After last weeks’ release of the highly anticipated Oculus Quest, I jumped at the opportunity to get my hands on some games. Cloudlands 2 is a first-person virtual reality platformer that requires users to navigate through an environment and solve puzzles using only their hands and feet. Offering both single-player and multiplayer modes, you can play with up to four other people on your own Quest or online (voice chat required). The game also allows for hot seating where multiple players will stand next to each other and race against themselves in a time trial mode.
Not knowing much about this title prior to playing it, I was surprised by just how easy it was to pick up and how quickly we were able to start flying around levels like expert mountain climbers. The mechanic of grabbing onto ledges and pulling yourself up is simple but allows for a certain level of strategy and creativity that can’t be found in other games.
I had the opportunity to play the game with four others, and we all agreed it felt very natural. There was even a moment where we were able to use an environmental element – a tree – to lift us up so we could fly across gaps. It was clever, fun and even built out teamwork as one person pulled us up while another would grab our feet so we didn’t float away. I also liked how you could see your friends’ hand model reaching out if they were trying to help you over something or grab onto you if they wanted to join you wherever you were.
The one downside of this multiplayer was that it used a standard, third-person camera that sometimes got in the way if you were trying to do something that required both hands. In other games I’ve seen this done, there is an ability to turn off the camera and temporarily put yourself into a first-person view while still being able to see your friends. This would have been really helpful here because sometimes they’re just not in frame when they’re directly next to you.
Another issue we found was that during multiplayer testing, hangs occurred more frequently than single-player playtesting. We don’t know if this is due to the game or our Quest units themselves, but it is worth noting for developers who are looking at Cloudlands 2 for their own games.
After several playthroughs, we were able to find all of the stars and even get a few bonus ones that required solving different puzzles than just getting to the goal. One level, in particular, was very creative requiring us to race back up to where we started at a rapid pace before our oxygen ran out. The multiplayer modes also offered us some interesting encounters including epic pirate battles on moving ships and aliens who could jump across large gaps.
I found Cloudlands 2 to be quite an enjoyable experience, with only minor issues hampering my time with it. If you’re interested in playing games like this – or if you’re looking for something new for your Quest unit – I would recommend checking it out!