Published on August 25th, 2014 | by Craig Forshey1
Immersive Cardboard Sim Rocket Drop VR Soars Onto Android
With all the hullabaloo about Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift these days it can feel like the idea of ever owning a practical consumer virtual reality device for gaming is out of reach for most people. Which is why Google’s unveiling of its new “VR on a budget” Cardboard virtual reality concept for Android phones is perhaps the monolithic search giant’s most clever and forward thinking move in quite some time. Known simply as Cardboard it’s a brand new virtual reality headset you can build at home that consists of your Android phone and a few common parts you can find lying around your house like regular cardboard as the name implies.
It’s a really neat idea and it will be interesting to see what place Cardboard holds in the future of Android gaming. As cool as Cardboard is though it has yet to see any real adoption by game studios save for a fearless few examples like independent developer Sc0tt Games which has just unleashed its brand new arcade smash Rocket Drop VR, the most impressive and awe inspiring application of Cardboard in a video game to date.
When indie developer Scott Harber had a Cardboard kit fall into his lap, he immediately recognized fate calling him and set about working on a definitive new version of his smash arcade hit Rocket Drop that would allow players to experience it in a bold new way that truly puts them into the game like never before. Simply titled Rocket Drop VR, this new augmented reality version feels like a natural progression of the game’s core concept and does a terrific job of recreating the experience of jumping out of a plane over an active missile test site with nothing but a malfunctioning jet pack that’s almost out of fuel.
While the game mechanics themselves remain largely untouched, how you actually play the game is radically different now with controls that make it feel like Rocket Drop VR and Google Cardboard are a match made in heaven. As they plummet toward the Earth at hundreds of miles per hour players must angle their head just like in real life and do their best impression of Superman as they fly through the clouds picking up precious fuel power ups and dodging a swarm of ridiculously over sized missiles. It’s straightforward yet intuitive arcade fun that serves as a perfect reminder that there is so much more uncharted territory left to explore in how we play games.
In order to experience Rocket Drop VR you’ll need a set of Google Cardboard glasses which can be made for free using a few household items and these instructions or by buying one of the many prebuilt kits available for order online.
An enormously intriguing and technically impressive use of virtual reality in gaming that represents a firm step forward in the right direction for the genre, Rocket Drop VR is the definitive version of indie developer Sc0tt Games’ fan favorite arcade series. You can pick it up now for just $.99 on Google Play.