I try out a lot of virtual reality apps — a LOT of virtual reality apps — and some are pretty cool. Like the the Go4D VR Spaceship app, which really makes you feel as if you’re on a space station looking down on a planet.
But, so far, most of them have been more like demos of what could be done as opposed to being full-fledged playable games. Even the Go4D VR Spaceship is a single intro level. It promises more to come, so it might grow into a real game some day, but it’s not there yet.
This week, however, I tried a new game, Lamper VR, from Archiact Interactive, that is an actual, playable game for Google Cardboard and compatible headsets.
The goal is to help a bug fly down a tunnel and pick up candies while avoiding rocks, spiders and other obstacles. You steer by moving your head slightly — the game is very responsive.
As you go along, the tunnels get more challenging.
The graphics are bright, the sound track is fun, the gameplay is intuitive and obvious, and no buttons, external controllers or anything else is required. Plus, because all you have to do is turn your head slightly, you’re not spinning around in your chair and looking all around like a crazy person, which means that you can play this game on a plane, or in the back seat of a car.
But not, of course, while driving.
My only quibble with the game is that you’re not actually in it — you’re a disembodied camera flying along behind the bug. That means that you don’t get as big a sense of having entered a new world as you do with other apps.
The game has actually been out for a few months now in a couple of versions, with over 100,000 installs total — not counting the iOS downloads.
Watch a video preview of the game below.
There a similar game out now, VR Space Traveler, where you fly a spaceship down what looks like a city street, picking up items and dodging obstacles. You play by tilting your head right or left. But I found that game to be a lot less responsive, and, as a result, much harder to play. Plus you really have to tilt your head far to get it to move, so not much fun to play, either.