3D Games have exploded in popularity since smartphones turned the entire world into casual gamers. It’s certainly helped that graphics have come a long way from the flat 2D, 8-bit look of the 80s and early 90s. And it looks like the next innovative jump in gaming might be at our doorstep—2015 is shaping up to be the Year of Virtual Reality.
Between Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard and a host of other startups getting into the game, Virtual Reality is gearing up to take the world by storm. By Christmas, fully immersive headsets may be as common as white Apple earbuds.
While there are dozens of amazing applications and potentially hundreds more for VR, including films, maps, home movies and communication—it’s the games that are making a lot of mouths water. For the first time in history, video game designers won’t just be able to show you another world, they’ll be able to take you there.
The following 7 are types of games that will lend themselves very well to Virtual Reality. Expect them to be the first to be adapted to the new medium—3D in 3D.
Fishing games are a particularly specific niche—they lack the flash and dazzle most video games are known for, but that’s part of their charm. Fishing games are meant to be slow and peaceful, an escape from the loud, crowded world outside our homes. But fishing from your couch has never been an adequate substitute for the real thing. With VR, you can shut the world out entirely and be transported to a virtual lake. Your couch won’t be a couch anymore, it’ll be a canoe, and you won’t even need a goofy life preserver.
3D slot games and card games have been a hit with mobile devices and web browsers, but with VR you could visit a fully realized digital casino. Imagine walking around, surrounded by all the blinking lights and chiming beeps that make real casinos such a blast to visit. If the 3D slots aren’t hot, you could stand up and sit down at another machine, maybe the one that virtual old lady had been hogging the whole afternoon—just like real life. You could even walk to the tables and face off against other players in a hold ‘em match where your poker face and body language will actually matter. Better start working on your tells now!
If video games are moving forward, you better believe first-person shooters are involved. Love them or hate them, they’ve become the face of online multiplayer entertainment. With Virtual Reality, first-person will actually mean first-person, putting you right there in the center of the action. Maybe when people are forced to look each other in the eye before pulling the trigger, gamers will realize that violence isn’t the answer and we’ll all usher in a new era of world peace. Or maybe we’ll just teabag each other a lot more.
Puzzle games have held a firm foot in the marketplace ever since Tetris was King. Games like Candy Crush and Bejeweled have kept the tradition alive and well in mobile gaming. But the unlimited potential of VR could give the throne back to puzzle games. Imagine how much more fun and engaging Tetris would be if the blocks are falling on your head and not being quick enough will get you crushed. Or, conversely, if you’re hanging off the top of a virtual skyscraper, dropping big blocky Ls and Ts to the ground below.
Virtual Reality is going to make racing games a hell of a lot more exciting. Beta tests have already proven devices like the Oculus Rift can trick the brain into feeling speed and velocity. And with the unlimited imaginations of 3D animators, you don’t have to just drive cars. You can be racing jet skis, spaceships, submarines, or even race on top of the dragons from Game of Thrones. Simulation racing will feel so real you’ll actually need seat belts for your couch to keep you from falling onto the floor.
A lot of VR headsets already look like sparring helmets, so a jump to virtual boxing is a given. You can float like a digital butterfly, sting like a computer-generated bee. Or if the sweet science is too tame for you, you can get really rough with virtual mixed martial arts. Or pro-wrestling. Imagine looking around the arena for a folding chair you can smash over your opponent’s head. Now that’s immersive.
Everyone has a blast jumping around to the beat of dancing games, but there’s always been a lingering threat of feeling like a total idiot. After all, you are just kicking and punching in your living room—anyone watching through the window from across the street is probably laughing at you. Putting on a VR helmet will probably just make you look sillier, but at least it’ll trick you into thinking you’re really on the dance floor in the city’s hottest nightclub. Now you can really let loose and bust some moves. Just make sure you give yourself enough space so you don’t also bust some lamps.