Review: ModBox

If you’re looking for a virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) that offers a wealth of creative software to let your artistic side out, then the HTC Vive might be the place to start. While rival Oculus Rift will have Oculus Medium, it won’t be available at launch as you need the Oculus Touch controllers which aren’t available until later in 2016. HTC Vive on the other hand will have Google’s Tilt Brush, SculptrVR and Alientrap’s ModBox to choose from on day one.

All three have their own unique qualities, with ModBox designed as a physics sandbox videogame that gives players a vast selection of tools to create their own mini-games, or whatever else they see fit. It’s a real open platform for fun creative design with the options available.

ModBox screenshot

To being with you’ll need to choose your starting landscape, there’s a few to choose from – including a blank holodeck, green countryside, space and others. It’s then time to start building, both controllers have the menu system available so depending on if you’re left-handed or right you’ll find one that works the best.

It’s then time to jump into the myriad of options at your disposal. Activating the edit menu will bring up four option windows around that controller – similar to Tilt Brush – where you can twist it around a select with a pointer from the other controller. Or you can flick the touch pad left or right to cycle through each window, whichever is easiest. It’s all intuitive and simple to master, most players should pick it up in no time.

Choose from primitive shapes which act as your main building blocks, these can be stretched and pulled by some indicator arrows to create the size and design you’re after, they then easily snap together. Then there’s the interactive objects; hinges, ropes, balloons, propellers, conveyor belts, switches and more that bring life to the stationary surroundings by wiring them all up. On top of all that you’ve got the toys; crossbows, guns and chainsaws to add an amusing element to ModBox that makes it a fun videogame to play.

As you build your next idea you can flick in and out of editing mode quickly with a single button press, it definitely helps fine tuning as you can play then tweak, play again and so forth to get everything just as you want it. Don’t want any gravity in your world then that can be turned down, or up. Want to create giant sculptures or tiny little machines then you can do that too, almost everything is adjustable in some way.

ModBox screenshot 1

While you can create a range of outrageous contraptions to enjoy, it’s much better when you can share. All your ideas can be uploaded for the ModBox community to explore. Or if you’re having a creative lull, why not see what everyone else has been working. There’s examples you can look at before you even start developing your own ideas to see what ModBox can truly offer.

With its mix of creative building options, engaging control options and a mixture of gameplay styles ModBox has a bit of something for everyone. Being able to spend hours creating mini-games or just playing what everyone else has thought of, there’s just so many ways to engage with Alientrap’s videogame. It should be high on your list when you enter the world of VR on HTC Vive.

  • Verdict