If you’ve been umming and ahhing over whether to buy a HTC Vive virtual reality headset, making the leap before the end of March would make a lot of sense. If purchased before then, the bundle will come with two additional games, Richie’s Plank Experience and Everest VR, making for a total of four for new owners.
When it was first released in April 2016, the HTC Vive shipped out with popular launch titles like Google’s TiltBrush, Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption, but times have changed since then. More recently, new buyers have been given free copies of Zombie Training Simulator and The Gallery: Episode 1: Call of the Starseed. Now though, they get two more as well.
The new additions offer two similarly vertigo-inducing experiences, but are rather different in execution. Richie’s Plank Experience is designed to induce real fear for those who don’t like heights and introduce people to the capabilities of virtual reality, while Everest VR is more atmospheric and awe-inspiring.
As much as free games are hard to turn down, the addition of these two titles is an interesting choice for HTC. While Richie’s Plank Experience is a reasonably well-reviewed title on Steam, the amount of content it offers is rather spare. It’s perhaps a good way to start out in VR and makes for a fun demo game, but it doesn’t have a lot to offer.
While Everest VR gives about an hour’s worth of playtime, according to reviewers, most report a decidedly negative experience. Some reviewers suggest they had trouble moving beyond the bounds of their physical room, while others claimed that the amount of content on offer was so limited they regretted buying it.
That sort of feeling may be alleviated by those who get it for free, but HTC didn’t exactly put its best foot forward with those choices for the bundle. Fortunately, both Zombie Simulator and The Gallery’s first episode were both very well reviewed and offer new VR users much more to play with.