Release Date: 04/06/2016
Controller support? A controller is required
Demo Available? No
Who made it? Endeavor Online
Genre: First-person platforming
Content: Five cities
Awesome Innovation: Have you ever wanted to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Jump lets you do it! What’s different here – compared to similar Gear VR games – is that your aerial stunts are not enabled by wearing a jet pack or a metal suit. You feel light, unrestrained and vulnerable. And maybe a little motion sick, depending on your sensitivity to these kinds of experiences.
For core gamers who love: Jumping Flash!, Mirror’s Edge
Final Thoughts: We’re still seeing a lot of games that feel like tech demos on the Gear VR, and Jump is no exception. The environments are clean, but sparse… kind of a like a bare-bones Mirror’s Edge. The feeling of roaming a city using multi-story jumps is a rush, though, and it’s something that could not be replicated on a 2D television set. You can see your hands at all times, which helps anchor you to the environments… but it’s a shame that you can’t also see your feet. Lining up jumps is often a matter of precision, and missing a single jump means a full stage restart. It would have helped to be able to look down and see how close your shoes are to the edge. Eventually, you get used to how far you have to push your stick to land on tiny platforms, but expect a lot of frustrating trial and error at the start.
Fireproof’s Omega Agent is a substantially better, more layered take on the experience of aerial free-roaming, and is worth the $10 asking price. But given that Jump is only $4.99, it’s not a bad idea to pick up both.
EVIL ROBOT TRAFFIC JAM
Release Date: 12/10/2015
Demo Available? Yes
Controller? Supported, and strongly advised, but not required
Who made it? Element Games
Genre: Tower Defense
Content: 5 maps
Awesome Innovation: The ability to track large environments with your head makes all the difference for me.
For core gamers who love: Desktop Tower Defense, Kingdom Rush
Final Thoughts: Of all the games in the Gear VR library, this is the one I have devoted the most time to. I really love the look and feel – the Loony Tunes aesthetic pops beautifully in VR, and the development team has maximized the effectiveness of stereoscopic 3D. Planes and birds fill the sky, bosses explode into a million nuts & bolts when they are defeated, and fireworks sparkle when you win. The game’s play sessions are just the right length, never going beyond ten minutes, and setting up your artillery with your head is a snap. I found myself happily playing stages over and over again, aiming to earn a perfect score – something I never bother to do in other games. This is the first game in the genre I have really loved, and I’d recommend anyone with a Gear VR headset try it out. It’s also PERFECT for folks who get unsettled playing first-person games in 360 degrees – the perspective of this game is top-down, as if you’re watching the action from on top of a mountain.