What is Nature Treks VR?
Nature Treks VR is a virtual reality game for the Oculus Quest 2. It provides various short experiences of areas within nature, such as beautiful waterfalls and luscious forests. It has a meditative aspect that allows players to slow down and just appreciate the calmness of it all, or be able to fully immerse themselves in their surroundings if they prefer. There are also some mini-games you can play within Nature Treks VR, such as catching fish with chopsticks! And being able to walk around your environment makes it feel more alive than playing on a flat-screen would ever allow for.
The main menu for Nature Treks VR looks like this:
In order from left to right, the menu shows:
-Choosing a region of nature to play in (there are 5 regions)
-Choosing an activity within that region (there are 8 activities in total). ‘Himalayan Mountains’ and ‘Overview’ don’t have any mini-games but just provide a visual experience. There is also a special ‘Bird Watching’ mini-game you can only play during certain times of the day.
-‘Special Settings’, including turning on or off subtitles, alternate music tracks for each region, and whether or not to show information about what you’re looking at such as altitude, common name and description. This can be helpful if it’s your first time playing Nature Treks VR. Each activity has different things to look at, and fish always swim by very quickly.
-Settings for visuals, including resolution, brightness and whether or not to enable Chromatic Aberration. The default settings are ‘Beautiful’ as the resolution, ‘Bright’ as the brightness and ‘On’ as Chromatic Aberration. These can be changed to fit your preferences if you like it better that way.
Playing standing up allows for 6DoF motion tracking but makes it difficult to see around yourself without taking off your headset unless you use a third sensor in addition to the two already used for standing position. Sitting down lets you turn around much easier, but walking around is currently not possible for seated play. So feel free to lie on the floor if you want to be able to walk around without getting too dizzy! If you do have a third sensor, however, being able to walk around adds an extra immersive experience.
The VR environment has some cute little foxes that give you hints about how to use your controller. They’re very helpful if it’s your first time playing Nature Treks VR or are new to using the Oculus Quest 2. The tutorials are optional though of course. Once you’ve played one region in Nature Treks VR once, later regions will tell you which button does what on your controller whilst playing so minimising confusion even further!
Here are some screenshots of Nature Treks VR in action:
- 1. Choosing a Region,
- 2. Himalayan Mountains,
- 3. Waterfall mini-game
- 4. Fish mini-game – catch fish with chopsticks!
- 5. Forest mini-game – high five the trees!
- 6. Overview mode for each region
- 7. The cute little foxes who’ll teach you how to use your controller!
- 8. Breathtaking views of nature are waiting for you 😉
Nature Treks VR Review Conclusion
Overall Nature Treks VR is an excellent game that can be enjoyed by anyone who likes beautiful scenery and wants to relax or play around more actively within it. It has good replayability value, as replaying activities can feel different if you are using different controllers, are in a different mood or have something else on your mind. Playing with subtitles can be helpful for those who aren’t yet used to reading things inside VR. However, it is also possible to play without them if that is what feels more comfortable.
The game isn’t too difficult but does require enough patience and dexterity to have fun whilst avoiding being frustrated by blurring your view fiddling with the controllers. A third sensor makes walking around easier but is not necessary – just sit down! Using an Xbox controller instead of Oculus Touch reduces motion sickness as well as providing more hand positions which helps immersion further.
The only downside of Nature Treks VR I found was that it felt like some buttons were not used to their full potential. For example, the right stick is only used for looking around, like a regular Xbox controller instead of using it to add to other controllers such as having your hand reaching out and grabbing leaves or petting a fox; but this may be something that can be added in later updates.
The controller itself felt very responsive and didn’t lag once whilst playing either – I never ran into problems with controls not doing what I wanted them to do. Some people might find the graphics slightly underwhelming compared to high-end VR games such as Beat Saber, SUPERHOT VR or Space Pirate Trainer.
However, there are some interactive activities included within Nature Treks VR too! And unlike many other similar games on Quest which feel more like watching a cartoon where you can’t influence the action, Nature Treks VR lets you be an active part of your surroundings.
Nature Treks VR Review Score: 8/10
Recommendation: A must-play for all who own and like using the Oculus Quest 2 and want to do more than just watch their surroundings; whether it’s by enjoying panoramic views or interacting with surroundings through other means such as playing games!