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Best Samsung Gear VR apps: The Games, Demos and Experiences to Download First
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Best Samsung Gear VR apps: The Games, Demos and Experiences to Download First

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The amount of truly awesome apps, games and shorts on the Samsung Gear VR has shot up in the past few months. And with the affordable £80 Gear VR now on sale, everything is starting to click into place for Samsung’s mobile VR plans.

Here’s our round-up of the best apps, games, demos, short films and interactive experiences available right now.

The list will continue to grow, so we’ll update this feature as and when demos become games and teasers get sequels.

These can all be downloaded either via Oculus Store or Samsung’s Milk VR store, which is a bit confusing but they all end up in the same place – your Library.

Ustwo’s first VR game is pretty damn mesmerising and that’s no surprise. It’s a slow, relaxing puzzle game over five chapters (for now), which makes lovely use of the Gear VR’s head tracking as controls.

Serene sunsets, blocky mountains and a range of easy peasy to head scratching – but always mysterious – puzzles. It’s best played while standing or on a swivel chair.

This is a big deal and well worth checking out, via the Milk VR store (Samsung’s). Gone is a episodic thriller from the creators of The Walking Dead and it shows. You can’t miss it, it can be found in the main menu at the top of the menu ‘room’.

It’s a TV show-style narrative, which enfolds in front of you but you can follow ‘hotspots’ via your gaze to zoom over to a clue or conversations that might be relevant.

So it’s interactive but you don’t seem to impact the plot. The storyline and ‘clues’ seems a bit True Detective inspired so far in Episode 1 which is not a bad thing. We can’t wait for the remaining episodes.Samsung Internet

Samsung Internet

Lots of people have complained that there’s no way they would pick up a mobile VR headset without a browser and Samsung has listened. You can open up sites via voice or by selecting from favourites like YouTube. Use Gaze mode to select stuff but there’s an onscreen keyboard too. It’s in beta but works exactly as you would expect.

Oculus Social Alpha

This has got to be the most random experience we’ve had in VR so far. Choose an avatar then hang out with other Gear VR users in rooms and environments to chat via your phone’s mic or watch Vimeo videos together.

You’re essentially a group of 3D cartoon heads floating in cinema seats but what’s freaky is your head movements are still tracked so you can turn to face each other as you chat.

Or – as one pair of friends were doing when we rudely interrupted them – sing Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart to each other.

NextVR

nextvr presidential debate

If you really want to feel like you’re at a sports or news event, download NextVR. It livestreams events to VR headsets like the Gear VR in 180 degrees and has tested its system out on the US Open and NASCAR.

On 13 October it also live streamed the US Presidential debate in collaboration with CNN. More live sports events are to follow.

Gunjack

This CCP Games VR game started life as Project Nemesis, which we played way back in early 2015. It’s a great little arcade space shooter with big attention to detail, you get a body to look down at in your fixed cock-pit and there’s cracks in the glass as you get hit by enemies.

It’s set in the EVE universe so the sequences are pretty and it’s quick to get the hang of the controls, like sliding back on the touchpad to reload.

Rose

This app is designed to be the home for CG animated VR shorts and the first one – Rosebud – is blooming adorable. It’s by Penrose Studios which was founded by ex Oculus Story Studio head Eugene Chung.

We won’t give away the plot too much, but do the tutorial first to get the hang of zooming in and out for the charming action in front of you. You can also hold to ‘grab’ an object to make it and anchor point and rotate round it, which you should try out towards the end of this short.

Soundscape

One for music makers, Soundscape is a very cool experience that lets you tap to add musical notes, change effects, add drums. Jam alone or with two random people in a multiplayer mode. The theory is that because the notes are based on a pentatonic scale,. So no matter what you do, it’ll sound good-ish.

Arcade Beta

Play Pac-Man and Sonic in Oculus Arcade

This is another virtual environment in which you do things in 2D but hey, it’s a virtual arcade so shut up. Play Pac-Man, Sonic, Galaga in three arcade rooms. Everything is free for a bit but you have to pay to unlock unlimited play. Some things never change.

Action Bowling

Exactly as you’d expect, Action Bowling lets you bowl in a couple of different settings. Choose your ball, then swipe straight or up/down diagonally to line up your shot. More mindless fun compared to some of the more ambitious games being developed for Gear VR but fun nonetheless.

Netflix

Yep, Netflix. You can now download and view the movie and TV streaming service on a Samsung Gear VR. Like Oculus Cinema, it simply gives you a private, virtual space (a luxe/rustic cabin living room with a big screen) in which to watch regular 2D content.

AltSpace VR

Virtual chatroom coming to Samsung Gear VR

The social platform AltSpace VR is exciting for a few reasons. First, it’s exclusive – you can sign up to try out the closed alpha version now. It’s also cross-platform (Gear VR, Oculus, HTC Vive) so it’s a virtual hang out space unlike Oculus Social. You can watch streamed videos with other headset wearers and even share virtual web browsers.

VRSE

VRSE is a must if you’re looking for quality. You can watch some of the most impressive VR vids made so far including Vice News and Spike Jonze’s VR broadcast from a NYC protest – it’s rough around the edges but you really do feel like you’re right there in the middle of it – and Evolution of Verse, the beautiful short film by Chris Milk which debuted at this year’s Sundance.

Also, in the VRSE is the collaboration with the UN which so far includes the short films Clouds over Sidra and Waves of Grace.

Esper

Esper shows off the potential of VR for puzzle games, not just first person shooters. If you liked Portal, you’ll have the patience to play along with the puzzles here with your ‘telepathic’ powers using the Gear VR’s touchpad as well as appreciate the intriguing 70s visuals and playful dialogue.

360 Photos

Samsung’s pre-loaded photo viewing app now includes spherical content from Getty Image’s huge 80 million+ image archives so it’s worth a look. The so-called 360° View by Getty Images collection features immersive, professional stills from Cannes Film Festival, the World Cup and from around the world.

Dreadhalls

First person is where VR really comes into its own and the Gear VR is no exception. The journey through creepy dungeons in Dreadhalls, picking locks, opening doors, keeping your lamp going and checking behind you is damn scary especially considering how long it makes you wait to get attacked. Then you run away, heart genuinely pumping. Super terrifying. Also being developed for the superior Oculus Rift.

Oculus 360 tours – world, Iceland

These are the (short) demos that you show to your mates and your mum who want to see what all the fuss is about with the virtual reality thing. They will give newbies a bit of vertigo, probably, as a lot of the 360 degree footage is filmed from helicopters. But, boy is it a ride. It’s still early days for virtual tourism but even the relatively low res footage here will elicit cries of ‘Oh I’m in Petra, I always wanted to go here!’

Matterport VR

A collection of experiences that you can look and walk around, Matterport VR’s app includes an art gallery and a shop taking virtual tourism indoors, so to speak. Expect to see a lot more apps copy what Matterport is doing in the near future – estate agents will hopefully jump onto the idea sooner rather than later and offer VR tours of new properties. If celebs like the idea, we should see Cribs 2.0 before long.

Not to sound like a broken record but a higher resolution wouldn’t go amiss, it’s so very close to hitting the immersion jackpot as it is.

Anshar Wars 2

There’s two Anshar Wars games on the Gear VR now. It’s a neat space shooter in which you control the direction your ship is going with your head movements. Firing missiles is taken care of via a Bluetooth controller or the headset’s touchpad. One more thing – it’s games like this that make you realise you need to invest in a good swivelling office chair to get the most out of the Gear VR.

Titans of Space

Auto-pilot around the solar system and beyond in this educational video that will have you looking up, down and all around at admittedly not very realistic looking planets, moons, stars and asteroids.

Still, VR gives you a sense of scale that’s difficult to comprehend from textbooks, videos and even slick iPad apps. Huge stars looming from behind our own Sun is genuinely impressive and circling moons learning factoids about each one, with classical music playing, is quite relaxing. Damn, we wish this had existed when we were 12.

Cirque du Soleil Zarkana

This is seriously short and essentially a trailer but like the 360 tours and ‘Strangers’ it highlights VR’s ability to let you get much closer to the action than in real life. Here, you’re sat on stage with Cirque performers watching acrobats twirl around ropes, behind you – empty Las Vegas seats.

It’s not high res enough to be truly beautiful, but it still feels a bit magic as you look up to the ceiling as you would if you were an audience member.

Darknet

An arcade-style, strategy hacking game with lovely visuals and a stern voice giving you instructions, Darknet sees you spread viruses through a network of nodes, banking the Bitcoins and causing carefully constructed mayhem.

The hacking takes place in more of a 2D game environment and a lot ofDarknet reminds us of any well-crafted smartphone game that doesn’t just rely on graphics.

 

Article was originally posted here

 

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