How strong are your VR legs? If your answer was “pretty strong” – then let me tell you, that’s what I thought too. However, I felt kind of like a sailor walking on dry land again after three months on a cargo ship in Runaway VR. This game is an endless runner much like Temple Run but this time you actually get to be in the game, not just controlling it.
I would have loved a little bit more control in this game since Runaway VR didn’t let me decide where or how fast I’m going but simply launched me forward on an endless narrow path and I was on my way. Now, in general gaming circles this would be fine, but in VR one’s knees tend to get a little wobbly if you’re standing completely still but it feels like you’re moving forward at a relatively fast pace. Then there are also the times when the ground suddenly disappeared and I found myself falling from a ledge onto the path below. While this would generally be fine in flat-screen games, in VR it made me a bit disoriented. Albeit only for a second or two.
Let’s Do the Zoidberg!
Luckily I wasn’t just on a track with absolutely no control in Runaway VR. The game took my position on the path into account based on my headset movement. So while playing the game I basically looked like Zoidberg as I moved quickly from side to side, trying to collect all the coins on the path.
There are quite a few things to dodge and duck under too as the game moves you ever forward. Plus if I veered just a little bit too much off of the path then I fell and had to begin from scratch. It’s a bit frustrating but also makes sense since this game is all about seeing how far you can go and the replayability would be diminished severely had there been certain points in the level where you could start over from. Plus I really started getting competitive – wanting to see if I could get farther and farther each time.
As for the levels, there are three locations in the game. Each works basically the same but you have to play the jungle first to be able to unlock the other two, which are desert and castle-themed maps. The environments on these maps were very basic but since I couldn’t really look around while running on the path, it made sense. Plus the environmental design on and around the path was clearly what the developers focused on and I quite liked the overall aesthetic on the maps.
No Control, Guess I’m in for a Ride
Runaway VR doesn’t let you make use of the controllers when you’re running through the maps. The only times a controller is needed is when you’re interacting with the menu, for instance if you want to check out the scoreboard or buy power-ups that help you get through the game. These power-ups include gaining more money, being momentarily invincible and starting again from a certain point. I especially liked the last one since I tended to fall off of the path a lot.
So besides the initial feeling of disorientation as the game moved forward but I did not, I really enjoyed Runaway VR. I can definitely see myself getting addicted to this game simply because I started getting really competitive while playing it. If you’re a very competitive player, or really like endless runners like Temple Run, then make sure to give Runaway VR a try.
Title: Runaway VR
Developer: Panoramik Inc.
Publisher: Panoramik Inc.
Release Date: 4 August 2017