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Among the many joys of VR gaming is the immersive experience it provides. By that token, Thumper feels like no other game you've ever played before. This frantic rhythm game combines its musical elements with high-velocity action, as you assume the role of a space beetle running down tight tunnels full of enemies and obstacles. Simple one-stick, one-button controls mean anyone can pick it up as learn as they go. But don't expect it to be an easy ride. In order to succeed in each stage, you must react quickly to dynamic environments with epic boss battles interspersed throughout nine levels.
Admittedly, Thumper can sometimes overwhelm with its crowded boss battles and nauseatingly fast pace. However, because there's so much happening at any given moment, the intense nervousness it provokes is weirdly entertaining. Plus, its compelling soundtrack and addictive sensation of "just one more go" will have you sticking with it, even if you may be in need of a breather from time to time.
Occasionally brutal in what it expects of you, Thumper isn't for the faint-hearted, but it's easily something you just can't experience in the same way without one of the best VR headsets.
Flying around in space is easily one of the coolest ways to experience VR. Anshar Online captures that spirit well. In this online multiplayer shooter, you can either squad up with allies to thwart off a competing team or participate in cooperative, intergalactic battles. Stylistically reminiscent of Blade Runner, Ashar Online launches you, the pilot of a spaceship, over futuristic cityscapes as you dogfight your way around the cosmos.
Along the way, you'll find missions to accept and contracts to complete, with each helping boost your level and skillset. It's possible to customize your ship, too, tailoring weaponry to your exact needs. Want to helm a fast-moving ship with weak weapons, albeit with the speed to outfly everyone? You can do that as seamlessly as you can become an aggressive tank (of a ship), with powerful weapons but sluggish acceleration.
Anshar Online is a gripping experience that will make you feel up close and personal with space combat. Remarkably, it never feels uncomfortable either, thanks to a selection of different intensity levels, allowing you to either soften or raise the difficulty.
Zombie games have been popular for many years, so it makes sense to see a solid example of the genre on a VR platform like the Oculus Go. Drop Dead keeps it simple: Hordes of zombies will charge your way amid gravely sinister backdrops and locations. As expected, you need to shoot them with everything you've got.
Drop Dead has a handful of unique special weapons at its disposal, from the plain but powerful charge pistol to the masterfully engineered fusion cannon, in addition to the classic, Halo-inspired sticky grenades. You can fight alone or you choose to team up with a friend as you work your way through hordes of undead nasties.
At times, the difficulty curve is a bit steep, but the controls are smooth and fast to respond, so a lot of the time you'll get through it by merely being quick enough. However you choose to play Drop Dead, you will nevertheless enjoy the ride.
One of the most popular board games in the world is now available on Oculus Go. Catan VR ensures that, even if you don't have space — or the local friend group — to host physical game nights, you can join up with buddies around the world for a session or two from the comfort of your own couch.
At its core, it's the exact Settlers of Catan you know and love, only with a few VR twists. For instance, you can peer your head around custom environments, such as calming mountain tops or mystical castles. And if your internet friends are busy, you can also play against special AI opponents, coded from the ground up with VR in mind, for an exclusive single-player challenge.
Best of all, an official Discord group (not to mention cross-platform support) means you can always find people to play with and against. VR technology might sound like an ill fit for a board game adaptation, but it's still plenty of fun. And if you feel all Catan-ed out at this point, Catan VR will revitalize your love.
Ready to jump out of your skin? Dead Secret: Circle is the game for you. Although technically a sequel to Dead Secret, you don't have to play the first one to appreciate its downright terrifying vibes. To give you an idea of its chilling plot: A serial killer with a penchant for circles is killing people in Chicago, and it's up to you to figure out what's going on.
You have to explore dilapidated apartment buildings, as well as interrogate their often unpleasant residents, in a bid to uncover clues. Despite its grimy aesthetics, it proves itself as an eerie slow-burning horror game. Action is interrupted only by supernatural dreams, leaving you to continue your investigation while making a valiant effort to retain your last sliver of sanity.
Fans of adventure games will enjoy mystery-solving, while those who prefer the "games-as-a-service" approach will relish its multi-ending replayability. Just don't dive in blindly if you're an easy scare.
Republique was a gripping game on other platforms, but it lends itself perfectly to VR. You play as Hope, a woman trying to make her escape from a totalitarian regime. However, in doing so, you'll have to solve your way through a series of brain-bending puzzles and tense stealth sequences.
Like 1984 by Orson Welles, surveillance cameras are prevalent, monitoring the world and preventing the safety they aim to provide. Thus, you'll have to manipulate these tools of oppression and make them work to your own advantage. Hacking is also required at times. You can unlock doors, distract patrolling enemies, and more.
In addition to its clever gameplay is an important story that revolves around the perils of government surveillance. You may even think twice about those ostensibly harmless cameras you see in the streets, on your way home from work, and in virtually every retail store.
Table tennis might not sound like the most appealing of sports games (Editor's Note: unless you've played Rockstar's take), but Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR makes it a lot of fun. Because of its impressively accurate physics engine, it is incredibly lifelike, so your moves — from screen to controller — translate to reality without, 'hey, wait, that would never happen', ever crossing your mind. Motion capture brings characters to life, too, so animations are fluid.
Solo players will face 16 different opponents in the single-player campaign, with the difficulty gradually ramping up. On the other hand, if you're more interested in multiplayer, you can play with friends and strangers alike. Since the arcade and simulation modes exist independently of one another, you can have a lighthearted blast or hone your real-life table tennis skills — it's up to you.
Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR is a little short on extra modes, like tournaments or target practice, but at its heart is a solidly entertaining sports game, perfect for table tennis lovers who don't have room for a real table.
First off, let's get this out of the way — you'll need a strong stomach (and fast reflexes) for Coaster Combat, but it's a lot of fun all the same. As the name suggests, you will quite literally spend most of your time sitting on a rollercoaster while shooting targets as they pass you by. You can rack up better scores by hitting treasure targets and acquiring quirky new weapons along the way.
Even though it sounds violent, Coaster Combat is a lighthearted romp, ideal for kids and families. "Weapons" are more like magic wands, and enemies are targets, doorways, and levers rather than people. And procedurally generated tracks make for a never-ending thrill. Each world has a themed backdrop, ranging from pirate ships to creepy castles. You know, theme park stuff.
Coaster Combat takes a little getting used to, but we're sure kids will adore the sheer amount of havoc that unfolds beyond its flashy title screen.
Quirky mini-game collections have been a particular hit at parties since the golden era of Wii Sports. They Suspect Nothing doesn't quite hit those lofty heights but it is an entertaining collection for all age groups.
The story, in the loosest sense of the word, sees you – the last human on Earth — infiltrating a robot-only society by completing a series of human detection tests. While it might sound bleak, its whimsical art style and situational humor suggest otherwise. 20 mini-games are featured in total, with 'pass and play' gameplay for taking turns.
Overall, the mini-games are intuitive. In them, you'll find yourself remote controlling objects, dividing things up according to type within a set time limit, and so forth. They Suspect Nothing works best with a group of friends or family members that are keen to let loose and have fun. Leaderboard functionality lets you compare how you did with previous attempts, too. Look forward to a recurring highlight at your social gatherings in the months and years to come.