ventures to use voice as an interactive element using the latest techniques in natural language processing in which a computer recognizes and reacts to a person’s voice.

Platform: Daydream

Untethered VR Series, official launch trailer.

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