Passive experiences were common on the Gear VR at IFA, Berlin, following the initial reveal of the device at Samsung’s Unpacked event earlier this month. Innerspace’s The Cave was one such creation, transporting the player to a different world similar to our own but with new and interesting rules.
A simple walkthrough experience, The Cave begins in a snow-covered wasteland. You are alone as you automatically move down an immaculately painted white stream with no objective but to see the water licking against the stone that has been carved into a pathway through years of erosion. Fade to black, and you appear in another similar area. And another. And a fourth before you meet your first companion. Only for a moment are you no longer alone, however it’s a moment that has meaning beyond your ability to comprehend at this time.
A reindeer by the edge of a stream stands motionless. It causes no alarm, nor suffers any, as you approach. A distance of meters becomes mere centimetres in just a few seconds and as you get within arms reach of the reindeer a strange wireframe-like model appears and quickly disappears atop of it. Was this a glitch? Or does it have greater meaning?
Continuing through the experience with no control over your direction, much like riding a rollercoaster, your next sequences see more life. More reindeers, mammoths and other creatures interacting with one another, but not with you. Your solitary input in The Cave is your ability to look around and view the environment in 360 degrees. It’s designed as a break from the norm, not yet another challenge to face.
As the experience progresses you’ll finally enter that titular cave. A darkened area with visuals that present a familiar quality to that of the many caves offered in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the cave is similarly lifeless to that of the earliest outdoor sequences. That is, until you venture deeper. Suddenly the pace changes and upon the wall appears a hand-drawn etching of a reindeer line-by-line. Where this comes from, and who is drawing it, remains a mystery. However, once complete, the real magic happens. A moment of bright light and suddenly you fall through the floor, surrounded by and endless blackness filled with starlight.
The Cave is a surreal journey that lasts only a few minutes, and for that it remains a memorable experience. The visual quality of the software is notable given the comparatively low specifications of the Galaxy Note 4 upon which it runs, but regardless Innerspace has managed to deliver something that is as unique as it is impressive. VRFocus will continue to follow The Cave and other virtual reality (VR) projects from Innerspace, keeping you updated with all the latest details.