Developer / Publisher – ForeVR Games
Price – US $9.99 / CAN $11.99 / EU €9.99 / UK £7.99 / AU $13.95
Release Date – December 16th, 2021
Input – Hand Tracking, Oculus Touch
Play Area – Sitting, Standing, Room Scale
Store – Oculus
Reviewed on – Quest 2
ForeVR Darts is the follow-up title to Forever bowl, one of my favorite VR games to come out in the last year. Continuing what looks to be a casual sport franchise, ForeVR Darts aims to simulate that real word sport by letting you use your tracked hands making for an experience that should feel very authentic.
For those familiar with ForeVR Bowl, this games layout is largely the same with you starting off in a pub with the game teaching you how to throw darts. Hand tracking is the way to go here in regard to making the experience feel as “real” as possible though the option to use controllers is there should you prefer them. With hand tracking, it’s as easy as picking up a nearby dart and throwing it at the board in an effort to get the most points. Aiding you in this task is an aim assist that shows the expected trajectory of your shot as well as where it will land, provided you toss it with the right amount of force. That can definitely feel cheap at times, but it is necessary as that lacking weight of a real dart does make it tricky to toss accurately in relation to the board and I still flubbed more than enough shots to realize that it is just an assist and not a full blown cheat. Depending upon the difficulty you play on this can change from the full assist, just a reticle or nothing at all for the full darting experience. In each area, you are free to move around using a series of hand gestures and motions and it didn’t take me to long before I switched to using controllers when I was just messing around as these afford full locomotion and are much easier to use than trying to teleport with closed fists and turning with my thumbs pointing out. Don’t get me wrong, the hand tracking works just fine in regards to navigation, it’s just way more natural and easier to use the controllers. As for the hand tracking for the darts, I’ll get to that in a bit. You can play alone, against NPC’s of varying difficulties, online with up to 3 friends or strangers or even pass & play for more local fun with additional achievements & mini games available to take on if you are looking to mess around. Every attempt at a game will reward with experience points & currency you can spend on new darts, which each have their own unique stats and appearance.
ForeVR Darts is a game all about casual appeal as is apparent by the friendly, cartoonish art style. The first environment you find yourself is a classic UK pub complete with sitting area, bar and even a stage. NPC’s are scattered around the environment, tending the bar or just chilling nearby. The 3 environments look nice and range from that UK Pub, Las Vegas & Mars Space Station. Each of these environments look great and have a ton of little details that make them all fun and unique. Having only 3 stages to choose from does feel a little light but given that you’ll be spending most of your time looking at a dart board, it’s not the end of the world. NPC & Player avatars use the Facebook Avatars which gives everyone a fully animated body minus anything below the waste and animate quite nicely allowing for a fair bit of customization outside of the game and give the game a slightly metaversy vibe. There really isn’t much to complain about in the visual department with the game having a nice level of polish that let me focus on the gameplay without any immersion breaking distractions.
Soundwise, the game is actually bare bones with a few effects at play when you are tossing darts, many of which have there own unique sounds, but otherwise the game is bathed in silence save for the music you can select from the nearby jukebox. What the developers have done here is nothing short of brilliant as they have included a YouTube browser in the game to act as a soundtrack. There are a few playlists to select if you are looking for one of the more standard genres but if you want something a little off the beaten path, you can search and choose to your liking essentially making the soundtrack near limitless witch is awesome!. Of course, ForeVR Darts supports in-game voice chat so when you connect with friends, you can immediately start talking without any issue.
ForeVR Darts delivers on the promise of a social VR darting experience with a little bit of cartoonish flare, though ultimately, I think you need to have an appreciation for the sport to really care about the content in here…I don’t. That’s not to take away from the game itself as it delivers a solid experience that is defintiely better to play with friends than alone. The hand tracking, while not perfect, is on point and while I did miss the feel of an actual dart in my hand, I can’t deny how good it felt when it worked as it should. It doesn’t always work thanks in large part to the still ‘not-quite-there’ hand tracking that can be affected by low ambient light, dirty cameras on the headset or by just moving to fast, making for an experience occasionally hampered by notifications about slowing your movements down or ensuring you are in an ideal VR environment. Otherwise, there’s not too much else to complain about with the game offering up enough content and unlockables keep every dartist out there busy.
ForeVR Darts delivers on its titles namesake and fans of tossing pointy projectiles at virtual sisal fibre boards should be happy with what’s on offer here. A few environments, plenty of ways to play alone or with friends and some solid hand tracked darting makes this a winner…assuming you like darts in the 1st place.
What would I pay? This is $10 US and worth it provided you’re interested in this sort of thing. For myself it was fun for a bit, but I honestly would rather head back to the bowling alley for some more satisfying casual sports action.
ForeVR Games provided The VR Grid with a press code for this title and, regardless of this title, we thank them for that!