If you’ve pre-ordered the HTC Vive and are now anxiously refreshing your tracking information to see if it’s shipped yet, the scheduled delivery date of April 5th probably can’t come soon enough.
With its projected thirty-plus game lineup at SteamVR, the Vive’s unique approach to development has seen the addition of numerous games since its initial 24-game announcement on March 29th.
“It was an interesting meeting as everyone made their opinions very clear. The loudest point: Don’t fracture the development pipeline during the process,” said Valve’s Chet Faliszek in an interview with Polygon. “We provided the hardware, but it was up to the developer what to make, what platforms to support, and when to release it.”
What this means for consumers is a platform rich with content right out of the box, and in this week’s roundup, we’ll give you the scoop on some of the coolest games to hit your doorsteps in the coming days.
If Office Space were ported to VR, you’d get Owlchemy Labs’ Job Simulator, an oxymoronically enthralling yet tedious game set in an office cubicle. It’s 2050 in a world where robots have replaced all human jobs. Players step into the simulator to learn what it was once like “to job.” There’s neither point nor goal other than to make it through the day. Your coworkers are a nasally chorus of tragically sincere office drones, who take the form of old PC desktops. Players can eat donuts, shoot staples, fire their coworkers, tell jokes around the water cooler, and throw just about everything on their desk across the office in helpless and absurd rejection of the mundane.
Then there’s #SelfieTennis, a VRUnicorns side project turned launch title. #SelfieTennis is another tongue-in-cheek jab at the digital age in which players literally play tennis with themselves, teleporting to each side of the court after they hit the ball—or knocking around the giant tennis ball–headed figures that cheer you on the sidelines. Aspiring to nothing more than just being plain fun, the game’s unofficial motto is “it’s ok to play with yourself.” And in the spirit of unabashed tomfoolery, when asked by VRFocus at GDC 2016 if #SelfieTennis could actually help people play tennis, developer Milan Grajetzki replied, “Uh, I don’t know, I’ve never played tennis!”
Other Ocean Interactive’s Giant Cop is a Godzilla-meets-’70s-cop-flick police simulator in which players stomp around a fictional city, picking up streakers, drunkards, and brawlers and tossing them into jail to meet their quota. But the real fun involves a massive decorative tennis racket, a destructible environment, and helicopters that buzz around like flies just waiting to get swatted.
Budget Cuts is all the quirky and puzzling fun of games like Portal but with a killer three-dimensional suspense factor that managed to drop one of our producers to the floor in a cowering fetal position. It’s seriously one the coolest games we’ve seen on the Vive yet. In Budget Cuts, players take on the role of a spy robot that infiltrates a corporate office after hours. And in order to progress through the level, players must combine stealth and strategy to avoid detection by security bots, while using the controller to teleport from point to point and rifle through drawers and clear shelves. While Budget Cuts will not be a part of the launch in April, the Neat Corporationgame is due out later in 2016 and is bound to be a huge hit. Until then, players will just have to cross their fingers for a public demo release for this awesome game.
In addition to the games above, we also recommend checking out these exciting coming to the Vive:
Final Approach, Phaser Lock Interactive’s 3D version of the 2D iPad game Flight Control, in which players help guide planes to the runway, route helicopters between buildings, and put out fires like a giant air traffic control worker.
Northway Games’s Fantastic Contraption remakes the popular 2D flash game into a 3D experience in which players build wonky apparatuses to carry a small orb from point A to point B. You can read more about Fantastic Contraption on our blog.
And of course, Google’s Tilt Brush is the must-have experience on the Vive, allowing players to actually draw in 3D—a task that is remarkably hard but oh so addictive. If you haven’t seen it already, be sure to watch animator Glen Keane master the Viveand produce some of the coolest drawings you’ll ever see on our FoST Films page.