Hi everyone! It’s finally here, the review of my all-time favorite VR game: Sphere Toon – VR Comic. I’m so excited and happy that I can finally share my thoughts and experiences with it. Please keep in mind that this is a very subjective article.
I started playing it on Oculus Rift DK2, but for the most part of the time playing it on Oculus Quest. So, this article will start with some general thoughts about how it is to play on different devices and then will switch to the topics discussed only in regards to Oculus Quest.
Okay, so let’s go!
It feels like Christmas when you first put your headset on after purchasing the game. Seeing its menu for the first time before you even read about the game’s features and what it offers, is something that will make you feel like a child again. You step into a colorful and cosy comic book-like 3D environment where all you want to do is play with your toys (yep, I mean looking around in virtual space). Just by moving your head, taking in the scenery – this novelty of VR alone is already worth every cent of the price.
The UI elements look great and are easy enough to find when needed: buttons for navigating through menu options in Oculus Quest feel spaced out just right and their textures and colors work well against the background. The power button for turning on/off vibration in case it accidentally gets activated was also a very helpful feature.
Once the menu is navigated to, you can select from a series of activities that the game offers:
You can choose from different locations and play as many comics as your heart desires. But be warned – every time you finish playing a comic it will fill up a progress bar for all comics until they are unlocked. Even if this sounds like a minor thing, do think twice about making an early purchase or checking out demos first. I myself have done both at some point and was glad that I waited before purchasing because my overall impression of the game was much better having tried out several comics instead of just one.
But what is Sphere Toon – VR Comic actually? Let’s start with its gameplay mechanics. The main idea behind it all is that you are meant to follow the story in the comics. The characters speak, move around and interact with one another, everything you need to do is sit back and enjoy their company; this game isn’t about your participation (though at some point I kind of felt like an invisible observer inside a movie theater). You can walk further if you want to get closer – there are no limitations in doing so.
To be completely fair though, Sphere Toon might have been advertised as ‘point-and-click’ VR comic book originally, but it’s really much more than that. Each comic comes with its own list of activities for you to try out while following along the storyline – things like playing instruments in rhythm with the beat, throwing snowballs at people, riding a school bus, solving puzzle games, catching fish with your bare hands and so on. I should also mention that there are no right or wrong ways to play through any of the comics – you can do whatever you want in this game, whenever you feel like it!
If you have played previous VR games based on movies/series (like Jurassic World for example) then you will probably know what I mean when I say that Sphere Toon – VR Comic is just another one of those, except this time it’s actually good. It feels more personal than watching something on Netflix though because usually, everything happens around you instead of just being shown as a film from start till finish.
Another point worth mentioning is the fact that unlike some other VR games (I’m looking at you Robo Recall), Sphere Toon actually has one single focus when focusing on its gameplay mechanics: it’s all about enjoying the story rather than playing something that could be called a ‘game’ in more of a traditional sense.
Now, I know that words can’t really describe what it feels like to experience VR for the first time and seeing is believing but, did you know that this game comes with a free demo? Go check by yourself if you haven’t already! This way you’ll have some idea of what I am talking about – whether or not my review was enjoyable for you enough to take your interest further.
In conclusion, Sphere Toon might not be considered special in terms of bringing Virtual Reality to mainstream consumers, but it’s definitely trying to do its best by delivering clean graphics and an enjoyable experience while also taking full advantage of the different possibilities that come with this platform.
Summary: Pros: – easy to use – nice looking menu Cons: – free demo not included in the purchase (should be a minimum requirement for all VR games like this) – ‘Game Over’ screen isn’t as intuitive as it should be (won’t spoil anything though)
Recommendation: if you can afford to buy it then take your chance! Sphere Toon is worth every dollar/euro at least once. After playing through the whole thing, however, I’d like to see more features such as voice commands and multiplayer options (co-op or competitive). I wrote this article from a Standard Speculoos-Eating Point of View
As a side note, it might seem like I am being overly positive about Sphere Toon but hey – it’s not every day that you get to play through an experience of this calibre! Sorry for going off on a tangent there, let’s just say that having fun is what VR was made for and Sphere Toon does just that. In case anyone suspects me of getting paid to write this review: nope, no money involved here whatsoever. Just wanted to share my opinion with those who are interested in spending their time on something new. Have a good one!