I recently had the chance to test out Star Chart on the Oculus Quest, and I was very impressed by it.
My first impression of this game was that the graphics were really good for a mobile VR game. You can see all of the details in your surroundings even though they are quite minimalistic.
I started off at my home star system, Sol which is our Solar System. It shows you where Earth is in relation to other celestial objects as well as significant events such as eclipses and winter solstice. Then you can fly from planet to planet, going backwards or forward in time with a push of a button (no pun intended ;-)), seeing how things changed throughout history. You can go up close and personal or stay distant and see what is going on from a different point of view.
It also includes the most recent data about our neighbouring planets and their moons, as well as exoplanets, asteroids, nebulae and even comets! There are a lot of objects to discover and move around in space if you want. All of this doesn’t sound too bad for a mobile VR game right? That’s just half of it.
In Star Chart, you can zoom in from being able to see whole galaxies to being able to see the craters on our moon with pinpoint accuracy. It feels as if that object is really there before your eyes, however, it is all virtual reality so that must be kept into consideration when thinking about physics and how far one can go. It is fun and in-depth enough to feel like you are in space and yet simple enough and not overwhelming so that almost anyone can play it, whether they have had any VR experiences before or not. I’m sure there will be plenty of trial and error for some people but the level of detail leaves room for a lot of exploring which for me is always the most interesting part of playing games.
You do have to make sure your surroundings are clear because bumping into things could potentially put you off balance or at least take away your sense of reality while playing this game -or any VR game for that matter- due to the disconnect between what you’re seeing vs what your body is feeling at the moment. Don’t expect Star Chart to give you that ‘wow factor’ just because it is a great game, but expect it to impress you by how far along virtual reality has come. Although actually Star Chart was actually released on Gear VR in 2016 so after three years of development… now THAT’s impressive!
I’m sure they will continue to update this game as they bring out more headsets and even though it might not be considered the most advanced game for its respective platform, I believe it has incredible potential which will open up with updates soon.