We just received a demo of a new game called qb by a company called PlaySys. The game will be launching on the Oculus store in the
first week of April middle of May, exclusively for Gear VR.
The mechanics of the game are relatively simple. Just click to throw a cube (called a Data Cube) into other cubes (called Defective Code Streamer Modules) to earn points, as you slowly progress through a spooky, foggy, “Tron-meets-Rubik’s Cube factory” kind of setting.
When you start and finish levels, there is a robot (called an Ultimate Code Streamer Module) which offers instructions or sarcasm when you fail a level. As you progress, you earn points which you can use to upgrade to better features and abilities via the store.
The name “qb” sounded a bit to me like Q*bert, so I guess I was expecting something a bit more on the colourful and cute side, as opposed to the game’s dark, industrial kind of feel. Dark and industrial is fine by me, but again, just not what I expected.
As you might have guessed by the names of the game play elements, the concept of the game relies heavily on the whole, Code theme. Admittedly, when I first launched and began reading the instructions, I started to stress out a bit because, not being much of a coder, I thought I was going to be expected to write some global arrays or some kind of complex code structure. Luckily, the basic concept of “throw a cube into a cube” became obvious, so I relaxed a bit.
The game play is kind of on the slow side, so after a few tries at getting through the first level, I grew a bit impatient. There is not much of a practice/warmup round before you start, and since there is no reticle to focus your throws, you have to basically just look and tap and make your best guess at hitting your target.
It took a few tries and a bit of swearing at the Ultimate Code Streamer Module before I leveled up but I managed to finally clear a few levels and things started to get a bit more challenging and interesting.
Overall, qb is a good, relaxing but slow moving, look and throw VR game. Slow might make you impatient, but also wont make you sick, so if you are prone to sim sickness, this game is fairly easy going.
I kind of feel like they might have more success with the game if they actually did go more in the “simple & cute” direction. Just my opinion, of course, but I feel like the whole “code” theme distracts too much and might confuse many.
“Throw a cube into a cube” is such an easy to understand concept that I feel more focus should be placed on the simplicity factor combined with skill instead of overcomplicating with the unnecessary “code speak” story line.
For this reason, I gave the game a rating of 3 out of 5 stars. It’s a great game to play but the storyline made it seem too complicated.
Keep a look out for qb in the coming weeks and thanks a bunch to PlaySis for the demo!
We just received a press update from PlaySis and apparently, under the direct consultation of Oculus, they will be making some User Experience updates and as a result, will be postponing the release of the game until the middle of May. They also noted that the game will launch with 12 levels, with more coming by the end of 2016.
We look forward to seeing how the game progresses and are excited to see the first release.
We will keep you posted.
Sean Earley is the Executive Editor of AR/VR Magazine & co-founder of RobotSpaceship Podcast Network. He is the Director of New Biz Development and Publishing at KEMWEB, a musician, producer & consultant. He loves guitars, VR and coffee.