With virtual reality gaining more influence by the day, a lot of people have shifted their focus from the headsets to the games. A year or so ago we were all concerned with the differences between the VR systems, and what the specs would be for the industry leaders. Now, with most of the major headsets demonstrated publicly and/or released, we’re onto the games, and there are new ones coming out at a pretty rapid rate.
This has created an environment in which it’s a lot of fun to speculate about where developers might be looking next as they roll out virtual reality downloads. There are plenty of amazing titles worth trying, and in a lot of cases it’s clear that they’ve been influenced by other popular games, usually on previous consoles or mobile platforms. But below we’ll look at a few more ideas that seem just perfect for VR gamers and stem from online gaming sites and not consoles or mobile.
VR developers appear to be looking for simple interactive multiplayer experiences that can easily be adapted to first person formats. Shooters are a little bit challenging on the format, however, so they’re getting creative about ways to adjust this genre or other ways to foster one-on-one player competition. Bowman 2, part of the series’ collection of flash games online, could be an ideal solution. A fixed position archery game that pits you against an opponent in a one-on-one situation, it would be a little bit different in first person, but it would definitely be a thrill to a generation’s worth of players familiar with the game. This series, particularly Bowman 2, has been popular for a very long time.
Poker has already been brought to VR, and there’s probably more to come in this regard. But the first poker game appears to be relatively crude, albeit a nice application for a bare bones title. A better virtual reality experience could be created if a developer modelled it after the approach Gala takes with its live casino, where blackjack, roulette, and other games are available in a similar format. Blackjack is such a quick and simple game that it wouldn’t take too much creativity to design. However, so much of the pleasure of the game comes from interaction with the dealer and other players, and that’s where this online game excels. A live feed to a real person dealing cards adds a level of sophistication and legitimacy that’s rare even in the constantly evolving casino market. Live dealers may not be feasible in VR, but even an interactive A.I. dealing you in and bantering would make for a very cool experience.
Probably the most obscure game on this list, Fly Guy is a flash game that appeared online back in 2002. It’s now available as an app from Trevor van Meter, though you can also still play it online here. So what is it? Well, it’s a little bit difficult to describe, but you use arrow keys to control an ordinary man who suddenly takes off flying. It’s more of an exploration experience than a game, in that you can fly around to your heart’s content but there’s no discernible objective. All kinds of strange things happen in the air (and in space above); you might find a floating woman and dance with her; or you might encounter a space alien and start playing guitar with him. It’s just a fun little game packed with weird, oddly pleasant details, and a first-person version for VR would be lovely. Fly Guy operates largely by the screen moving up, down, left or right in accordanc
e with your movements, and that would seem to be a way that flying could work on VR. Your gestures would push your environment in one direction or the other, effectively scrolling through space.
Driving and piloting games are already proving to be wonderful for VR, and Helicopter Game would be a perfect addition to the genre. Referred to on its own site as the most popular flash game in history, the game finds you controlling a helicopter in a side-scrolling world. All you have to do is click and hold your mouse to make it accelerate upwards while letting go of the mouse causes it to fall. That’s all there is to it, with the goal being to keep the helicopter moving through obstacles for as long as possible without crashing. Imagine the thrill if you were actually in the cockpit! The game would only require a single button to play, and the experience for players would be mind-blowing.
There’s no telling if games like these will ultimately be made available for virtual reality. But the more you look at online arcades and casinos, as well as very old flash games, it becomes clear that there’s a lot of material just sitting there waiting for adaptation.