With August upon us and another month of new releases to look forward to, we’ve taken a look at the titles that hit the Oculus Quest during the month of July 2019 and determined which ones are worth checking out.
It’s been a strong month for the virtual reality headset with not only a good selection of unique titles to play through, but also plenty of a very high quality. With the likes of a new shooter, a story-driven stealth-adventure, a life-sim where you can escape to a cute world, and an utterly insane escapade to choose between, Quest gamers really are spoilt for choice.
“Accounting+ has become one of my favourite virtual reality titles. It’s not because it gets all the fundamentals of a video game right, because honestly, from a gameplay perspective there are a lot more impressive titles available on virtual reality platforms right now.
Instead, it’s because the concoction of anarchic humour, the zany characters, the vibrant and wonderful world, and all of the strange tasks it has you perform are simply fantastic to experience together as a whole, especially in virtual reality. I simply haven’t played anything quite like it before and it had me hooked in right from the start.
It’s not the sort of game that everyone will be able to enjoy, because let’s face it – it’s absolutely bonkers. However, anyone who has an appreciation for all things that defy convention will have an absolute blast playing through Accounting+ and witnessing its chaotically brilliant world.”
“Racket: Nx is one of those addictive and fun games that’ll keep you hooked to your Oculus Quest headset for hours on end. It keeps things simple with its racket-blasting gameplay, but the tricky hazards that the game throws your way and the selection of power-ups at your disposal ensures that chasing those high scores never grows old – no matter how many times you tell yourself you’re giving a level ‘one last go’. It’s just a jolly game to play and one that I’d recommend all Oculus Quest owners try out (especially if you can get into an online match).”
Gun Club VR
You know how most shooters in virtual reality primarily focus on simply giving the player the chance to feel like a bit of a badass as they shoot every target in sight? Well, Gun Club VR does that too, but with a bigger emphasis placed on realism as far as handling the firearms is concerned. That means you’ll be properly loading each gun and then emptying it when you’re all out of ammo too – there are no quick and simple reloads here. It all takes place in a shooting range though, so expect scenarios where you’re facing off against cardboard cut-outs rather than some super deadly threat as part of a thrilling narrative (though some of those cut-outs aren’t afraid to shoot back at you).
There are plenty of different guns to use and a wide range of ways to customise them, with the player able to add things like lights, laser sights, and even grenade launchers onto their firearm as they work through the game’s wide range of missions. A lot of the time you’ll need specific load-outs for each mission, so customisation is key in working out what works best for you.
Gun Club VR’s levels are pretty solid in design with a rich selection available that cater for each weapon. As you blast zombies with shotguns, pick off targets from afar with a sniper, rescue hostages with quick accurate shots with your handgun, or take out moving targets with an assault rifle, you’ll earn the cash required to unlock new weapons and upgrades. It makes for an addictive experience where you’ll always find yourself unlocking something new to play around with as you progress.
It’s fun stuff, but it could be a little difficult to handle some of the weapons – mainly, the two-handed ones, with the tracking feeling a little off as you try to position each shot. This can be a quite frustrating, especially when using the sniper and trying to be quick and accurate with your shooting. It’s something you get used to, but it never feels perfect.
Other than that, Gun Club VR gets most things right. It isn’t the most unique game you’ll play on your Oculus Quest, but it is an enjoyable one that shooting fans will want to check it out.
After starting out as a Kickstarter success story, Camouflaj’s 1984-inspired narrative-driven stealth adventure Republique has made its way to consoles, mobiles, and virtual reality – it’s only fitting that it would come to the Oculus Quest, too.
One of the things that’s most apparent about Republique VR from the get-go is its similarity to Metal Gear Solid, with the stealth adventure seeing you sneaking through environments, crouching and hiding behind obstacles, and taking out guards sneakily – heck, you’ll even hear Solid Snake actor David Hayter’s voice throughout your adventure, so there’s a lot of familiarity to be found. Rather than simply controlling lead character Hope directly though, you essentially act as support through the security system and guide her along through a variety of commands and by interacting with the environment in multiple ways. Along the way you’ll find plenty of collectibles and sell information on the Black Market to buy additional upgrades, so there’s a real ‘espionage’ vibe to everything that’s going on.
It’s good stuff and actually feels like a blend of a point-and-click and stealth adventure, which can only be a good thing in my eyes. It’s not easy though and you’ll have to plan your actions carefully if you want to have any… uh… ‘hope’ of seeing Hope survive. With five episodes to play through that each change the story up in different ways and put new hazards in Hope’s path though, there’s enough going on to keep you engaged in the experience.
I think if I played Republique VR outside of virtual reality it wouldn’t be half as enjoyable. There was something clever about the point-and-click style mechanics of guiding Hope around with the motion controllers, whilst the fact that you’re using special technology to not only look around but outsmart the guards felt like it fitted the Oculus Quest headset perfectly. It’s definitely one of those games where it’s easy to find yourself totally immersed in what’s going on and with it taking around six hours to beat, Republique VR is not something you’ll be done with quickly.
With the Oculus Quest a little shy on narrative-driven adventures right now, it’s great to see titles like Republique VR available – especially with its entertaining blend of a genuinely intriguing narrative and well-implemented stealth mechanics.
I love the idea of visiting charming and vibrant worlds in virtual reality, so Raccoon Lagoon appealed to me from the get-go. The whole ‘life simulator’ genre is one that I haven’t seen done in virtual reality often either, so I was intrigued to see how well it would work.
Your job is to look after adorable little creatures called Nims who’ve found themselves marooned on your island. How do you do this? By completing tasks for them, mining, collecting items, fishing, farming… it’s like a cross of Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing. There’s a real sense of progression too with the Nims bringing more to the island as you help them out, so nothing you do feels menial or pointless. There are plenty of tasks to partake in during the game and it’s all implemented in enjoyable ways thanks to the intuitive Oculus Touch controllers. It’s good fun.
It’s addictive stuff, but you will notice that you’re doing a lot of the same things the further you go through the game. There’s not a lot of depth to the game’s narrative or the tasks you’re given either, so the repetitive nature of the experience does rear its head quite a bit. At the same time, Racoon Lagoon has that style of gameplay where it’s easy to drop in-and-out of the game on a whim here and there, so if you pace yourself you could easily find yourself playing it for a long time. This is especially convenient with the Oculus Quest where it’s easy to just jump straight into the game, so it definitely suits the platform.
Those who want to enjoy a carefree and whimsical life in virtual reality will probably love Racoon Lagoon. It doesn’t have the depth seen in similar life sims, but with plenty of tasks to complete and a charming world to explore, it really brings something unique for Oculus Quest players to play around in.
Please, Don’t Touch Anything
Please, Don’t Touch Anything takes the extremely simple concept of being told NOT to touch a button and manages to turn it into an addictive puzzle-filled experience that feels intuitive and fun in virtual reality.
Going into detail about what makes it so good would ruin the experience – it’s one of those games where it’s essential to go in blind and discover everything yourself. Basically, you’ve got a machine in front of you that has a button on it. Interacting with that button and the machine itself provides different outcomes and it’s up to the player to work out what all of them are. It might mean finding secret compartments, searching around you in the room for useful items, pressing buttons in specific ways, or simply potching with everything until SOMETHING happens. It sounds slight inane, sure, but it’s very clever in design. There are thirty different outcomes to unlock too, so you can expect to spend a fair bit of time experimenting before you see everything.
The only area of the game that felt a little awkward came with the controls. It’s easy enough to get around the small room and it’s possible to move the camera position up and down with ease, but actually grabbing objects or touching buttons could get a little fiddly. Some of the buttons and switches are quite small and I often found myself actually pressing the wrong one, which could see me having to restart the process of working for an ending all over again. It’s not a HUGE problem by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s certainly something worth noting.
It didn’t stop me having a whole lot of fun with Please, Don’t Touch Anything though and it certainly stands out as one of the more unique and clever titles available on the Oculus Quest right now. If you want to take part in some fun brain-teasers that are quirky in design, you really can’t go wrong with this.
Essential! (8.5 – 10)
Good! (7 – 8.4)
Decent! (5.5 – 6.9)
Poor! (2.5 – 5.4)
Do not buy! (0 – 2.4)
An Oculus Quest headset was provided to us on loan by Hill+Knowlton Strategies to create this article, but it in no way influenced our opinion.