The HTC Vive is finally alive and in out the wild for all the world to use. But what exactly can you try right now?
Well, Valve has a pretty extensive library of games for the Vive, and while not all of them are entirely complete – some are episodic while others are demo length – you’ll still have to play something with your brand new headset.
Read this: HTC Vive vs Oculus Rift
Oculus has more thorough experiences that extend beyond games, but Vive has the advantage of Room Scale VR which lets you walk around universes and see games from whatever angle you want. The HTC Vive is simple to set up as well if you feel inclined towards non-seated action.
Check out the list below for all the HTC Vive games you can play now and the games that are on the way.
The Gallery: Call of the Starseed
Cloudhead Games’ The Gallery: Call of the Starseed is a fantasy adventure game that takes you on a mission to find your missing sister. It’s designed to take full advantage of room scale gameplay with the devs even creating their own Blink locomotion tech and putting MoCap actors inside the headsets. It’s beautiful, mysterious and kind of creepy sometimes showing that Cloudhead really found a perfect balance of ambiance and intrigue. This is only the first episode with three more The Gallery games coming every six months from April.
First episode out now
Fantastic Contraption started life as a popular Flash physics puzzle game in 2008 was repurposed for mobile and now it also lives in VR which is where it really belongs. You’re essentially building weird and fantastic contraptions to solve little puzzles. It’s simple to build yet difficult to get your creations moving right which all makes for a really good time. Bonus: there’s a creepy yet endearing cat that’s essentially where your building materials come from. And a giant button you press to move on to the next level is on the face of a dog. We really love this game.
Frontier’s multiplayer space sim Elite: Dangerous will head to the Oculus Rift too this year but the developer has said that it’s now prioritizing Vive. It’s more of a traditional, seated game than some of the other more experimental titles but the VR game has been in development for years now. It’s actually already available to play with VR headsets via a free update so those 7,000 Pre devs can all have a go.
Basically a game of tennis with yourself…on drugs. The last part is what the Twitterverse has claimed, and they’re not lying. From studio VRUnicorns, the game is both very simple and very weird. Also, incredibly fun. You can volley the ball towards the other side of the court and the game will immediately switch perspectives allowing you to hit the ball again. Or you can try and hit the giant tennis-headed people hanging around for fun. Because why not? We hope the unicorn team will add more to this game in the future.
Combining a mix of exercise and gaming as you’re hitting blue and red glowing orbs racing at you, all played to your favorite tunes. There are different difficulty settings, various kinds of shields and you can even upload your own music which all makes this one addictive game.
If you’ve ever wanted to sword fight skeletons, shoot a bow at skeletons then look no further. This the game for you. The undead don’t really lunge at you, rather they wait around for you to make the first move. But once that happens, it’s on. We got genuinely sweaty with all the slashing and shooting and absolutely had a blast. While a bit too short – it’s a Steam Early Access game – we’re hoping the devs add much more so we can keep exploring and fighting baddies.
First two chapters out now
Space Pirate Trainer VR
This one is just like any arcade shooter, except the bots are blasting lasers at you from all sides. You get different firing options and even a shield which is really helpful since the waves get crazy. It’s hard to stop playing because you just want to keep going, attempting to beat your old high score.
Straight out of Valve itself, The Lab is a combination of eight mini games and experiences. Though short, each one is whimsical and entertaining in its own right. Plus Aperture Science robots are everywhere including a little robot dog that loves belly rubs. Oh Valve, please make more games.
A spy thriller for VR, Budget Cuts is based around motion controls so while it’s not a HTC Vive exclusive, it won’t launch for Oculus Rift until its Touch controllers arrive later in 2016. It uses a teleportation gun to move you around the game and is all about stealth as you play a robotic spy infiltrating a corporate complex at night.
Indie devs Stress Level Zero part-crowdfunded this little treat on Indiegogo back in 2015. It’s a multiplayer flying/combat game in which you choose a ship based on the size of the actual room you’re playing in and in shootouts, physically hide behind your ships’s defenses. Designed from the ground up for the Vive’s motion controls (and Oculus Touch when they land), Hover Junkers is playable now.
A stalwart of the HTC Vive demos, the Google owned Tilt Brush is a 3D illustration tools that lets you walk around your creations made with the Vive controllers. More of an app than a game, it’s still massively fun making art in VR because it feels like every Paint program you’ve used, but on steroids. There are so many options, colors, types of brush and so forth to choose from that it’s almost overwhelming.
Job Simulator: the 2050 Archives
Another game that we’ve demoed plenty of times on the Vive and loved it is just at fun at home. Job sims include office worker and gourmet chef and the environments are cartoony, 3D kitchens and retro desk set ups. It’s very easy to cause mayhem and Owlchemy Labs is going after non-traditional gamers here who want to move about and ‘pick up’ virtual items. You can also follow the orders for each task assigned to you, or go nuts and do your own thing. We found it’s most fun to do a bit of both (like making apple, bacon, flower soup or setting things on fire by putting everything on the grill).
A first person zombie shooter from Vertigo Games, Arizona Sunshine looks to be going for slick graphics and using motion controls to blow zombie heads off with virtual guns. There’s actually going to be a bunch of weapons to choose from in this apocalypse title A good combination. We don’t have a launch date yet but again, it will be available at some point this year.
An airport management sim meets strategy game that builds on the premise of something like Flight Control, but in 360-degrees, this is the debut game from new studio Phaser Lock Interactive. Airports and cities the size of your dinner table at are your command as you guide planes and helicopters land or assist transporting criminals and moving junk around. It’s a launch title for the HTC Vive but is also due to come to Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR too.
Additional words by Sophie Charara