Happy New Year! The very first list of releases for the year doesn’t have a heavy roster, adding a handful of casual experiences and escape the room content. With the two highlights, though, we have games pushing into a newer format for VR and one potentially setting the bar for another. Visual novels have a solid niche corner in gaming, but devs are still feeling around on translating the narrative genre to VR. Archipelago is a living comic book that you explore as the stories take place and may or may not work out in this format. Manastorm: Champions of G’nar is tackling the card game genre, one of the first types of games people expected to explode in the VR ecosystem. With it’s mechanic of throwing the cards onto the battlefield along with a room scale area to create more spells and enchantments, it’s showing new tricks for future card or board games.
In the meantime, if you missed last week, you can see those new releases here. And don’t forget that UploadVR has a Steam 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.
We also have a top list of the absolute best HTC Vive games — which is updated every few months with the latest and greatest options.
GoalkeepVR, from DigitalBadger
Price: $3.59 (Currently Discounted)
GoalkeepVR is a soccer goalie sim with 8 different modes to challenge your coordination and reflexes as you knock down a constant barrage of soccer balls with different rules.
Recommendation: Fluid with enough challenges to make this a really solid buy. Grab it if you’re running out of new content.
Archipelago: Navigable VR Comic, from Walkie Entertainment
Price: $4.24 (Currently Discounted)
Archipelago: Navigable VR Comic attempts to bring the graphic novel format into a virtual world that can be explored. The stories unfold before you and you wander to catch the characters dialogue to put the story together.
Recommendation: Very cool that may be a bit overwhelming in the way it’s presented. Keep an eye on this one.
Tiny Wheels, from Robbie Tilton
In this VR sandbox, reminisce of the heights of your childhood (and possibly adulthood) as you create race tracks and drive your remote control car through them. No rules or scores, just reckless driving and fun.
Recommendation: Inexpensive with tons of potential for fun. Give it a go.
AudioBeats, from Famiku
Price: $5.99 (Currently Discounted)
AudioBeats is entering into the meager VR rhythm genre and bringing a lot of flash to the scene. The VR form of input adds a layer of difficulty to this title that tries to stay true to its roots.
Recommendation: At its sale price, it may be worth grab but there’s not a ton of content to play at the current moment. Keep an eye on it.
Unknown Pharaoh, from 4 Fun Studio
Take control of an archaeologist and explore an ancient Egyptian pyramid using arm swing locomotion in adventure game Unknown Pharaoh. You’re in for about an hour of content as you decipher hieroglyphs and find artifacts.
Recommendation: Price pairs okay with length, but still not a lot to do. Pass on this one for now.
UMA-WAR VR, from One Show
UMA-WAR VR blends some archery action with the color-matching fun of popular casual games as you use different colored arrows to shoot the UMA creatures.
Recommendation: Good casual fun with solid archery mechanics. Worth the grab at the price if you’re not tired of casual shooters.
Perch, from Douglas Liang
Price: $4.79 (Currently Discounted)
In a war between a believer of the world being round and an assailant who declares the world if flat, stand upon your Perch and take down an army of naysayers.
Recommendation: Keep an eye on this game to see if the premise and gameplay expand in Early Access. Could be a solid buy.
Blortasia, from Shape Space VR
The man behind the VFX of films like Ghost Rider and Fifth Element gives us an opportunity to fly around a Blortasia; a twisted world of abstract, evolving sculptures.
Recommendation: If exploring art is your cup of tea, check out this write-up we did on the experience with the creator and give the app a shot.
The Cabin: VR Escape the Room, from Blue Entropy Studios
Price: $3.99 (Currently Discounted)
In The Cabin: VR Escape the Room, you’re able to explore full cabin up to the rafters as you unravel the mystery of the dwelling and find your way out. Oh…and you may or may not be alone.
Recommendation: Another inexpensive, solid escape experience to add to your collection.
VR: The Puzzle Room, from Bellcat
VR: The Puzzle Room is yet another escape the room affair with a bit more dense of an interactive experience when compared to similar games.
Recommendation: If you value well-crafted escape at a bit of a higher price, this could be for you. But it’s nothing revolutionary.
Mesh Maker VR, from CreateThis.com
Mesh Maker is a 3D modeling tool based on vertices. Intuitive VR control and interface lessen the learning curve, allowing you to create freely.
Recommendation: Keep an eye on this as it evolves in Early Access. May eventually stand up to similar tools.
Happy Drummer VR, from Lusionsoft
Price: $5.39 (Currently Discounted)
Another rhythm game for the week, Happy Drummer VR lets you become a master of percussion with your two VR controllers while a collection of fantasy creatures jam to your music.
Recommendation: A steal for the price with a great deal of potential. Will likely evolve throughout Early Access.
Fovos VR, from OnSkull Games
Price: Free To Play
Fovos VR is a wave shooter set within a tense post-apocalyptic horror. In this world, an omnipotent AI is taking over humans via genetic implants and leaving zombie like husks.
Recommendation: Grab it for free to see if it grows, but beware motion sickness.
Manastorm: Champions of G’nar, from DaGGsSoft
This game takes traditional card games and brings the creatures to life as you sit at a table and toss your cards onto a battlefield. You also have room scale lab to create new spells and enchantment to help in combat.
Recommendation: Must have. There’s a lot of potential here to further VR card and board game genre. Fans of the genre are missing options on the Vive right now.
Escape the Bunker, from Virtual Escapes, Inc.
Explore half a dozen connected rooms and traverse various puzzles as you attempt to Escape the Bunker. Depending on your deductive skills, the experience lasts about 40 minutes to over an hour.
Recommendation: Glitchy with poor physics. Pass.
Marimba VR, from Ruby Games
Price: $1.49 (Currently Discounted)
Tapping into the slim VR instrumental sim ecosystem, Marimba VR gives you a way to practice percussion on a virtually recreated version of the instrument without a huge investment.
Recommendation: If you want to learn the instrument, this is a cheap path to your goal.