On April 23, 2019, Llamasoft released a virtual reality experience called Mare for the Oculus Quest. The game is notable because it was designed from the ground up to utilize all of the unique features that come with a virtual reality headset, and in particular it has been praised for its use of teleportation within a VR space. This is done through head gestures and can be used in combination with thumbsticks to navigate around a space.
Llamasoft has created an immersive experience here that is perfect for fans of arcade-style experiences but may not hold up as well under repeated playthroughs
The game takes place on the Moon which you’re currently inhabiting. You find yourself among the stars and have a rocket ship that will shoot you to different parts of the moon. The objective is to get as far as possible while collecting orbs for speed boosts and avoiding multi-coloured enemies which change their behaviors based on your movements. If you hit them, they aren’t fatal but will slow you down a lot until you can pick up another speed boost.
The game features an endless mode as well as a 5-minute challenge where you try to break your own record (and others) with upgrades that can be unlocked along the way. There is also local multiplayer which allows two players to work together on getting further than before, one known as the pilot and the other acting as the gunner.
The game is very arcade-like and I personally found it very fun, but my opinion may not hold with most people since I’m a fan of most games like this. While the teleportation system was nice, it can make me feel nauseous after a while (but less than almost any other VR experience). The music is also decent and fits well with the space theme. If you’re interested, check out gameplay footage on YouTube for Mare before buying it.
It’s nice to see a studio of this size bring something out for the Quest so quickly, but hopefully, they put more effort into future projects on it. The game is currently listed at $14.99 on the Oculus Store and has many positive reviews.
I give Mare 6/10 stars because it’s very flawed, particularly with nausea-inducing gameplay that makes me have to take breaks after every run. At this point, I don’t think I’ll continue playing it more than once or twice for a while before taking another break, which can be disappointing as I feel as though there could be much more to explore here if I could just get past those issues somehow. If you’re looking for a VR experience that might not play like other VR experiences, I recommend downloading Mare and give it a shot for yourself.
Taking everything into account (enjoyment, pricepoint, uniqueness), I recommend purchasing this game if you’re interested.
Price point: $14.99 means that there are much better things to spend your money on than this game
Unique aspects: teleportation only works in the starting room until unlocks can be obtained elsewhere, items must still be collected by physically walking over them instead of teleporting elsewhere so the experience isn’t different enough from other VR games to stand out