OPINION

I am a satisfied VR gamer – but I miss something

I am a satisfied VR gamer – but I miss something

I’ve been playing games almost exclusively in virtual reality for many years now, and I love it. There’s just something I’m missing from my 2D gaming era.

VR games have made great strides since 2016, with a wide range of titles and standards in controls and locomotion. Whether you want to play sitting, standing or running, move fluidly or via teleportation, most VR games support all three game modes and come with settings that are easy on sensitive stomachs.

Sure: Some genres like the role-playing and strategy game and densely told story games are still arguably rare. But on the whole, there is something for almost every taste.

No, I’m not waiting for GTA VR

I, for example, love physically demanding action games like Until You Fall and fairytale-like, magical puzzle games like Maskmaker, Winds & Leaves and The Room VR, which take me into another, mysterious world.

But one spot in my gamer heart has been itching for years, with no relief from virtual reality.

No, I’m not talking about big open-world games à la GTA, Skyrim or Elden Ring, although they would certainly be a necessity and help the industry capture new user bases. I rarely have the leisure and will to play for many hours at a time anymore, and I can’t remember the last time I sank hundreds of hours into a fantasy world. It must have been more than ten years ago. The brevity and simplicity of most VR games suits me just fine.

VR games: What I’d like to see more of

What I’d like to see instead, and what I miss in VR these days, are titles that offer short but challenging rounds of gameplay and long-term motivation without requiring physical exertion.

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I want to sit down and enjoy complex game mechanics – without much body movement. Because occasionally I also wish to relax, just like back in my 2D gaming days. Immersion is secondary in this case.

Currently, there is only one VR game that satisfies this need: Demeo. The VR board game keeps me discovering new game nuances and learning tricks, and it adapts to any posture, whether I’m sitting, lying on my side, or on my back, thanks to ingenious hand controls.

In Demeo, I’m more mind than body for once, and that’s perfectly fine. Another bonus is that I can play it with friends, whether they play it with a VR headset or on the monitor.

This combination of gameplay depth and physical flexibility could be one reason why Demeo is one of the more successful VR games, and could be a recipe for more VR hits that combine the strengths of 2D games and virtual reality in this way.