Publisher – The Binary Mill
Price – US $7.99
Release Date – May 25, 20117
Input – Touchpad
Play Area – Seated
Store – Steam
Reviewed on – Galaxy S8 Plus
One of the items still to do in my Bucket List is jump out of a plane and skydive. The thought of it has always sounded incredibly exciting and cool to me. Although, I know that when it would come to the eventual “crunch-time” while sitting on the platform ten thousand feet in the air, my views would drastically change and I would chicken out! So, here we are with the next best thing, a skydiving/wing-suit racing game for the Samsung Gear VR. It’s a good attempt but not quite immersive enough for me to be able to cross it off that Bucket List of mine.
Upon loading, you will find yourself in an aircraft taking you up to your jumping platform. Amongst you are 3 fellow skydivers and the aim is to race these through checkpoint rings along the courses and cross the finish line. Along with your competitors, inside the aircraft is where you get to change a few options and select your course. Three courses are available currently, one which features green hills, valleys and mountains, the next is Alpine with snowy mountains and then onto a desert canyon. As you complete each race you get stars for coming first, second or third. The number of stars you acquire will enable you to unlock further courses and the Alpine setting . There are a good number of courses per location but the only variety is the order and layout of the checkpoint rings so each race feels very similar to the others. In addition to the various races you also can participate in time challenge and score trials.
Starting off on your jumping platform, you find yourself looking down at the land below you while wearing your helmet and face visor waiting for the announcer to count you down. You are given the option of two control methods. The games recommended one is to merely look where you wish to fly to and a tap of the Gears’ touchpad, which will give you a boost once your boost bar has sufficiently filled up. The other method here is to tilt your head left and right to control your descent and route. I personally found this method a bit nausea inducing and found the look method more intuitive. One negative aspect of this is the fact that while you are falling, the urge to look around you and take in the sights and locate your fellow racers is hard to resist. Doing this will only result in you drifting off course, missing checkpoints and receiving penalty points. Maybe the developers, in future updates, will add controller support to guide your character and allow to take in the sights at the same time.
The immersion factor is good; the visuals are fairly basic but the game does give the feeling like you are wind-suiting your way through harrowingly tight cliffs and open mountain sides. A fan set up blowing into your face would probably add to this! The graphics are smooth and successfully achieve a good sense of speed.
Along with the other CPU racers there is also the option of Multiplayer to race against other players and the chance to customize your flyer. When you finish first you will unlock a specific skydiving suit and other accessories. The game menu screen will also give you the chance to select colour schemes and suits for your racer.
The games sound effects and music can be quite irritating. The music while you race does get very ‘samey’ and distracting which fortunately can be turned off. Similar things can be said of the games announcer, as his high pitch can be very telling on the ears.
The gameplay offered here is very good but perhaps a bit more diversity should have added to its overall appeal. Different objectives for each course or weather effects would have added greatly to the experience. It’s a straightforward, simple, fun game which does get repetitive quickly and is probably best played in small doses. Load up for a few races, move onto something else and repeat for about a week or so. As mentioned there are a good variety of game modes so for those that keep coming back, this will keep you occupied for a good period of time.
What would I pay? $7.99 I feel is a fair price point for the content here and the competitive multiplayer option is always welcome!
The Binary Mill provided theVRgrid with a review copy of this game and, regardless of our review, we thank them for that!