12 Days of VR Gaming – Day 4: Crystal Rift

The holiday season is upon us and many of VRFocus‘ readers will be eager to spend much of their time travelling to worlds beyond their own daily grind. To that end, over the next 12 days VRFocus will be bringing some top picks of the virtual reality (VR) scene that you can download and play right now on either the Oculus Rift development kits or the Gear VR.

A virtual reality (VR) videogame in which players move one step at a time, square by square? You’d be forgiven for thinking that, for a technology that can easily cause users to feel sick, this would be a recipe for disaster. And yet one of the main talking points for Crystal Rift has been how its restricted movement doesn’t hinder the experience but actually enhances it.


Crystal Rift started life with indie developer Jon Hibbins as an intriguing experiment to combine retro dungeon crawlers with the immersion of VR. Since that time it has grown into one of the most promising titles on its way to Oculus Rift, offering an engulfing experience in which players must keep their wits about them as they dodge traps and solve puzzles. Just weeks ago the title passed a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign and has even brought on an extra developer in the form of Nick ‘Red of Paw’ Pittom.

“We wanted to create an atmosphere of tension, mystery and danger,” the developers explain. “Working your way through the level’s traps, challenges and hazards you also seek to discover what this place is and who, or what put you here. VR changes everything, and with it you experience the claustrophobic nature of the dungeon in a completely different, more visceral way.”

“But we also give you ownership of the game, using the built in editor to make your own levels, puzzles and challenges. You can do this all from within VR itself using a simple interface, and then share your creations with other players.

Crystal Rift will be out in the first half of 2015 and we look forward to bringing you an awesome game.”


The latest version of Crystal Rift‘s demo is available from the title’s official website, with full support for the Oculus Rift DK1 and DK2. A non-VR version can also be found there. That’s the fourth title in VRFocus‘ 12 Days of VR Gaming experience; eight more to go.