Developer / Publisher – Sean Tann
Price – US $4.99 / EU €4.99 / UK £3.99
Release Date – August 22, 2017
Input – Tracked Motion Controllers
Play Area – Seated, Standing, Room-scale
Store – Steam
Reviewed on – HTC Vive
Chroma Lab is primarily a physics simulation game that has a feel reminiscent of the old falling sand games. If you ever played those you have a decent understanding of the general purpose, which is to mess around in a physics environment using various tools and variable options to see exactly what can be done. Where this game truly shines is being in a roomscale environment in 3D. Actually standing in the simulation changes things immensely and takes the game from being a fun diversion into being a wonderful experience.
There are several tool at your disposal, including gravity(or force) spheres, that can be placed in 3 dimensions, hand tracked pull/push tools, an exploding tool and a paint tool. Graphically speaking the game is gorgeous and it looks even better when everything is in motion. The colors and spheres all pulse to the beat of any music you are playing. This is a great, mesmerizing function, though I do wish it came with at least some form of preset music instead of being entirely based on what you have. That said, It will work properly with streamed music from Pandora and Spotify or even music videos being played on YouTube so lacking a proper music library on your PC should not be much of a hindrance for enjoyment.
Chroma Lab has several options to mess around with such as particle count, particle size, room size (default is set to Steam VR Guardian Boundaries), gravity, color, music intensity and even has some neat extra features such as lava lamp mode. In addition to those options Chroma Lab comes with several presets to show off some of the diverse options and tools that can be used. Messing with these is some of the most fun I have had in VR. The games only purpose is to just play around and the freedom to do whatever you want is both relaxing and fun.
Chroma Lab is very simple in set up, flawless in execution and really a blast to play with. If you enjoy physics simulations at all then this is an experience that should not be missed. Heck, even If you have no experience with physics sand boxes at all I would still give this a strong recommendation based on the low asking price. It’s mesmerizing and so enjoyable just to see what you can do with the phenomenal physics at play and would be a great experience to demo for anyone looking to see what VR is all about.
What would I pay? The $5 asking price is well below what I would personally consider paying for a game of this quality and polish. If you are a fan of physics simulators this game could easily command a price of $15, at the current price this is an experience that shouldn’t be missed by anyone.
Sean Tann provided theVRgrid.com with a review code for this game and, regardless of this review, we thank him for that!