This game brings Lemmings into the VR age
Kartoffl brings the gameplay familiar from Lemmings to virtual reality, capitalizing on the medium's strengths.
I tried a demo of the VR game over the weekend and was blown away by the graphics style, game design, and VR implementation.
Instead of lemmings, you help the so-called Spuds to get from point A to point B safely. The potato creatures are even cuter than the lemmings and just as helpless. In virtual reality, you can see the cute tubers marching through the world in front of you, nicely animated and in 3D, which makes you feel closer to them.
The Spuds run like lemmings, always following your nose and blindly trusting you to build bridges, detours and other devices that save them from certain death.
The demo contains a handful of levels that introduce the controls and gameplay, and also reveal its gameplay potential towards the end.
On the one hand, you have to pave safe paths for your spuds with limited tools, which is a tough (puzzle) task in itself. On the other hand, you have to act quickly and in a coordinated way, dismantling bridges and detours that are no longer needed and rebuilding them elsewhere.
Things get even more complicated when the Spuds take multiple paths with your help to collect all three stars scattered across the landscapes. Here you'll have to keep a cool head to keep track of everything in the hustle and bustle.
The colorful 3D world is nice to look at and the controls via analog stick or grasping motion are well-developed. My only criticism is the music, which still sounds a bit elevator-like and monotonous.
Kartoffl will soon be released for Quest (2) and PC VR
Kartoffl can be played while standing or sitting, making it suitable for relaxed play sessions. The finished game will feature 60 handcrafted levels and more contraptions than you can try in the demo, developer Wilhelm Mangersnes tells me on Trondheim studio Breach's Discord channel.
I wonder if "Kartoffl" is a common Norwegian word. No, says Mangersnes. He says the name of the game was inspired by the Danish and German word.
You can download the Kartoffl demo for Meta Quest (2) for free from the App Lab. If you prefer to play on PC, you can try out the PC VR demo until February 28 as part of Steam Next Fest. Apart from the resolution, they hardly differ. The game will be released in spring 2022 for both platforms.