Once again I’ve been “asked” to write about upcoming Oculus Quest games for the #QuestCountdown blog post, and it is with mixed emotions that I take up the mantle. On the one hand, I am elated that this is the final #QuestCountdown post, as Quest ships next week, and frankly, the countdown just hasn’t been the same since we announced the date that we’re counting down to. On the other, it’s hard not to feel a little stab of pain in my gut that the countdown is ending, although that might also be attributable to the four Hungry-Man dinners I consumed in a 12-hour period yesterday.
On May 21, Quest will ship, and I may or may not be alive to see it. Therefore, it seems reasonable to use this last #QuestCountdown post to enumerate a handful of fantastic titles coming to Quest soon after launch.
A couple of years ago, I flew 10 hours on a plane to attend a Japanese convention for the sole purpose of trying a game that is played with comically oversized scissors. This turned out to be less cool than I had anticipated, but the trip was still worth it because it was the first time I got to play Cosmic Trip, a peculiar portal-jumping strategy game from Funktronic Labs. The scrappy studio is back with Fujii, a trippy adventure that flows between biome exploration and what the team calls “creative gardening.”
Now, to me, this sounds goddamned delightful as hell. I have no idea what “creative gardening” is, but I’m 100% on-board to find out with the (potentially limited) time I have left on this earth.
“Fujii is a game to get cozy with,” explains Lee, “and Quest’s standalone form factor empowers people to do just that. We’re also excited to see players experience Fujii in a number of environments, thanks to the unique portability of the headset.”
Speaking of weird games, did you see the sneak peek of The Under Presents shown at Sundance this year? Well, guess what: It’s coming to Quest, and your horizons are about to get expanded.
“VR is broadening both the possibilities and the audience of gaming,” notes Tender Claws Co-Founder Samantha Gorman. “It encourages new thinking around how to spatially design worlds that the player can inhabit. It also fosters new methods for creating immersive and responsive characters. Overall, VR brings a fresh sense of exploration that rewards open experimentation and new approaches. In The Under Presents, we collide theater and gaming. To achieve this, we were most excited to work closely with Piehole, a live theater company based in New York.”
You need to keep in mind that this is coming from the developer of the incredibly great Virtual Virtual Reality (which is also coming to Quest). Tender Claws knows their stuff. And by “their stuff,” I’m talking about virtual worlds that do not obey the normal laws of space and time and are populated by actual actors who promise to screw with your sanity in real time.
“Both actors and players use Quests to enable the great degree of expression possible through untethered play,” notes Gorman. “To enhance this, all players in the experience primarily communicate through body movements and gestures to work with other guests. Further, the portable nature of Quest lets us create this experience as non-location-based. Actors can use the headsets to log in remotely, and the audience can join from home—wherever that may be.”
This is the paragraph where I’m supposed to explain that Sairento VR from development studio Mixed Realms is an action-packed game where you play as a cyber ninja, and that it’s amazing to play untethered on Quest. But frankly, the words “cyber ninja” basically tell you everything you need to know. Also, I’m starting to suspect that I am bleeding internally, so I’ll let Mixed Realms CEO Aldric Chang walk you through it.
“At its heart, Sairento has always been a game that emphasizes a lot of physical movement,” says Chang. “Whether it’s ducking around a corner, sidestepping a salvo of bullets, or putting yourself within striking distance of a foe—it’s all part of encouraging you to act out your inner ninja. The cordless form factor of Quest allows us to fully realize our vision. Players are free to make full use of their play area to strafe around an enemy, perform spinning sword slashes, or twist and turn stylishly to avoid a hail of bullets—all without the worry of tangling any cords.”
A cross-platform multiplayer party game that pits trees vs. squirrels, ACRON is like a board game that’s best shared with friends. “Standalone VR's portability creates an ideal scenario where you can easily bring the experience with you to a friend's house or gathering so everyone can play along,” says Resolution Games Co-Founder and CCO Paul Brady. “It's also an awesome spectator game, so we think players will have fun with casting as they cheer on their favorite team. We hope it becomes a tool for VR players to share in the experience with others in a highly social way.”
One player in VR gets to embody a towering tree, while your frenemies can join in the fun as rebel squirrels on iOS and Android devices. ACRON is also coming to the Rift Platform, so you can play from your headset of choice.
And with that, we can finally conclude #QuestCountdown. It’s been a beautiful journey. The mystery of the countdown end date, the series of dramatic content reveals, all of that is behind us now. We face the future with arms outstretched, or in my case, doubled over and clutching my stomach. We’re leaving together, but still it’s farewell. Oculus Quest launches on May 21, and it’s going to be glorious.