I don’t think I’ve ever entered a VR game and instantly went “Awww!” before, but today that definitely happened. With VR Furballs – Demolition you pretty much get what the name says – adorable little furballs who love to participate in some demolitions work.
VR Furballs – Demolition is a physics-based puzzle game that released in Early Access on Steam this week for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality. The game is going for $4.99 but does have a 20% launch sale going which puts it at $3.99 until January 9. I got to give the game a try using a Vive and was instantly enamored with the cutesy characters, cartoonish environment and dynamic gameplay, and found that VR Furballs – Demolition is well worth the asking price.
VR Furballs – Demolition was created and developed by Gamily Studios – an independent video game studio based in France. The whole studio consists of two people, including the developer, Steeve Kilhoffer, and the level designer and voice actress, Li Zhang. This is the studio’s debut VR game.
Check out the trailer below:
This game functions much like Angry Birds in the sense that you have to fling your cartoonish little friends at despicable round baddies (not pigs this time) in order to topple their structures and crush them. King Baddy and his cronies have kidnapped your furry friends and now it’s up to you and the furballs you release to stop him. Don’t be fooled by this game’s simple premise though, because it packs a lot of punch in a small package.
Arguably the simplest part of this game are the visuals, which offers a pleasing cartoonish aesthetic that instantly gives off a warm and welcome feeling. The Furballs are also there in greeting and their big eyes and cute fur make them an instant crowd pleaser. I probably spent around 3 minutes just swishing my first fluffball around in my hand to see the ‘fluff physics’ at work. It was quite mesmerizing. Though while the visuals were awesome, I had to scoff a little at the sound sometimes. The background music was nice, but the sounds made by the creatures sounded strange at times – like a combination of a dog barking and a person making a constipated noise. Overall the sound quality just didn’t seem to match the visual quality for me.
A Furry’s Dream Job
There are various types of balls and each has its own strength/skill. Some will only work in certain situations, though you don’t get to choose which ones you use. These balls of fluff accompanied me throughout the 24 levels and 5 locations currently available in the game to ultimately defeat King Baddy. The developer is planning on bringing the number of levels up to 54 by the end of the game’s EA run. Which they’re actually expecting to be sometime in February, so it’s not a long wait.
The gameplay in VR Furballs – Demolition, as mentioned before, consists of flinging these balls at obstacles and the enemies on, behind, or next to them. Everything is explained very nicely by a flying fairy furball that conveniently has illustrations for you, showing what you need to pick up or do next. As with any proper demolition job you have only the best tools at your disposal, including a slingshot, gun, and a tennis racket. Even more tools get unlocked as you go along and these definitely spice up the game since you aren’t just using your plain old controller to vault Furballs across space the whole time. Overall, the gameplay felt very intuitive, though some tools were more challenging than others to use. The tennis racket was a particularly challenging one for me since it doesn’t afford a lot of control over direction.
Besides the tools, there are also accessories in the game, which I found to be an interesting addition. These include things like a radar that shows you where hidden enemies are, mushrooms that will make you shrink or grow, and a bullet-time slowing effect amongst others. While not strictly necessary, these accessories made the gameplay unique and, at times, a hell of a lot of fun.
Take A Break From All That Demolishing
Although the levels in VR Furballs – Demolition offer some addictive gameplay – especially if you’re going for the high score on the global leaderboard – the game also has 6 mini-games to keep you entertained. These aren’t too challenging, but again, there is a scoreboard so the goal is points rather than completion. I partook in activities like whack-a-mole, hit the bomb, and balloon fest during my playthrough and each brought a unique, if quaintly entertaining element to the game.
Finally, VR Furballs – Demolition also has a level editor which becomes available after you’ve completed the game. I didn’t mess around with it too much, but it was probably the most challenging part of the game, with little user friendliness. Which isn’t a good thing, exactly. That being said, it sounds like the developer will be working on bringing improvements to the level editor in future updates. Gamily Studios also announced a Level Creation Contest on the game’s Steam page that encourages players to create their own levels for the game with the chance to have one of them feature in the final release.
The developers are looking to add 3 user-created levels to the final game, so if you think you’ve got a great eye for creating interesting puzzles, then you can check out the announcement for more details.