Water Bears VR
|Water Bears VR|
|Genre||Casual, Indie, VR, Puzzle, Cute|
|Input Device||Tracked motion controllers|
|Game Mode||Single Player|
|Release Date||Feb 1, 2016|
Water Bears VR has the impression of being a puzzle game designed for kids and their first foray into the world of virtual reality, but some of the later puzzles definitely demonstrate just how challenging this game can truly be to those who are devoted enough to get towards that part of the game.
How the game works is that you’re given a number of different shaped pipes that you must attach to a flowing source of water so that it can successfully lead to an adorable little creature that goes by the name of a “Water Bear.” The concept for the game is deceptively simple, but as time goes on, the difficulty quickly starts to ramp up more and more and even requires you at times to mix colours together so that they correspond with that particular Water Bear; otherwise it won’t work.
For this game, the developers have managed to slowly ramp the difficulty up without making it too frustrating for the player to go from incredibly simple, all the way up to hair-tearing frustrating. Throughout the entirety of the game – if you can manage to make it to the end – the difficulty slowly grows at just the right speed to avoid the dreaded rage quit.
The controls for the game are also pretty simple with the use of the Vive, as you simply look around with the headset, move around the room to look at the pipe-puzzle from a different angle, and pick out what pipe piece you want from one controller to move it into place as you see fit. Without the need for a tutorial, you can jump into this game and have a solid idea of what it is you were expected to do, but the game manages to tell you hints and tips to get better at the game, without forcing you through a fully-fledged tutorial.
One of the few issues I’ve found with the game is that at times it can be quite difficult to rotate the pipe in your hand appropriately for the way the puzzle requires. To make things easy, these pieces snap to the already placed pipe, but when you wish to change the orientation of the yet-to-be snapped piece can be quite difficult. Quite possibly the only consistent way of solving the problem is by contorting your wrist in an inhuman fashion and unless you’re a superhero, it isn’t all that reasonable to expect that.
Another small problem with the game is that once you have finished it for the first time, the puzzles can’t really be replayed. You could impose some challenges on yourself to use as little or as many pipes as you can to succeed, but on a fair amount of the levels they give you the exact amount to complete the level; leading to not much variety by the end of the game, and that puts a damper on the overall experience knowing that once I’ve finished it, going back to it is rather frivolous.
Looking at the game from a visual perspective can be a little bit hit and miss; because while I do applaud the game for having plenty of colour and vibrancy throughout, it’s not a title that has the crispest visuals you’ve ever seen. To some people it could even be comparable to an upscale mobile game, which is not generally a compliment.
Overall, the game does have a few issues here and there, and while I really do hope the snapping issue manages to get patched out one of these days – for the sake of my wrist staying connected to my body – the majority of the game is a great puzzle game that I’m pleased to have in my VR library. Of all of the puzzle games to have recently come out for VR headsets, I can quite confidently say Water Bears VR is one of the better ones.
Step into the Vive and use your own two hands to reroute, remix, and redirect water flows to free trapped water bears! Water Bears VR is the next evolution of Water Bears, winner of the 2015 Serious Play Awards “Best in Show” and the 2015 CTR “Editor’s Choice for Excellence in Design.”
Each puzzle starts with sad water bears that are desperately in need of water. Help them by building and rebuilding water flows using an ever-increasing variety of pipes. Walk around the puzzles in real space, viewing them from all sides to get ideas. Manipulate myriad colors, test your spatial reasoning, and make the most of your limited resources. There are dozens of puzzles and an awful lot of thirsty water bears that need your help!
[Standing / minimum playspace size: 2.3m x 2m / ]
- OS: Windows 7 SP1
- Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.3 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or similar
- Storage: 500 MB available space