New HTC Vive Releases for the Week of 07/03/16

by Jamie Feltham • July 8th, 2016

There are 24 new VR experiences for Vive this week. 24. We have everything from first-person shooters and arcade throwbacks to VR roller coasters and, uh, live coding user interfaces. It doesn’t matter what type of player you are, there must be something for you this week. And if not then we can’t help you.

If you missed last week, you can see those new releases here. And don’t forget that UploadVR now has its own SteamVR community group, complete with a curated list of recommendations so that you don’t have to waste any money finding out what’s good in the world of VR. Let’s get to it.

Rumpus, from Luke Iannini

Release Date: 07/04/16 Price: $14.99

It might be in Early Access, but we’re going to give Rumpus points for originality right off the bat. This is a “live-coding playground” that’s “highly experimental” and easy to break. Iannini seems to have concocted a fascinating new UI for coding within VR. To us, that’s a very complicated thing to even understand, but developers might well want to keep an eye on this project as it grows; visualizing this kind of data might be key to attracting more talent.

Recommendation: Interested in making games or other systems from the ground up? Give this a look.

Ubreakable Vr Runner, from  Miikka Åsnabrygg

Release Date: 07/04/16 Price: $5.99

Awesome name aside, Miikka Åsnabrygg is a 16 year old developer living in Finland working on his first VR game. That’s pretty impressive to start but it also helps that he’s created something genuinely interesting, if a little uncomfortable-looking. Vr Runner is a VR obstacle course in which you duck and dive out of the way of walls. The developer claims it doesn’t induce motion sickness but we’re not so sure if that will hold true for people that are sensitive.

Recommendation: If you’re able play without getting sick, then this could be some zany fun.

The Wire Loop Game VR, from MobileFusion Apps

Release Date: 07/04/16 Price: $7.99

Here’s this week’s “Why didn’t I think of that?” VR game. Wire Loop is the classic game of guiding a metal conductor along a tube without touching the sides, brought to life in VR. Sure it’s not the most imaginative use of the tech, but the Vive’s position-tracked controllers are actually shaped like the instrument you have in your hands and the virtual element allows for much more elaborate and varied courses.

Recommendation: This could be a fun first-time VR game for a VR party.

Ancient VR Coaster, from Crovax Studios

Release Date: 07/04/16 Price: $2.99

We’re usually pretty harsh on VR roller coasters, and it doesn’t look like Ancient VR Coaster is going to be any different. Here you follow the track through historic sights but it has to be said that Ancient’s visuals – possibly the only saving grace of any VR roller coaster – are drab, dull, and plain. Even for a genre as boring and overdone as this, this looks to be bottom of the pile. Don’t bother.

Recommendation: Please don’t pay for VR roller coasters anymore. Don’t let them win.

Protonwar, from Outer Planet Studios

Release Date: 07/05/16 Price: $14.99

A full, multiplayer, VR compatible, arena-based first-person shooter developed using Unreal Engine 4? We can tell we have your attention already. Indeed, Protonwar looks to call back to the days of Unreal Tournament with its fast-paced shooting. Crucially it’s in Early Access right now so, while the experience looks far from optimized for VR at the moment, the developer has a chance to adapt it to fit the tech better.

Recommendation: As interesting as Protonwar looks, we’d wait to see just how far the VR support goes as Early Access continues.

Human, we have a problem, from Enrick Lambert

Release Date: 07/05/16 Price: $12.99

The Lab has archery covered, so Enrick Lambert has come up with the inevitable VR slingshot game instead. Stylistically this is a pretty interesting project, evoking classic arcade games as you pick up ammo, pull back on elastic with one hand, while aiming the slingshot with the other, and then let fly. You’re defending you planet from UFO attacks and scoring points to place on a leaderboard. Standard fare for VR, then, but well done standard fare all the same.

Recommendation: For any Dennis the Menace fans out there, this one’s for you. Obscure reference aside, this seems like it’s a safe bet for a good time.

Inbound

Inbound, from Gyoza Games

Release Date: 07/05/16 Price: $15.99

Missile defense in VR! That’s the rather attractive hook behind Inbound from Gyoza Games. You play as a defense commander on an asteroid colony, protecting mines from incoming fire. Aiming is done with the Vive controllers, but you’re actually commanding laser towers from below, making for quite the light show. The developer is taking it seriously, too; the game’s first major update has already been released with a host of features and fixes.

Recommendation: This is a sleek and stylish take on an arcade classic. Go for it.

Car Car Crash Hands On Edition, from Chocolatefudge Games

Release Date: 07/06/16 Price: $4.99

We often talk of VR games as like virtual train sets, but Car Car Crash is a playground for cars. You can build and shape roads and let cars race around them as if you yourself were some sort of traffic God. Purchase new pieces to build a city and start planning out a sprawling urban environment. It’s just an Early Access release right now but it’s got a brilliantly childish concept behind it.

Recommendation: We love the idea, but give the Early Access a few weeks to flesh out before committing.

Smell of Death, from Alkame Games

Release Date: 07/05/16 Price: $15.99

Most VR horror games leave you defenseless, but Smell of Death gives you a pair of handguns and more to fight back against what hides in the dark. This is a full Room Scale experience. The story mode sees you cast as a member of a strike team fighting back against waves of mutants. There’s a survival mode to go along with the story, too.

Recommendation: While it’s nice to see original horror games, Smell of Death looks rough around the edges. There are more polished options out, even this week, so maybe wait on future episodes.

The Slingshot VR, from Funny Twins

Release Date: 07/06/16 Price: $4.99

The best thing we can say about The Slingshot VR is that at least it’s not another VR roller coaster. Aside from that, this takes one of the amusement industry’s most infamous rides and translates it into a technology that’s notorious for making you sick. No part of that sounds like a good idea, even for the most sturdy of VR players. The developer claims that it’s “one of the most popular attractions in virtual reality”. We beg to differ.

Recommendation: This is a recipe for sickness. Avoid.

Ghost Train VR

Ghost Train VR, from JDMSoftware

Release Date: 07/06/16 Price: $3.99

Three guesses as to what Ghost Train VR is about. Get on board and journey through a haunted forest with giant spiders and jump scares galore. It’s not particularly pretty to look at and it doesn’t seem to have much regard to the design rules surrounding VR horror. According to Steam reviews it doesn’t even last that long. Oh dear.

Recommendation: Lazy and uneventful. Pass.

The Brookhaven Experiment, from Phosphor Game Studios

Release Date: 07/05/16 Price: $19.99

This is the big release in a week full of new games. The Brookhaven Experiment turned heads months back for its terrifying wave-based combat, and now it’s back with new environments and monsters to blast away. Position-tracked controls give you full agency to blast way, but you’ll be fighting against limited ammo. Just be careful you don’t give yourself too much of a fright turning round to face a massive beast, and give him your best air punch when you do.

Recommendation: You can read our review of Brookhaven here; we loved it.

Jonah’s Path, from Ionut Lucian Achiricioaei

Release Date: 07/07/16 Price: Free

An underwater VR experience that’s inspired by the classic story of Jonah and the Whale and looks like a fantastical version of it. You won’t ‘do’ anything as such but you’ll see a whole lot at the piece transitions, of all places, to the Jupiter moon of Europa. The whale itself looks like a pretty fascinating beast to see in VR. Best of all? It’s free.

Recommendation: Free is the best kind of price. Give it a try.

DreamLand 1

DreamLand, from SandVUE

Release Date: 07/07/16 Price: Free

A free VR adventure in which you’ll travel to another world and meet fantastical creatures and discover amazing sights. We like the sound of that. It’s the first project from SandVUE, which calls itself a “AAA developer” on its Steam page, so expect some big things going forward. There’s only one setback; it doesn’t support the English language. Only simplified Chinese. Ah.

Recommendation: Maybe wait and see if English support is integrated. Though it’s free so you have nothing to lose.

SoundStage, from Logan Olson

Release Date: 07/07/16 Price: $9.99

Most musicians dream of having their own studio, but with SoundStage we have something that goes beyond those dreams. Use the Vive to play drums with laser sticks, play the keyboard, adjust sounds and much more. It’s only in Early Access right now but it looks like it already offers plenty for aspiring musicians to try out.

Recommendation: This seems like an app to support and get in on the ground floor with.

Table Tennis VR

Table Tennis VR, from Blue Entropy Studios

Release Date: 07/07/16 Price: $4.99

Table Tennis in VR. Sure. This could be worth it further down the line but in its Early Access phase it’s missing multiplayer, thus you can only play against AI opponents.  That said, it does have a mode in which you teleport to the other side of the table to compete against yourself, like #SelfieTennis. HoloPong mode also lets you bat a ball against a wall. Plenty of other new features are planned too, so this is one to watch.

Recommendation: Unless you have a deep love for the sport, you probably want to wait until you can play with your friends. Plus it might already have some competition…

VR Ping Pong, from Reddoll Srl

Release Date: 07/07/16 Price: $4.99

No, you’re not seeing double; there really are two VR table tennis games releasing this week. Remarkably, neither of them has multiplayer. VR Ping Pong is an Early Access game too, but its different modes are based around structures rather than gameplay types. It seems Table Tennis VR offers more variety for now, but things could change as Early Access goes on.

Recommendation: Again, wait and see which game comes out on top come full release.

ChessVR, from games.Sharbit

Release Date: 07/07/16 Price: $3.99

All that games.Sharbit has to say about ChessVR is: “Chess for your Vive is here, play on a life sized board and improve your chess skills against the AI.” As that brilliant description suggests, there’s no multiplayer mode here, and this is a full release, suggesting we won’t be getting one. It might be cheaper than Tabletop Simulator, but that’s the better game with more options and more players. Get that instead.

Recommendation: Tabletop Simulator has this beat. Check mate.

Waddle Home, from Archiact Interactive

Release Date: 07/07/16 Price: $9.99

Remember Waddle Home from the Gear VR days? It’s back and revamped for VR, taking full advantage of the kit’s position tracked controllers. Guide penguins safely through treacherous environments, batting bombs and more out of the way in order to get them to an alien bent on saving them. Really. This was good fun on Gear and there’s no reason a spruced up Vive version wouldn’t be the same.

Recommendation: Pick this one up for some Lemmings-inspired VR fun.

Fruit Ninja VR, from Halfbrick Studios

Release Date: 07/08/16 Price: $14.99

The inevitable VR port of one of the most popular mobile games of all time has come a bit sooner than expected, albeit in Early Access. Fruit Ninja VR puts swords in hands and tasks you with slicing an array of nutritious treats as they’re thrown into the air. Classic, Arcade, and Zen modes are already in, but more features are going to be added over time like customization and PvP.

Recommendation: Check our review. The VR version does this franchise proud.

ViveSpray, from ciwolsey

Release Date: 07/08/16 Price: $6.99

Tilt Brush not rebellious enough for you? Tired of waiting on KingSprayViveSpray gives you a virtual wall to spray paint on to your heart’s desire. The Vive wands are your spray cans that you can use to make eloquent works of art just to mess around with. Better yet, you can edit out mistakes and fine tune your work to get it just how you want. It’s an Early Access release for now, but the full version will be here within a maximum of five months.

Recommendation: ViveSpray is creative and fun. Pick it up.

DUO, from NiVision

Release Date: 07/08/16 Price: $14.99

Bringing the brick breaking genre to VR is nothing new, but DUO stands out using the Vive’s wands as dual platforms to stop two balls from passing through, and it gets creative with the shapes the bricks form. From palm trees to dogs, there are 60 levels and designs to complete, and more levels are on the way. It’s bright and colorful and looks like a lot of fun.

Recommendation: This could be Vive’s best brick breaker. Give it a go.

Vistascapes VR, from Bird Man Games

Release Date: 07/08/16 Price: $2.89

You can probably guess what’s coming based on the name. Vistascapes is a series of pleasant environments to dwindle in, including a rainy forest, cozy fireplace and icy mountaintop. It’s got full Room Scale tracking so you can explore these areas on-foot, but there’s not much to it other than relaxing. Worth noting, this was made in 4-months by a single person with zero prior coding knowledge, all in free-time.

Recommendation: Even at $2.89, we don’t see what experienced VR players would get out of visiting more non-interactive locations, but there aren’t many relaxation apps on the Vive yet, so it may be worth a look at that price.

VRporize, from Mercury Aerospace Industries

Release Date: 07/08/16 Price: $29.99

More dual-wielding bloody fun to be had here. This looks like Doom-lite re-imagined in VR, as you explore as dank space station teeming with monsters and other enemies. Health pickups and heavy metal riffs also give it a 90’s feel. Nothing about VRporize looks especially terrible, though its high $29.99 price point is a tough pill to swallow considering it just uses teleportation movement and is singleplayer-only.

Recommendation: $29.99 seems a bit much. Maybe wait until Steam’s next sale or more content is released.

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