In Ikaros you take control of a cyborg who needs to escape from an underground facility full of strange puzzles, portals, traps, and killer machines. Not to mention a mysterious conspiracy that’s afoot. A short, free preview version of the puzzle/mystery game from Studio Mori is available on Steam.
The free version of Ikaros that’s now available for the HTC Vive contains the first couple of puzzles in the game and amounted to about 20 minutes of playtime during my playthrough. Which is extremely short, but was enough to give me a sense of the game and where the developers are going with it. Ikaros makes use of a 2.8m by 2.8m room-scale area. And while the area size requirements are usually more of a suggested guideline in most games, in this game it’s absolutely essential.
My play area was a bit smaller than that and so I struggled quite a bit to get through the first part of the game where I had to crawl in an area that was outside of my playzone. So if your play area isn’t at least as big as the required space, then be aware that you might struggle to get through the game. Even though it was such a short experience, I think Ikaros has a lot of potential as a VR puzzle/adventure game. The environment was simple but well crafted. In the sense that a lot of thought went into how the environment itself could become part of the puzzle while remaining within the room-scale sized area.
Check out the trailer below:
The puzzles were simple enough to get through, though there were quite a few varied ones within the first couple of minutes of the game. From finding a piece that fit into a certain slot, to figuring out how a symbol translates to a numerical value. At one point I also found a bow and arrow and then had to face off against flying drones who started to attack me. There certainly was a lot of different things to experience and I got the sense that the developers wanted to show off what they can do with VR.
Though I did have a couple of issues with what I saw. The hands, for instance, do need some work in terms of animation and it would be great if there was some more haptic feedback with some of the puzzle elements and the flying. I didn’t really understand the flying mechanic. As for the puzzles, some of the ideas were original, which is great, but they were much too easy. I didn’t really feel challenged at all while making my way through Ikaros. So if the developers do continue on to make a full game, then I hope they add some harder challenges to their offering.
I look forward to seeing more content from Studio Mori, hopefully in the form of an extended Ikaros game. So if you’re looking for a fun and creative, if short, VR puzzle experience, then make sure to give Ikaros a try. It’s free after all!