Ahead of his IBC2017 keynote discussion with Viveport President Rikard Steiber, John Cassy selects his top virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree experiences.
Tiltbrush One of the first and still one of the best, the VR art tool is a simple and joyous experience. Totally intuitive to use and ideally suited to room scale VR it appeals to young and old alike. (HTC Vive/Google)
Robo Recall What is more joyous than shooting hundreds of attacking robots? Epic Games has managed to get the tone of Robo Recall spot-on. Killing artificially intelligent, malfunctioning robots in a future world could easily be dark, dystopian and alienating to a lot of people but instead with careful use of tone and comedy it becomes pure fun. (Oculus/Epic)
Henry One of the few titles in VR to get introduce us to a character that we truly care about - in this case, an animated hedgehog. It is a brilliant example of how emotion in VR can be highly effective and manages to take you on the same emotional journey you might experience in a full length feature film but in just a few minutes. No surprise that it is from animators who were key to the Toy Story franchise and that Henry picked up an Emmy. (Oculus/Oculus Story Studio)
Notes on Blindness A gripping experience that shows you what it feels like to lose your sight. A spin off from the film of the same name, this is a 360-degree experience that uses audio from a man who lost his sight and increasingly hazy images to show the able-sighted what loss of sight feels like. Emotive, powerful and memorable.
Job Simulator Based around menial jobs (we’ve all had one so perhaps that’s the appeal) this is silly and fun. Comedy and lightness of tone combined with the VR powers of being able to pick up things that aren’t really there make this a memorable and happily silly experience. The millions of people who’ve downloaded this can’t be wrong about this being one of the best VR games.
VR Funhouse Created by nVidia to demonstrate the potential power of VR and its technologies this is a great introduction to the sorts of things you can do and fun you can have with VR. Based in an old fashioned circus you get to pop balloons with a sword, fire green gloop, shoot flying ceramic objects from the sky and fire flaming arrows from a bow. Silly, addictive and a great intro to interactive VR. (HTC Vive/nVidia)
Land’s End More than two year’s old, which is a lifetime in VR, this is available on one of the less powerful VR platforms (Samsung Gear). However, Land’s End is still one of the best games out there. Simple to use, beautifully designed and addictive this well thought out game can engross you for ages. Participants control the experience through the direction of their gaze, it contains moments of awe and is a brilliant demo of all that can already be achieved in VR on a humble smart phone.