The HTC Vive has a unique advantage in the VR wars – it comes pre-installed with Steam, which offers hundreds of VR ready games. The Vive headset is designed around a feature called “room scale,” which allows you to move around a room while also moving around in the VR world. In addition to the unique experience of getting to walk around a virtual world, the Vive ships with motion controllers, unlike the Oculus Rift which requires you to buy an optional accessory.

In this article, we’ll highlight and discuss the top HTC Vive games on the market right now.

space-pirate-trainer


Space Pirate Trainer

Price: $14.99

Over the past generations of video games, there have been a few notable entries that challenged gamers to sit up and move: Dance Dance Revolution, Rock Band, etc. Space Pirate Trainer takes it to an entirely new level. By thrusting the player into an environment where their ability to move and dodge out of the way is essential for survival, Space Pirate Trainer challenges the sedentary style of gaming we have become so accustomed to.

Players use the Vive’s controllers to aim their weapons, raise a shield in front of themselves to deflect bullets, and more. Aiming is a visceral action; you have to turn and duck to avoid incoming enemies and rounds. Players will break a sweat while playing, but this style of gaming may be the first step in turning gamers into super-human athletes.


Job Simulator

Price: $39.99
The Job Simulator is bundled with the HTC Vive at launch. The game is a hilarious/sandbox which helps you get acquainted with the motion controllers.

The game’s set in the future where humans are no more than a curiosity to the robots who have taken over. The most basic activities like making lunch, checking out at the grocery store or blending carrots and floppy discs become incredibly thrilling. The ability to smash objects, throw things across the rooms or stock objects lets you get a feel of the controllers but is an insanely addicting game.


The Lab

The Lab

Price: Free
Want to adopt a mechanical dog, defend a castle, or try to fix a robot? The Lab is Valve’s only self-made game at the time of launch for the Vive. The series of mini-games let you explore the virtual world while you’re learning how to use the headset. It’s a perfect proof-of-concept game to show friends when they come over to see the cool VR headset you bought.

Did I mention the game is free? While the pocket universe looks corny, it’s a place you can spend hours trying to hit the target while shooting arrows with the longbow.


island-359Island 359

Price: $19.99

Growing up in the 90s, I had a pretty big obsession when it came to dinosaurs, fueled largely by movies like Jurassic Park. That’s why to this day, any game that offers a “dinosaur” setting tends to get my attention. The Island: 359 is such a game. In it you are a mercenary that is dropped into a dangerous jungle setting, on the hunt for dinosaurs. At your disposal is a number of guns and other items, all in your quest to take down the biggest and baddest dinos in the land. The game isn’t perfect and is very much an early access game, but it’s a hell of alot of fun, especially if you happen to be into dinosaurs.


Redout VR RacingRedout

Price: $35

Basically Redout is a VR version of th classic WipeOut. It’s obviously not built by Sony, hence the name difference, but the experience is pretty much what you’d expect. Interestingly enough, Redout not only works with the Vive, but it also a ‘traditional’ game. Good for those moments when you just don’t feel like throwing on the headset.


Vanishing Realms

Price: $19.99
Vanishing Realms is an immersive RPG designed for VR only. The use of the motion controllers means you won’t need to hit a button to swing your sword, block an attack or crouch. Instead, you’ll get to perform the movements – so make room and make sure nothing breakables near you. In the game, you’ll seek lost artifacts, wield swords, and have close combat with life size monsters

The game is in early access, with only chapters 1  & 2 available now. The development will progress as your playing with more features and story always being added. The early access isn’t to take away from the beauty and advanced technologies Vanish Realms employees to make the game immersive and interactive. Other firms, like Mojang behind Minecraft, have released early access periods to develop games, with a great deal of success


solus-projectSolus Project

Price: $19.99

In most games, survival is simple: kill the enemy before they kill you. In The Solus Project, it’s a bit more complicated. As the sole survivor of a crash landing on an strange, beautiful alien world, you must navigate through the environment and find food, shelter, and most importantly, a way to get off the planet and save Earth.

The enemies in the game are best avoided. Fighting them usually results in death, but according to the developers, that’s expected. Players are meant to die several times, but to use each death as a learning experience. Imagine Robinson Crusoe meets Minecraft Survival Mode meets Avatar, and you may be close to what Solus Project encompasses. The environment drives a feeling of total isolation that can be just as dangerous as the enemies themselves.


project-cars-iconProject CARS

Price: $29.99

Though the gaming world is rife with arcade-style racers, few tackle realism in the same way that Project CARS does. That said, the VR implementation into the game is some of the best we’ve seen yet. Rather than needing to select a specific menu item, players can simply focus their gaze on the item for a few seconds and the game will automatically select it. This new ‘Gaze Control’ support holds a number of possibilities for the world of VR.

Players can use the Vive controllers to steer, but steering wheel peripherals are supported and create an even deeper sense of immersion. However, Slightly Mad Studios does suggest deleting specific configuration files to help the Vive integration run seamlessly.


werewolveswithin_headerWerewolve Within

Price: $29.99

There’s probably a fairly good chance you’ve played the “real life” equivalent of this social game. Sometimes going by the name Werewolf, sometimes Mafia, and likely probably a few other variants — the rules and settings might vary a bit, but basically the gameplay remains largely the same. In Werewolves Within you must attempt to figure out who are the villagers, or who happens to be the werewolf. The game is completely multiplayer, requiring 5 to 8 players. If you don’t have that many VR-owning friends, the good news is there are matchmaking systems for connecting you with other players.

 


header (1)Raw Data

Price: $39.99

Raw Data has been called one of the best first person shooters in VR, and it doesn’t fail to live up to the title. In the game, you’re immersed in a sci-fi world where an evil corporation runs the world, and you have to try and defeat them. There is a little bit of data hacking included when you’re tasked with infiltrating the evil corporate headquarters, and steal geophytes of data.

You’re able to go solo or team up with another friend to navigate the thrilling sci-fi world. The controls are some of the best we’ve seen, and the enemies are adaptable. This means different groups of enemies are challenging and change based on who are you battling with. On top of that there is active VR combat which is where you pump a shotgun and your hero in the game mimics your movements. All-in-all, the game one of the better thought out games for the HTC Vive.


onwardOnward

Price: $24.95

If you’ve been waiting for a truly hardcore shooter game for VR, Onward is what you’ve been dreaming of. Basically playing like a VR version of Call of Duty, this one has you holding your rifle in both hands, using a walkie talkie for communication, and much more. This is easily the most realistic VR shooter out right now, using roomscale to its fullest. This includes using the trackpad for movement, instead of the typical teleporting mechanic.

 


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Hover Junkers

Price: $34.99

Hover Junkers is a multiplayer game where you try to destroy flying Junkers or fortify flying Junkers. The game is built for VR and uses the motion controllers exclusively to duck, shoot, walk, and aim to help destroy enemy ships. The drought desert filled the world is full of junk hunters who scrape together junk to defend against enemy ships.

The games one of the most fun but also intuitive VR games around. You’re able to aim down the barrel of the gun. While hovering on the junkers can feel off, and make some users sick you quickly become adjusted and don’t notice the hovering. The games beautiful, and with motion controllers, you’ll feel like you’re moving around all the action. All-in-all, it’s a great multiplayer online first person shooter for the HTC Vive.


The Vive has a good range of games right now, with a lot more coming out this fall and winter. These are just a few of our favorite, though there are certainly plenty of other great experiences to be had with the Vive. Tell us in the comments below what you think about the current games available for the HTC Vive, and which ones look the most promising!

 

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