Developing virtual reality (VR) videogames can be a hard process, involving countless hours of hard work and dedication to put together something functional and fun. In the early days of consumer VR there was plenty of experimentation as studios figured out what worked and what didn’t, which led to lots of short, tech demo style experiences, some of which worked and some that were quite frankly awful. Almost two years since the first high-end headsets came to market, there’s been a plethora of amazing titles arrive which deserve your time and money, Train Runner VR on the other hand does not.
Let’s explain what you get firstly. Train Runner VR conjures up thoughts of a possible endless runner style experience or maybe some sort of train management videogame with loads of toy locomotives whizzing around you. It is none of these things. Train Runner VR revolves around Kaley and her dog Panda. The dog has become stranded on some train tracks that span a 500-foot gorge and there’s a runaway train looming in the distance.
So it’s up to you to destroy the train and save the pooch, don’t worry though, as this is a family friendly title so the dog is never in harms way as it’s sat on a slight outcrop of the bridge. To blow up the train you can either use a bow and arrow or a huge ballista that can be removed from its placement for easier aiming. What you end up doing is shooting the train over and over again as it makes its first pass, then it’ll keep returning over and over again until you finally manage to destroy it – or you just get bored and turn the whole thing off.
There are loads of explosive barrels located around the one and only level, some are even on the bridge, but destroying them doesn’t bring the bridge crashing down unfortunately – there is a stupid dog on there after all. Once the train is finished so is Train Runner VR as there’s sod all else to do. You can teleport about and find a cave which features the names of the developers, and look around the scenery.
It’s difficult to really know what Rocket Worldwide was going for with Train Runner VR. Yes it’ll amuse youngsters for a few minutes but there are much better representations of VR that are suited for kids, just look at Luna, Spark of Light, Rangi, GNOG and many more. Even after destroying the train and searching every nook and cranny of the level for anything hidden the entire play time was less than 15 minutes. There’s a mystery box where random variations of the weapons appear, like a ballista that fires watermelons but that’ll keep players amused for about 10 seconds.
All in all there’s nothing to recommend Train Runner VR. Gameplay is shallow and repetitive, the character models look like they came from a 90s cartoon show trying 3D for the first time, and it’s priced at $19.99! Here’s a certainty, if you buy Train Runner VR on Steam you’ll request a refund with 30 mins. Save yourself time and money and just don’t.