When it comes to simple builder puzzle games, I often find myself tinkering away for hours, trying to find the solution. And it was no different with Fantastic Contraption. Even though the premise of building some contraption to get an object into a box is not new, it certainly is for VR. Fantastic Contraption for VR was released on April 6, 2016.
Based on the flash game of 2008, Northway Games, the developers of Fantastic Contraption, tried out the HTC Vive and fell in love. So they decided to give the popular puzzle game another go with VR. Currently, the game is available on Steam for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift for about $21. They created the game for VR from the ground up and also added a couple of new features. One of these features is called Neko the toolbox. Your toolbox is alive and jumping – because he’s a green, floating cat that’s powered by pink farts. You get your tools from him by pulling off one of his tails or yanking a pin out of his head. These make up the materials of your contraption.
Fantastic Contraption takes you to a grassy knoll in the sky and tasks you with getting a squishy purple ball into the goal area. You have spinning wheels and stretchable rods at your disposal to get the ball rolling. With VR, you’re able to use your hands (Vive and Touch controllers) to stretch, pull and shape life-sized contraptions that will get the ball to its goal. It also has full room-scale so you can play the game standing up or sitting down.
- There are 50 official levels with challenging puzzles that range from cakewalk to what-the-hell.
- Infinite solutions. Working cars, tanks, catapults, conveyor belts, walking creatures or minimalist structures that use only gravity. Design for elegant simplicity, or build a rattling pile of junk that just barely makes it to the goal.
- Building with your own hands. Movement, so simple and natural you’ll forget you’re holding controllers. Need a wheel? Just pick it up. Want a longer rod? Just grab an end and stretch. It’s like playing with children’s blocks, except they’re bigger than you are.
- Full 3D audio and music. Actually, this game has no music. What it does have is musical instruments. Except you have to build them. Well… you’ll figure it out.
- Surreal and beautiful landscape. Why don’t you just lie down in the grass and just listen to the sky whales singing?
- Neko the toolbox
- Online sharing.Load contraptions made by your friends and also some random people. Marvel at the crazy crap they came up with.
What’s makes Fantastic Contraption so addictive is the fact that there really isn’t one single way to reach any certain goal. The only limit between you and the squishy ball reaching its objective is your imagination (and physics). In fact, the developers behind the game encourage players to come up with crazy, intricate contraptions to then share with others. (Fun Fact: Over 12 million contraptions were saved on the original game back in 2008) The game does have some replay value due to the fact that you have a multitude of ways to reach the goal area. It can also stir quite a competitive streak in those looking to build the best structures.
The PS VR version is due for release in spring 2017 and will make use of the Move controllers. The original flash game is also still available online, for free.