Got yourself a shiny new Google Pixel and a Daydream View VR headset? Super, but while there are plenty of freebies to download the paid-for apps need pretty deep pockets. Here are our selection of the best Daydream View VR games worth spending your pennies on:
Think of a futuristic world of cowboys and gunslingers and Sky Atlantic’s Westworld probably springs into mind, but whereas the series was dark, thought-provoking and without barely a drop of humour, The Arcslinger is significantly more silly.
You play a cowboy’s trusty sidekick, who through a comedy of errors manages to be the sole defender of an alien world, armed only with a mystical, and talkative, gun that wields magical powers. Using the Daydream View Controller as weapon, you can swipe different patterns into the touch pad to unleash special powers upon the oncoming hoards, in a deeply engaging and immersive experience.
If you’re a fan of classic shooters like Time Crisis or House of the Dead this is definitely worth the loot, and probably much cheaper than endlessly thumbing 50p coins into the coin-op.
Kids screaming? Work calling you at home? Leak in the roof getting bigger? Sometimes life can get a bit much, so strapping on a VR headset is a good excuse to step away from it all. On that note, Claro is like a little oasis of calm.
The aim of this gentle puzzler is to move the Sun so that light reflects off tiny stone obelisks onto a tree, which makes them grow. That’s about it, bar moving a few objects around, but while it’s a gentle and undemanding experience, it’s also wholly Zen one. It’s a good start to life if you’re new to VR and don’t fancy the fast pace of a nausea-inducing action game.
Imagine this – you’re a goat, on a cloud, trying to avoid death traps and rockets by blowing up rocks… Danger Goat is a weird game. It’s a really good game, but it’s weird.
Like most VR puzzle games you’re in a 3D environment, manipulating the world around you with the Daydream View Controller and pointing your, aherm, goat where you want it to go. What makes Danger Goat so much fun is that it is more satisfying watching it get launched into space, frazzled by a laser or catapulted across the screen than actually finishing the level with all your lives intact.
Yeah, we know £12.99 is a massive wedge of cash to drop on a game – even Super Mario Run is £5 cheaper and that has come in for huge criticism over the cost – but Gunjack 2 is definitely worth thinking about.
So, what do you get for your loot? First up it is one of the best looking games we’ve seen from smartphone VR, which uses the Unreal game engine to create an immersive first-person VR experience. Secondly, it’s a lot of fun blasting increasingly hardy oncoming alien ships to smithereens from your gun turret using the Daydream Controller to aim. Finally you get a pretty decent storyline, which although isn’t going to give you 40-hours plus of game time like a good second-hand console game for the same price, it is sufficiently diverting to keep you entertained if you don’t fancy slobbing out with the family watching the post-Christmas dinner Doctor Who special.
Until Minecraft lands in the Daydream app store, your best bet if you fancy crafting items and playing minigames is downloading Daydream Blue. While it is not the most charismatic of games, there is plenty to explore and things to do, and if you know anyone else with a Daydream View headset you can meander and amble your way through this virtual valley with company.
In the future autonomous cars will be a thing – we’re OK with that, so long as thing don’t go wrong and start jumping red lights out of habit. What would be really, really annoying though is if they were somehow hacked by evil robots with the sole intention of causing traffic jams in our beautiful city streets. Fine, it’s not quite Terminator levels of human destruction, but would certainly be a pain in the *honk*.
Evil Robot Traffic Jam is your classic tower defence game, which works wonderfully in VR because can to look around you and take in the visuals as the enemies (in this case robot cars) plod their way along towards the target. At nearly a tenner, it’s not the cheapest game you can get, but definitely a great example of refreshing an old format for a new platform.
Whereas Dark Souls is the magical, death-ridden realm of traditional gaming, Hunters Gate is our first foray into the world of ghouls, monsters and demons for the Daydream View. You (and a friend if they too dare brave this virtual underworld) take control of two warriors defending the world from demonic hoards bringing Hell on Earth (or the floaty realm that you live on). Replete with plenty of upgrades, spells and weapons to keep you entertained until Hell literally freezes over, this top-down shooter is well worth the pennies.
If you’ve ever had a go at virtual reality you’ll know by now that VR is at its best when it is scaring the pants off you. Horror games are a staple when it comes to showing you how effective being in a virtual world can be, and the best one we’ve played on the Daydream View is Sisters. The game takes place in a spooky old mansion, and you’ll have to solve puzzles to escape, all the while being chased by demonic puppets. It’s not for the faint of heart…
If you loved Peter Molyneux’s classic Dungeon Keeper then Underworld Overlord will have you rubbing your Hands of Evil together with glee. Like many VR games, this is another tower defence, but this time you can command your own evil hoards to run around picking off adventurers with swords and spells. It’s a little slow to get started, but bear with it, it turns into a devilish medley of swashbuckling skeletons and sorcery.
Need For Speed is another game that wants you to spend big bucks on it, but with the weight of EA behind it is definitely the most polished game on the list. Bar a few niggling bugs and a controversial control system (it’s really not as bad as the user reviews make out), No Limits is a big, beautiful racer with a huge selection of cars to buy and upgrade, a full starting grid of race types and a plenty of replay value. It’s also a heck of a lot better than VR Karts Sprint…
Alexander is the Online Editor at BBC Science Focus and is the one that keeps sciencefocus.com looking shipshape and Bristol fashion. He has been toying around with news, technology and science on internet for well over a decade, and sports a very fetching beard.