Synth Riders is an Oculus Quest game that came out on May 21, 2019. It’s priced at $15 in the Oculus Store in the games section. I purchased Synth Riders in its launch week in order to review it for my website ” All About VR Experts “.
The developers of Synth Riders are Ravegan and Mark Schramm (inventor of Darknet ). They also created Mortal Blitz, another VR shooter game that was available on PlayStation VR, SteamVR, and Oculus Rift.
Synth Riders is the spiritual successor to Mortal Blitz, which I enjoyed playing despite its short length (it had 4 stages). Mortal Blitz had only one enemy type, but Synth Riders has 4 enemy types. They are all robots that shoot lasers which you need to avoid
The game can be played with either an Xbox controller or the Oculus Touch controller. I only tried the Touch controllers. One hand holds a gun while the other hand holds an energy shield that protects you from your enemies’ bullets. The shield regenerates when not in use, and it’s especially useful when you’re swarmed by many fast-moving enemies at once. I prefer using the shield because it makes me feel like a badass robot warrior! In contrast, since my opponent is always shooting at me, I was forced to play defensively in Mortal Blitz, which made the game less exciting for me.
InMortal Blitz, my goal was to destroy most of the enemies before time ran out. But in Synth Riders, I have no set goal for how many enemies I must kill. Rather, I’m trying to last as long as possible by killing small groups of enemies at a time so that they don’t overwhelm me with their sheer number and speed.
Unlike Mortal Blitz, Synth Riders feel more meditative because it lacks a timer which requires you to go fast. Instead, it has calming background music which makes you feel relaxed as you slow down your pace and carefully plan your shots on your opponents who are hanging around without any fear or urgency. In contrast to Mortal Blitz’s frantic action gameplay (which made the game fun but less relaxing), Synth Riders makes you feel more relaxed as you play.
I wish I could have spent more time playing Synth Riders, but the game is difficult to find online players who are willing to play with a new player. On Ravegan’s official Discord server, their community manager “Azrael” said that many people are cancelling their Quest pre-orders because they’re expecting low sales of the game (and high prices). That may be why there aren’t very many active players for this game at the moment on Oculus Quest. I hope that more people will try it once facebook lowers its price (it’s currently $400) and increases its availability in stores like Best Buy and Walmart which might make the hardware cheaper due to buying in bulk.
Synth Riders overall is a great game that I enjoyed playing. I like how it has calm and challenging gameplay (a combination that’s often hard to find in many games), as well as subtle storytelling (which not everyone may see behind the scenes). The only downside is that there aren’t very many players online for this game at the moment, but I hope that will change once more people hear about it and purchase an Oculus Quest.