The paint drips from the wall, bleeding the blue-green from the eyeballs into the pale, tan skin of Super Saiyan Goku. At least, that’s what I tell myself I’m spray painting on this brick wall, even though it looks more like a smiling potato with yellow grass on top of its head. I’m not much of an artist, but I can recognize the power of a piece of software when it’s there.
Kingspray Graffiti has been around for a while, originally as a Vive title, but came to the Oculus Rift and Touch first. Later in the day of the Touch launch, it released on HTC Vive via Steam. What we have here is a full suite of features for painting graffiti art work on walls, multiplayer support, sharing options, and more it’s a fantastic tool that enables and promotes a very specific and striking form of art.
Before you clicked on this review, you probably already had a pretty good idea of whether or not this is for you. Kingspray Graffiti sets out to do one thing and one thing only: simulate the experience of spray painting stuff. You can pick different paint cans, nozzles, locations, and lighting to tag walls either on your own or with friends. Take pictures, share them, record 360-degree image stills inside the game of your work, and listen to preset music stations, or your own tracks, while doing so.
Many people don’t realize that King Spray was actually an Xbox 360 indie game released around six years ago. This latest iteration, Kingspray Graffiti, takes the concept and expands on it in every way, as well as adding your hands into the experience. That’s the real game changer here.
— Upload (@UploadVR) October 10, 2016
Similar to other art-enabling VR apps like Tilt Brush, Medium, Quill, and others, there is no game in Kingspray. There aren’t missions, or objectives, or anything ‘to do’ in the traditional sense other than what you decide to do. Pick a location, decide what you want to make, and go make it.
In this way it’s a freeing experience that enables you to make and do whatever you’d like, but it’s also a bit overwhelming for people that enjoy having more precise instructions and directions. If you’re looking for something to hold your hand and tell you exactly what to do and how to do it, this isn’t the app for you.
For the intrepid street artist however, you have the power to make some truly incredible stuff. There are dozens of colors and shades to pick from with an intuitive interface. One of my favorite parts of the app is the clever in-game representation of a smartphone in your left hand. You can choose menu options, change the station on the jukebox, take photos of your creations, and more. Small touches like this are what really put experiences over the top in VR.
The social aspects of Kingspray are great as well, as you can co-exist in the same environment with up to four other other wall bombers in real-time. Collaborating on large wall art is exhilarating and the simple teleportation movement makes it easy to access far-reaching areas of a canvas, as opposed to physically trying to move around a building in real life.
Final Recommendation: Only For Fans of Street Art
Kingspray Graffiti takes a simple premise and expands it out to the point that it offers all of the features you’d ever want — and plenty that you probably didn’t know you wanted. It feels like the real thing, but it also lets you do so much more than what the typical artist could ever do in real life. It’s a creatively freeing, flexible, and engaging experience that’s equal parts artistic expression and social engagement. If you’re dying to try this, then you probably won’t be disappointed. But if you’re just passively curious about art’s applications in VR, then maybe spend time checking out Quill for drawing or Medium for sculpting first — they’re both free, whereas Kingspray is not.
You can download Kingspray Graffiti for Oculus Rift with Touch via the Oculus Home Store for $14.99 or on Steam for HTC Vive.