This post was written by guest writer David Jurger.
Back in the fall we previewed some Google announcements, including one about the Pixel smartphone and its accompanying VR headset. The phone was a bold step, as Google looked to leap right into the fray with Samsung and Apple with virtually nothing to build on in the mobile hardware category. If anything, the Daydream VR device is even bolder, because it basically relied on the Pixel’s success before it could even be considered relevant.
Little did we know that the Daydream VR headset would become a respectable device as far as VR tools go. Stuff’s review characterized it as a “sexier, streamlined alternative to Cardboard with plenty of potential,” and gave it four out of five stars. That’s in line with most other reviews from major tech and retail publications, which indicates that the Daydream VR is being taken seriously.
What still remains to be seen is which Android apps will make for the best Daydream experiences. We know that the headset is comfortable, sturdy, attractive, and that it allows for Pixel users to dive into VR via apps. But right now we’re still in the very early stages of VR-geared app development. With that in mind, here are a few Android apps that could (and should) easily be spun into VR games.
The Room, by Fireproof, has been around for a while now, and has two sequels that are very similar in tone and gameplay. Even so, this is arguably the best exploration game in mobile stores, and its foundation of captivating atmospheres, sharp graphics, and vaguely defined mysteries are ideal for VR immersion. Fireproof’s games already include a title called Omega Agent that is specifically designed for VR play. While The Room hasn’t been adapted just yet, it could be happening soon and would be a tremendous experience on Daydream.
There are a lot of racing games to choose from when discussing VR potential simply because racing is a very enjoyable genre on this particular medium. As far as the best Android experiences go, it’s hard to top Riptide GP Renegade. Android Authority’s write-up of the best Android games of 2016 called the series one of “perhaps the best racers available” in mobile stores. That should tell you all you need to know.
Betfair Table Games
This is less of an individual game and more of a collection of various titles that could potentially adapt well to Daydream VR. Betfair’s range of table games includes roulette, craps, and even pinball roulette. The full selection is also available on the site’s accompanying Android app which would make the upgrade to VR support a much easier task. Casino gameplay would seem to be well-suited to VR headsets given that players want to feel as if they’re actually sitting at tables and VR could definitely help make them feel like they’re part of the game. A redesigned version of this table game selection would draw a significant crowd of players and set a new precent for realism within the genre.
Finally, there’s Pokémon GO, which already popularized the idea of AR for mobile devices. The idea of a relatively simple upgrade to this game that allows players to experience the hunt for Pokémon through VR instead of AR would be exciting, even if it would change the fundamental core of the game (which is that it’s rooted in your real world geography). This would certainly get a lot of attention, and could be a great experience on Daydream.