Available on: Oculus, Steam & Viveport (Reviewed on Oculus Quest 2)
Price: $6.99/£4.99 (Oculus)/£5.19 (Steam)
Developed by: Starcade Arcade
Release Date: Available Now
The beauty of VR is that it can take old, perhaps dated, concepts and make them feel entirely fresh and exciting again.
That’s what Space Slurpies does: at its core, it’s the once-ubiquitious Nokia phone game Snake in virtual reality – but developers Starcade Arcade have added so many lovely touches to the core gameplay to make it an incredibly appealing and hugely fun experience.
Your right hand controls your Slurpie – you’ll move the adorable little critter around the virtual space, eating delicious little geometric shapes while avoiding your own tail, your opponents and the fiendish (but also pretty cute), big-eyed Jazzeroids. As your snake grows, its lovely bio-luminescent colouring changes and it becomes harder and harder to avoid your own ever-expanding, colourful form.
It’s a beautifully, playfully presented game – from the little DJ booth filled with partying Slurpies that you can see when choosing your stage, to the generous customisation options that you have available to make your snake uniquely colourful and one-of-a-kind. Going up against bots is just as challenging as taking on live human opponents – and I found that the more aggressively I played, the more likely I was to trip up and end my run by bumping into myself or someone else’s rapidly moving Slurpie. Control is a dream though, with your right controller being your Slurpie’s mouth – and reacting exactly as you expect it to as you wave it up, down, left, right and all of the other directions in-between. There’s a nice variety of visually distinct and aesthetically appealing stages – and the soundtrack, which you can listen to here, is superb.
I did find that some food could be placed a little high out of reach, though this wasn’t too much of an issue given how many edible objects spawn across the playfield. Though patient play is rewarded, even taking part at a gentle pace will see your arm get tired, so it would have been good to have the option to swap which controller could be used to represent your Slurpie in-game. Games against AI particularly can feel like they drag on for a long time, which does exacerbate the ‘tired arm’ issue – and they can end suddenly with it not feeling as if you’ve done anything to earn your victory; though staying alive for that long is still quite an achievement, it can sometimes feel a little anticlimactic.
Despite those few issues, the core experience is incredibly fun and – importantly – the game is very reasonably priced indeed. It’s a great little game with lots of neat visual touches and addictive, straightforward gameplay. As with many VR games, screenshots really don’t do Space Slurpies justice; neither do 2D videos of game footage. It’s a charming and fun experience if you do get to try it out for yourself – and if you do have a compatible VR headset, it’s a game I can highly recommend downloading, particularly as a more chilled out experience than many of the more intense, higher profile titles that are being released these days. Excellent stuff.
Disclaimer: Starcade Arcade provided me with a key for Space Slurpies for review purposes.
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