It’s fair to say that Oculus Quest has had its fair share of ports. At launch, it was to ensure there was content for owners to purchase while nowadays the possible revenue stream means it’s almost an essential factor for developers. That hasn’t meant the standalone headset saw a deluge of Oculus Go or Gear VR content due to the curated nature of the store, but there are some which I’d like to see ported before these platforms disappear.
As a fan of real-time strategy videogames like XCOM when British studio Coatsink released Augmented Empire that itch was scratched. The developer was at the forefront of mobile VR development with titles like Esper and Esper 2 and Augmented Empire was a perfect demonstration of that skill.
Featuring a star-studded voice cast you were able to explore an isolated neo-noir metropolis, strategically placing placing characters to tackle opponents, utilising the particular skills to best effect.
It’s a genre which is really lacking on Oculus Quest and would be great to see. Alas, this isn’t going to be the case for Augmented Empire as Coatsink has already confirmed to VRFocus that a port wouldn’t be possible, the title would need to be entirely remade.
The first and only VR title from Dream Reality Interactive, Arca’s Path is like an immersive version of videogame classic Marble Madness. A puzzle title with a back story involving a girl tricked by an evil witch, she’s been turned into a ball and needs to navigate labyrinthine levels to free herself.
Arca’s Path is a VR experience that won’t necessarily be enhanced by 6DoF controls yet it could easily be one of those entry-level videogames which are easy and comfortable to pick up and play. Its gaze-based system could be enhanced with motion controls for more ‘hands-on’ gameplay.
However, that’s likely not going to happen as Dream Reality Interactive has been more focused on augmented reality (AR) of late, creating mobile title SingHeads.
Spark of Light
A charming little VR adventure which puts you in the centre of a colourful, fairytale world, Spark of Light was one of the earliest and most endearing examples of this style of VR gaming.
While titles such as The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets or Down the Rabbit Hole have advanced this genre, Spark of Light is still an enchanting mix of story and environmental puzzles as you guide a young lad called Nerow who needs to save the world from darkness.
Much like Dream Reality Interactive, Spark of Light developer Pillow’s Willow VR Studios – now known as PWXR – has pivoted away from its original remit. It’s now focused on active VR/AR eSports titles. Spark of Light will live on thanks to a SteamVR version for PC headsets.
The third VR title from indie developer E McNeill, Skylight is a turn-based strategy videogame where you control a fleet of spacecraft. On the bridge of your flagship you position your fleet by way of a holographic projector, selecting different ship types from nimble fighters to colossal capital ships.
With Oculus Quest’s inside-out tracking and 6DoF controls it would be great to get right in the middle to control those forces, maybe even utilising hand tracking to grab and move ships.
At the moment E McNeill is more focused on his current project Ironlights which launched back in April for multiple headsets including Oculus Quest. If he did consider a back catalogue port to Quest then I’d recommend Skylight.
Well, this was a given, wasn’t it? A highly sought after title for Oculus Quest, Mojang has already supported Oculus Rift and Gear VR – the latter will no longer be updated after October 2020 – so a port to the popular standalone headset was expected.
There’s been no word from either Microsoft or Mojang on this topic even though John Carmack had previously got it running. The one ray of light actually comes from The Khronos Group’s OpenXR standard. Microsoft has officially begun supporting implementation with Minecraft’s new rendering engine RenderDragon using OpenXR which could lead to wider platform support. We’ll have to wait and see.