The Apollo 11 Experience is a simulation presented by Oculus , which puts you into the shoes of an astronaut on July 20th 1969. The objective of the experience is for you to successfully complete a mission from launch to spacewalk, and re-entry back onto Earth.
In total there are four missions that make up your playthrough with this game. The first mission is launching off the pad and waiving at your family as you climb towards orbit around Earth, still within sight of Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. After docking with the command module “Columbia” orbiting in the sky ahead of you, it’s time for a spacewalk outside of your capsule onto a ladder leading away from America itself for the first time ever. A small spacewalk later, it’s time for the de-orbit burn of your capsule. Then it’s time to reenter Earth’s atmosphere at 25,000 miles per hour and facing 7 Gs of force towards our beautiful planet. And finally, you will splashdown in the ocean where people are waiting to save your life if needed (which is not mentioned in-game).
The various simulations of what really happened during this mission play out like a movie with you as the only actor inside it. There is no reaction for why or how that explosion turns into flames around you; there is no reaction for when that fire extinguisher goes off; there is no reaction for when some fuel gets on you so powerfully that an imagined “explosion” knocks you away from the ship. There is no simulation of what it really felt like to be 1/6th the gravity of Earth for this time period; there is no simulation of how heavy your suit was; there isn’t even any sort of animation when you get knocked down by that fire extinguisher (you just magically get up off the ground). The game has a lot less interactivity than I expected, and what little interactivity it does have feels very limited in comparison to other experiences made by Oculus.
I can’t say that Apollo 11 wasn’t worth playing through. It’s free, so I feel kind of guilty calling it bad value for money. And if you’re interested at all in spaceflight or history then it would be really cool to see in VR in some form or another. The game can be downloaded from Oculus’s store for free right here.
The game is available on all Oculus devices. If you don’t have one of the headsets, you can still download it and use it with your phone by inserting your phone into any of the supported HMDs (for example, Google cardboard).
If none of this interests you but you still want to try out this game then simply watch some gameplay footage that has been recorded, like the video below:
The Apollo 11 Experience was made by Immersive VR Education, which specializes in making school curricula about history more interesting through educational experiences, simulations, and games. They are currently finishing development on their next project for release on Steam in 2019, which is a simulation that covers the entire history of the human race.
I hope this review has been useful to you and don’t forget to check out my website for more reviews.