App Lab Roundup: Memory, Grapples and Racing

Each week, we’ll take a look at some of the upcoming video games, demos, and unique experiences available through the Oculus App Lab for Meta Quest headsets. Many of these video games come in different completion modes, so each title can be changed.

This week we test our cognitive function, swing through the air and build race tracks.

Upgrade VR

Do you remember when each platform brought a brain training game or app? It feels a bit dated when it comes to VR platforms, but the use of motion controls and freedom of movement opens up that formula. With Upgrade VR, you will not really train too much of the old big stuff, even if it will cuddle you occasionally. This app tests your coordination, concentration, reaction and memory.

This is achieved through various mini-games, which start very simply. Reaction, for example, fires balls at you from portals. If it’s a green ball, use the green hand, if it’s blue, it’s the other hand. First, the balls move slowly through the air, over time they accelerate and introduce balls, which must be avoided. In memory, you will be shown rows of 3D models and have to remember the order they appeared and place them in the right places.

All of this adds scores that show your cognitive ability. It all takes place in a sci-fi environment that feels drawn directly from a Hollywood movie. Everything is clean and well designed, there are no errors in the motion controls, it can be played standing or sitting, and when you come back to the games to break your highscore, it feels great.

Vulture

Right out of the gate, I must say, the soundtrack to Vulture absolutely slaps (do people still say ‘slap’?). The music has this amazing futuristic funk feel, which fits really well with the action. What is the action? Well, you could say this is a Spider-Man simulator. You have a grab hook in each hand and they need to be used to move through the air, between the blocks.

The game ends if you fall into the infinite void below, which seems to happen quite a lot. You can see when you fight, the player moves very fast. Often before the blocks even get a chance to spawn in. Fortunately, there are also boosters attached to your hands that can help propel you in certain directions and save you from danger, or even slow down your speed a bit.

Vulture is pretty ‘bare bones’ at the moment, but the basis is there for a bigger and better experience. Plus, who doesn’t love swinging through the air on grab hooks?

Racemaker VR

Full disclosure – I’m proud to be able to play pretty much any VR game without feeling sick. Racemaker VR broke me though.

Before we get to that, let me first recommend the game, because it’s a little ingenious. You start in front of a lattice table with a toolbox of racetrack sections in hand. The goal is to create a fun and hectic race track using curves, tunnels, speed increases, jumps and straight sections of the track.

Apart from some moments where the track pieces sometimes do not click together easily, it is exciting and fun to build a track. You can make it as simple as you want, or create a complex trail of climbs and bridges that are constantly running at high speeds. When the track is finished, it’s time to run races, and this is where I almost threw my lunch up.

Getting behind the wheel of the car is initially very slippery. Almost too slippery. Taking the turns felt like my vision overwhelmed my brain and stomach, walking on top of the bumpy track was like being thrown into a washing machine, and when I hit a speed increase to jump through the air, I felt , that I left my stomach on the court. . Now you may be doing better than me. So I would never recommend the game, but be aware that the race itself can cause stomach upsets.

William

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