Truth be told, I had nothing but the utmost confidence that Fantastic Contraption’s PlayStation VR (PSVR) port would set a high bar. Northway and Radial Games’ gem of a puzzler might be best suited to room-scale gameplay, but the developers’ combined knack for intuitive controls and the game’s at-your-own-pace approach assured me that they’d figure something out for Sony’s headset.
I’m happy to report my confidence is well-placed.
Fantastic Contraption excels on PSVR thanks to some clever new additions that make the game accessible for all, regardless of room size and tracking space. The core game is completely intact, but players are now able to rescale the environment to their liking, overseeing building contraptions as either a giant that can reach across the entire environment, or at the traditional human scale, with some teleportation filling in for the lack of room scale.
A similar sort of mode is available in the Rift and Vive versions of Contraption, but this allows for far more customization. Within seconds of starting the app I’d got a comfortable lay of the land and was playing with the same kind of comfort I’ve enjoyed in other versions (for the most part).
There were a few more more additions I would have liked to have seen, however. For starters, even with the rescaling I found myself facing away from the PlayStation Camera more often than not. At times I’d wonder why tracking was going haywire, convinced that I was facing forward. It would have been nice to have some kind of visual representation of where the camera was in the game world so I didn’t get lost as much.
It’s also a shame that — as far as I could tell — there’s no DualShock 4 support in the game (at least from what I could tell). The game may be best played with two controllers, but not everyone has those, and the PS4 gamepad has more than enough to it to make up for those shortcomings.
Visually Fantastic Contraption never exactly pushed the boundaries of PC VR, but that makes it the ideal candidate for PSVR. The game looks pretty much exactly like I remembered it on PC with bright colors and a wonderfully vibrant world brought to life around you.
Thank god there aren’t many distractions between you and the gameplay, then, because Fantastic Contraption remains one of the most brilliant, inventive uses of VR yet seen. It’s still a thrill to discover just how much freedom you have to build in the game’s campaign and yet the puzzles still manage to make you stop and pause. It’s the rare kind of game in which your imagination really is the key to progress, and there’s nothing else quite like it on PSVR.
Fantastic Contraption hits PSVR tomorrow. If you want to know more about it you can read our full review.