10 mind-bending Oculus Rift experiences that will take you for a psychedelic ride

Throughout the development of the Rift hardware and software, early adopters have mostly dabbled with that demos, short films and unique experiences rather than full-blown games. Some, like Private Eye and Technolust, have led to games, whilst others like Asunder: Earthbound have given us glimpses of what the future might be like. We’ve also had hints of social VR applications in AltSpaceVR and Convrge, where entertainment, education and friendly hangouts have occurred in equal measure.

As with any new medium, some have deliberately crafted bizarre digital worlds for us to explore. Psychedelic experiences, surrealistic interpretations and experiments with size and scale have helped create some truly unique demos about what VR can offer, and many of them are very playable, too.

We went diving into forums and the depths of the Oculus Share site, to find some of the strangest, mind bending experiences that also adhere to all of the standards of VR development. They play well, don’t cause instant nausea and, most importantly, send your mind on a trip that it is not soon to forget.

The Boursin Sensorium

There are a lot of companies and enterprises that could benefit in a promotional or sales sense from VR. Architects can show clients around homes that haven’t been built yet, window sellers could show off designs pre-sale and travel agents could take you to exotic destinations within the comfort of virtual reality, to give you a taste of what a locale can offer.

Nobody really expected food companies to get into virtual reality though. Despite the fact that you cannot smell, or taste within VR (yet!) Groupe Bel, a multinational French cheese marketer teamed up with Hammerhead VR, the company that put together the original Undercurrent VR demo, to create a short experience, all about Boursin cheese.

The spreadable soft cheese features in the demo, which is in essence a rollercoaster ride through a fridge, as well as all of its ingredients. It’s very detailed and beautifully rendered, making for quite an immersive, albeit bizarre experience. All about cheese.


Not every experience in VR has to be interactive. That creates all manner of difficulties for film makers, because as much as there is lots to show an audience, it’s often what you don’t show them that can be most important. How do you control that if you don’t know where they’re going to look?

That wasn’t a problem for Tyler Hurd, who made sure he’d know exactly where the audience is looking with Butts, “an animated VR short about love, trust, and learning what it means to be truly free,” according to the official site. While you can question that all you like, it’s very difficult to watch this bizarre minute or so of film without cracking a smile and wondering what strange happen-stance gave Mr Hurd the idea for it.

Read more here.

Dumpy Going Elephants

One of the older Rift demos on this list, Dumpy Going Elephants was originally released for the DK1 and was recently ported over to the newer, better DK2. It puts players in control of Dumpy, an elephant, and more importantly, its trunk. That appendage is all that players can see of themselves while playing, but crucially they can control where the trunk goes with a turn of their head.

Swing left and the trunk swings with you, likewise in other directions, which makes for a surprisingly effective weapon to mess with the physics-bending, impressively colorful world that players find themselves in. You’ll knock down buildings, send football playing children flying up impossible cliffs, and even sling trees at aliens. There isn’t much point to it, but it is fun and very, very strange.

Alien Makeout Simulator

This one is on the verge of drifting into the type of Oculus Rift demo we won’t be covering as part of this piece, though loading the game up makes it clear it’s meant to be silly rather than pornographic. Players find themselves faced with a multi-mouthed alien (of specified gender) who is rather keen on them. In order to progress to their spaceship for more intimate canoodling, they need to first kiss them on various sets of lips.

Each set must be kissed for a certain amount of time to progress to the next round. While the game does move quicker and become more complicated as you go, it’s not difficult to succeed. You’ll have more trouble trying to explain what just happened, and you’ll probably spend more time telling friends about it than you did playing.

Short? Yes. Weird? Definitely.


I almost didn’t include this one on the list, as out of all of them it is the least polished, the most amateur feeling. Textures are a bit ropey in places, the text is jarring and broken, and some of the automated camera movement can be nauseating. But by god, is it weird!

BadBox start by making you a human sacrifice. From there, you progress through the afterlife into your own “BadBox,” which involves flying through alien landscapes, strange lighting effects, impossible architecture, and surprisingly foreboding geometry. Spikey, anthropomorphic collections of flesh and metal appear to threat you with their sheer oddity rather than jump scares.

The story you’re put through doesn’t make a lot of sense, and a number of portions of the demonstration can feel broken or at best, dull, but you will spend the majority of your time in the “BadBox” having very little idea what is going on — and it puts even the bravest players on edge.


Listen up! White noise device may make VR motion sickness a thing of the past

A simple device that sends white noise vibrations to the inner ear could be all it takes to fix the long-running problem of nausea in virtual reality. The developers are now seeking FDA approval.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.

Does Qualcomm's latest laptop processor hold up against Intel's Core i5?

Qualcomm has been nipping at Intel's mobile CPU heels for years and now it might finally have overtaken it. To find out whether it's new SoC can hold its own in mid-range computing, we pitted the Snapdragon 8cx vs. Core i5.

Not just for Lightroom anymore, Loupedeck+ now works with Photoshop

Loupedeck+ can now help photographers edit in Photoshop too, thanks to physical controls for swapping tools, running actions, and more. The photo-editing console expanded to include Photoshop in the list of compatible editing programs.

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Steam streaming hub with Valve’s Steam Link app

Valve's Steam Link app is now fully supported by Raspberry PI hardware, meaning that just about anyone with a few dollars to spare can build their own Steam streaming box in a matter of minutes.

Amazon takes $300 off Intel Core i7 Surface Pro 6 in latest sale

If you're looking for savings on the Surface Pro 6, Amazon is the place to shop. It currently is discounting the Intel Core i7 variant of Microsoft's latest 2-in-1 by $300, though no Type Cover is included.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.

Don't keep typing the same thing -- learn to copy and paste with these shortcuts!

Looking for useful Windows keyboard shortcuts? The most common are the cut, copy, paste and undo shortcuts compatible with all kinds of tasks. They can save you an awful lot of time if you learn how to use them.

Latest Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8 million users’ private photos

An API bug recently left an impact on Facebook users. Though the issue has since been fixed, some of the apps on the platform had a wrongful access to consumers photos for 12 days between September 13 and September 25. 

You can now get a Surface Laptop 2 for $800 at the Microsoft Store

Along with deals on other variants, starting configurations of Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 are now going for $800 online at its retail store, cutting $200 from its usual $1,000 starting price. 

Need a monitor for professional photo-editing? These are the very best

Looking for the best monitor for photo editing? You'll need to factor in brightness, color accuracy, color gamut support and more. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best ones for you, to help you make an educated purchase.
1 of 2