Hello there, everyone! My name is SenseiKiwii. I’m an avid VR enthusiast and have been for over three years now. I have played nearly every well-known game in the Google Daydream store to Oculus Rift games on both PC and Xbox One, but actually never really got to play much mobile VR since I only had my Daydream View headset for a short time before trading it in for an Oculus Go. But during that short period of time, one game caught my eye because of its gorgeous visuals: Yupitergrad. This review will be mostly about that game itself but also some technical info to better understand it as well as comparisons between this version vs the Steam version (since not many people own it for PC and not everyone knows about it).
This will probably be a shorter review than my usual reviews, but that’s only because the game is rather simple and straightforward. This is what I like to call a “walking simulator” as opposed to other games such as Beat Saber which take more effort to play and require reflexes and skill. Yupitergrad doesn’t really need any of those things past putting on your headset, so feel free to just close your eyes if you don’t want to see anything. It may take some getting used to since this isn’t for everyone, but once you do get used to it, I’m sure you’ll love this as much as I did!
Yupitergrad also has another version available on steam, but I cannot speak for that version as I never played it myself. But I know the mobile version had some issues with its controls, so hopefully, this review will shed some light on what to expect if you’re trying to decide between both versions.
Let’s start off with the game itself! At first glance, this game probably won’t look like much of an experience at all. This is because your main form of interaction is looking around and nothing else (save for maybe one or two things). Yes, you heard right; there are no buttons to press throughout the whole thing. You can’t jump or even do anything fancy like punch like most VR games allow you to do. But make no mistake; this game has plenty of little goodies to make up for that. You can still interact with objects in the world (the game will tell you what is possible by following the pink light), but most of it won’t do much until something happens later on.
It’s also important to note that there are no menus or anything like that; not even a pause button! Once you jump into Yupitergrad, you’re pretty much set (and yes, I obviously recommend playing seated). And if you don’t care about achievements, then feel free to disable them through your phone’s settings so they don’t show up in-game. Speaking of which…
If you own an Android device capable of running Google Play Games, then Yupitergrad is surprisingly packed full of achievements for you to earn! While most of them will be unlocked through the natural progression of the game, some are very difficult (if not impossible) to get on your own. But don’t worry; if you leave any achievements unearned at the end, they’ll still show up in your phone’s notifications center along with how close you were (e.g. “Got within 10 meters”). Don’t let that stop you from cheating though; these aren’t Steam achievements or anything like that, so go wild!
Now let’s talk about what this game actually is about since I’ve already told you what it isn’t about… Well actually, there really isn’t much to say other than Yupitergrad is basically just a relaxing walk around a small town’s outskirts. There is no end goal; it’s just meant to be a journey for you to enjoy as much as possible. You can explore as much as you want and take in the beautiful sights (and sunsets) that await you, but know that there will be some mild spoilers if you look at anything too closely. While the visuals are fantastic throughout most of this area, I cannot say how well things hold up on Quest after devoting more time to Beat Saber instead. Yupitergrad is made with Unity so expect similar performance, which means it may not look perfect all the time or even run properly at all times depending on your device’s specs compared to mine.
The only other thing I have to mention about this game is that it does have minor bugs here and there. Some of them are really close to being game-breaking, but they aren’t much more than an annoyance. You’ve been warned!
In conclusion, Yupitergrad is definitely a VR journey worth taking if you own an Oculus Quest. It can be a bit buggy from time to time and the lack of any buttons may turn some players away, but I believe it still deserves its fair share of recognition for what it tries to accomplish. It’s a beautiful place that will make you want to escape reality for a little while and just relax with the beautiful sounds of nature all around you. And hey; even if you don’t buy this game on Steam or your phone, it’s completely free through the Oculus Store so there is no reason not to give it a try! You can’t ask for much more than that.