During PAX South 2016 I had the privilege of playing and experiencing a video game played with a virtual reality headset. The experience was wonderful and it has me excited about the future of video game in regards to VR implementation.
The game itself is simple enough. You are a lone marble on an adventure through several various landscapes ranging from forest areas with large trees and roaming hills to snowy settings which were populated with large mountains and icy paths.. You control the marble and platform your way through various types of obstacles that are thrown at you. As you progress the obstacles increase in difficulty and thought provoking. The concept is simple enough and the game will not break any records, however the VR element thrusts you right into the game. And honestly, it rocks.
At PAX South 2016 I was plenty excited just to see how the VR would work out while playing a game. The entire time I was playing I felt as though I was inside the game. In Marble Mountain you play in third person view, which does add an interesting feeling while playing. It makes you feel as though you are some kind of omnipotent being watching from above. As I was maneuvering my marble around I would look off to the left and right just to see what was around me, and sure enough the game lets you do that. Eventually I just stopped and was looking around at the surrounding environment. Being able to stop in a game and move the camera with my facial movements was really cool. It was a fantastic experience.
While talking to some of the Lighting Rock team I gained a little insight about the game’s inspiration. The team wanted to create something fun and unique. So why not take Indiana Jones, a VR headset and marble and make a game? That is exactly what they did. The adventurous yet dangerous element of Indiana Jones meets platforming gaming. It is a neat idea and I have to say that I was blown away when I had my chance to play it. The team is very excited to get the game in the hands of gamers so that they can take their marbles on wonderous adventures.
The game plays very smoothly and the combination of third person view and camera angles made the game very smooth and fun to play. The game itself looked very good and crisp. The art style almost looked like a cartoon but seemed to retain a very smooth look.. I only got to play in one environment but the other settings looked very interesting and challenging. One stage that I would love to try out is the Volcano stage. All the red colors and lava flowing everything leads me to believe that it will be a fun and difficult level. Lightning Rock has done a great job at getting the ball rolling on the VR gaming trend. I was very pleased at how the game played with the VR integration. The future looks bright for video games in respect to virtual reality, although I suspect it may be a while until we see VR in bigger titles and AAA games.
Nonetheless this little demo has me all giddy inside about playing all my games through a VR headset. Marble Mountain was fun and enjoyable to play. I cannot wait to traverse all of the different landscapes and take my little marble on a grand adventure.
Jon Moore is the General Manager at The Game Bolt, and loves a good Oreo cookie. For more useless knowledge and nerdy shenanigans follow him on Twitter.