In terms of sheer beauty, VR games don’t get much more impressive than Mind: Path to Thalamus, and its creator has just stealth-released a brand new title for Gear VR.
The most recent Oculus Store refresh includes Annie Amber, a narrative-driven piece from Carlos Coronado. As with Mind, this is a first-person game, though it perhaps has more in common with Land’s End than it does the previous title. Here you explore the life of the titular character, though not in the way you might think. Instead of simply following Amber along her journey, you dive into dream-like environments, often set in space, jumping from point A to B and learning more about the character through the objects, scenes and events that crop up along the way.
There are some light puzzles to solve, too, though nothing that will leave you stuck for long. This is far more about exploration and trying to instill a sense of wonder in you are you journey into cardboard fortresses and glide between memories of holidays and more.
It’s a surreal experience to say the least, but without doubt one of the bigger releases to hit Gear VR since its launch last year. The entire story can be seen through without the use of a gamepad, with players simply looking at specific spots that they will slowly drift towards as they stare, a mechanic that owes a debt to Ustwo Games’ aforementioned experience. It costs $7.99 to see this journey through, though you might not be able to do it in one sitting; this is the first Gear VR titled that I’ve tried that actually overheated my Galaxy S6 edge after about 25 minutes of exploring.
Coronado hasn’t commented on whether this experience is a Gear VR exclusive or if it could come to PC and console-based kits later down the line. Elsewhere, we’re still hoping to see an official Oculus Home release of Mind: Path to Thalamus – along with a possible PlayStation VR port – and are eager to learn about what else the developer has in the pipeline for VR. Given his work on the impressive VR Olive concept, we’re expecting big things.