Virtual reality (VR) allows the minds of creative studios to go wild, producing surreal, fantastical worlds for players to explore. Sometimes though, it’s the simple ideas that can work just as well, recreating real-world scenarios with a bit of artistic flair for good measure. Enter Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR, a ping-pong simulator with a futuristic aesthetic.
Table tennis doesn’t tend to be one of those sports that garners a lot of press like football, rugby or American football for example, but it does work very well in videogames and as Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR demonstrates, it’s a sport that perfectly suits VR.
While the title features robots as characters developer 10Ants Hill hasn’t gone for a no holds barred arcade experience with crazy power-ups or over the top physics. Instead the studio has kept Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR as a realistic ping-pong simulator – physics wise – meaning that winning matches comes down to your own skill and tactical play. And for a videogame of this type it’s reassuring to see that the ball does behave as it should.
There’s an option to turn effects like spin off but to truly make use of Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR’s physics that really should be kept on. This allows far more nuanced play, so when a rally really starts to get going you do need to be focused on the task at hand.
For this preview VRFocus only played the single-player championship against AI robots. Each of the four arenas has four bots to beat and they certainly don’t make it easy, even the early ones. So there’s a practice mode available which certainly helps in getting a feel for the videogame, gauging those serves, shot power, backhand returns et al.
Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR is one of those titles where each player has to find their own groove, so there are plenty of customisation options to choose from. You can swap how the bat is held in your robotic hand – which doesn’t sound like much of an option as you’ll still hold the controller the same way but it does have an effect – alter the height, placement and angle of the table to suit your requirements plus several other tweaks.
For a recently released early access videogame Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR already features plenty of polish and refinement. Single-player matches are great fun and highly challenging, so hopefully the multiplayer follows suit (as long as there are players which can be an issue in VR). Whether you’re a table tennis fanatic or not, 10Ants Hill has created an experience that’s already up there with some of the best for HTC Vive, so VRFocus will be watching its continued development closely.