This Year in VR

  • InCell VR

    Free Mac Windows Linux Android iPhone ... Steam Website

    One of the very best games for the Google Cardboard platform, InCell provides an engaging, visually rich experience that's very easy to control, while also managing to educate through entertainment. Hailed as an action/racing game, it immerses players into a cellular world with the objective of protecting a cell from the influenza virus. It's an accessible experience for VR newcomers and is available across multiple platforms as well as Google Cardboard. The game was launched through Steam in September of 2015 and along with the developer's similar hit title InMind, has provided a great example of early VR possibilities throughout 2016.


    InCell VR icon
  • The Lab

    Free Windows HTC Vive Steam Oculus Rift Website

    A Steam exclusive developed by Valve and launched in April, The Lab offers a fun bunch of room-scale VR experiments like the archery game Longbow or aptly named Robot Repair. The game has received overwhelmingly positive reviews and remains a favorite among Steam VR users.


    The Lab icon
  • Tilt Brush

    Commercial Windows Steam Website

    Few apps created as much VR buzz this year as has Google’s Title Brush. Released early in April through Steam, and exclusively for the HTC Vive, the app has users unleashing their creativity on a virtual canvas, painting in 3D with brush strokes, light and stars. The app sparked tremendous interest in VR, having received nothing but great reviews, and has inspired at least a few similar apps.


    Tilt Brush icon
  • Space Pirate Trainer

    Commercial Windows HTC Vive Oculus Experiences Steam Oculus Rift Website

    Space Pirate Trainer is the classic, arcade space shooter brought to virtual reality. With an early April launch on Steam and Oculus, the game received scores of great reviews for its success at bringing the experience of shooting wave after wave of enemies to VR. It kept players entertained and set an early standard for VR shooters.


    Space Pirate Trainer icon
  • Cmoar VR Cinema

    Commercial Windows Android iPhone Android Tablet iPad ... Steam Viveport Website

    Cmoar VR Cinema is a video player that does one thing better than its competitors, offering an exceptional VR experience with cinematic effects that make it feel like you’re at a movie theater. That experience is available through any Cardboard-compatible device too, so practically anyone with a modern phone can enjoy an outstanding VR video experience. Enhanced desktop versions were launched through Steam and Viveport in September.


    Cmoar VR Cinema icon
  • Job Simulator

    Commercial Windows Oculus Experiences Steam Website

    Receiving countless praises for its brilliant humor and intuitive gameplay mechanics, Job Simulator offers an outstanding VR experience that’s both approachable for new users and still engaging enough to entertain VR purists. Ever since its April debut, the innovative sandbox game has continued with an excellent track record of reviews and has helped form a foundation of VR playability for others to build on.


    Job Simulator icon
  • Bigscreen Beta

    Free Windows OSVR HTC Vive Steam Oculus Rift Website

    Virtual reality has huge potential for desktop use and Bigscreen VR excels at exposing that relatively untapped potential. It provides virtual environments where the user’s desktop is the focal point, adding collaborative elements to allow users to share and experience desktops with others. Launched through Steam in April, Bigscreen continues to innovate and show more of VR’s hidden capabilities.


    Bigscreen Beta icon
  • Edge of Nowhere

    Commercial Windows Oculus Experiences Oculus Rift Website

    VR may be the best platform for horror games as the June-released Edge of Nowhere helped to illustrate. It's an action-packed platform adventure with a third person perspective that's both intuitive and viable for VR. The game meshes the action with sci-fi horror elements and while it's a bit short, it provides a captivating experience that set a great standard for other games to follow.


    Edge of Nowhere icon
  • Sports Bar VR

    Commercial Windows Steam Website

    Pool Nation already had a great game and physics engine but VR was all it needed to propel it forward. Launched in June, Pool Nation VR entered the next generation with amazingly realistic controls and freedom that let players interact with the virtual pool hall however they wanted, including throwing bottles at AI players or hurling darts at other virtual players. The game struck the perfect balance of control and gameplay and threw in outlandish fun that warranted scores of glowing reviews.


    Sports Bar VR icon
  • Minecraft

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux Windows Mobile Android ... iPhone Android Tablet BSD Windows Phone iPad Oculus Experiences Kindle Fire FreeBSD Playstation Fire TV Nintendo Switch Xbox NetBSD Oculus Rift OpenBSD Website

    Minecraft already had gameplay of epic proportions but adding VR capabilities to it made those proportions all the more grand. With Gear VR support introduced in April, then full Oculus Rift support in August, fans were finally able to experience their block-filled worlds first hand and see just how large everything really was. The VR experience is still possible for Vive users as well, indirectly, through the Small Vivecraft iconVivecraft mod. VR support for this monumental game has added virtually infinite value to VR as a platform.


    Minecraft icon
  • Thumper

    Commercial Windows Playstation VR Steam Website

    Pushing the boundaries of rhythm gaming with blistering speed, psychedelic eye candy and thumping ambient sound, Thumper is the game rhythm fans have waited for their whole lives! The game was launched in early October on PSVR and through Steam, with Vive and Oculus support on the way, both versions having been received with waves of outstanding reviews. But only VR provides the in-your-face experience the game was designed for.


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  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

    Commercial Mac Windows Android OSVR HTC Vive ... Oculus Experiences Steam Daydream Oculus Rift Website

    Taking the industry by storm in early October, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes brought a completely original, social gaming experience where a player must defuse a bomb in virtual reality with the help of verbal instructions from other players who have access to a bomb manual but can't see the bomb. It's an amazing party experience, made possible by VR technology, and it's available for multiple platforms through Steam and also for Daydream VR compatible devices, through Google Play Store.


    Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes icon
  • YouTube VR

    Free Windows Android Android Tablet HTC Vive Playstation VR ... Daydream Steam Gear VR Oculus Rift SteamVR Oculus Experiences Website

    A Google Daydream exclusive that launched in November, YouTube VR is so much more than just a YouTube player. It immerses viewers in 360-degree content and provides an interface fit for VR, one that actually makes use of the environment and hardware. The clutter-free view displays context-based controls that simplify interaction, easily accessed with a Daydream controller, and offering a great example of good VR user experience.


    YouTube VR icon
  • Land's End

    Commercial Android Oculus Experiences Website

    The rave of many recent reviews since its November release, Gear VR exclusive Land’s End offers a short but breathtakingly memorable experience. Controls are intuitive and natural, with scenes flowing smoothly from one captivating, surreal environment to the next. The game presents a notable, successful implementation of VR in a puzzle adventure game.


    Land's End icon
  • V

    Commercial Windows Website

    While not technically a VR app itself, V is a dashboard overly for VR games. It helps users stay connected to services like Facebook, Twitch, YouTube and more. A mid-November beta release provided perfect timing for it to be used amidst an influx of new VR titles.


    V icon
  • The Climb

    Commercial Windows Oculus Experiences Website

    An Oculus Rift exclusive featuring some of the most gorgeous visuals in VR, The Climb has players in control of virtual hands scaling rocky heights and grappling their way over breathtaking landscapes. The game launched in April and recently received support for the Oculus Touch, adding the ultimate control scheme to already outstanding gameplay mechanics.


    The Climb icon
  • I Expect You To Die

    Commercial Windows Oculus Experiences Website

    Escape games have never been as fun and engaging as I Expect You to Die. Released in November for Oculus Rift, the game casts players in the shoes of a secret agent, using Oculus Touch controls to survive devious puzzles. It's a hands-on experience that only VR and touch controls could deliver.


    I Expect You To Die icon
  • Arizona Sunshine

    Commercial Windows HTC Vive Steam Oculus Rift Website

    An early December release, Arizona Sunshine brings us a VR experience of the inevitable zombie apocalypse. It's a polished title that just gets everything right, from gorgeous visuals to intuitive play mechanics designed to make use of HTC Vive and Oculus Touch controllers. The game was built from the ground up for VR and it shows, providing another great example for further titles to follow.


    Arizona Sunshine icon

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux Oculus Experiences Steam ... Oculus Rift Website

    SUPERHOT was already an outstanding title, but with the Oculus exclusive SUPERHOT VR release in December, the game got a massive boost. Along with the immersion of virtual reality, the VR version utilizes Oculus Touch controls by pausing time in the game unless the controllers detect movement from the player. It's a mesh of control and gameplay that's unlike anything so far and paves way for more innovative possibilities in the future of VR.


    SUPERHOT icon

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