Sponsored Game Review: VR Room Escape

VR Room Escape is a Google Cardboard game for Android that puts players in an immersive 360-degree world and then challenges them to get out of the room that they've been put into, and head to the next one. With real step recognition, making players walk around the environment, rather than simply use a controller or something, VR Room Escape is a game that aims to immerse players in a simple, yet weird and psychedelic environment. Which real physics put to work on creating a strange and addictive game world, VR Room Escape is a good way of seeing what VR games could be like in the future. Here, players need to pick up the keys and then go from room-to-room, flinging objects around and generally having fun in VR.

First thing's first, users will need to have some sort of virtual reality headset available before they can even play VR Room Escape. A Google Cardboard compatible headset will work just fine, but I tested this on a Gear VR. With that said, players can download VR Room Escape from the Play Store and then get started.

Players will be placed in a 3D environment that gives players an idea of the sort of graphics and environments that they'll be working with. Right off the bat, it's clear that the graphics here aren't great, but this is put together by one person and it's the sort of thing that has been developed as a sort of idea more than anything else. Players can look around in 360-degrees, such as looking at the ground, for instance.

While VR Room Escape is primarily about walking around and picking up items, such as the below key to open up another door, the game gets really weird, really quickly.

The walking side of this is pretty neat, but I wouldn't advice actually walking around as who knows what you'd end up walking into. Instead, I managed to get a good response from the game from walking on the spot with my knees raised nice and high. In fact, I enjoyed this a lot, I wish that there were more games out there in VR that would do this as I think it's a good workout, too! I mentioned that VR Room Escape gets weird, well, there are certain doors that will end up flinging you into some sort of tube-cum-optical illusion.

One of these optical illusions takes the word "optical" to a new level, and essentially puts you in a box with an eye on each panel and a constant falling animation.

Soon however, this weirdness breaks and another area is available for players to discover.

There's another room that seems to be more of a whitewash affair and a more clinical space, but in reality this is a sparse environment that doesn't seem to offer players much.

VR Room Escape is something that I had to say confused me at first as I wasn't entirely sure just what the game was. I was expecting a sort of VR version of those popular escape games, but in reality I got a sort of strange and disorienting virtual reality tech demo. The first time that I saw the strange cylinder and the massive eyes I was legitimately shocked and surprised, which is what virtual reality is all about, really. I've played a lot of VR games lately, and while this is very basic in comparison, it has its charms. For one, the walking detection is actually pretty good. All I did was walk on the spot and look in the direction I wanted to go. More games should do this and at the very least it added some more steps to my fitness tracker. I did feel like that this was a sort of unfinished product overall however, and some sort of guidance, even some sort of music or sound effects would be a nice touch. Still, as tech demoes go, this is something that will be a surprise to some.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) - VR Room Escape runs just fine and it performed well on my devices.
  • Features (3/5) - While this is a few minutes' worth of fun, it does leave a lot to be desired and it feels a little basic overall.
  • Theme (3/5) - Again, there feels like there's something missing here, and there's little in the way of decor or high-resolution assets going on here in VR Room Escape and could certainly do with a facelift.
  • Overall (3.5/5) - VR Room Escape sure feels and looks more like a tech demo than anything else, but VR is something that's designed to be experimented with, and with its walking detection, VR Room Escape has discovered something new.

Pros

  • Simple and easy to load, no major loading time or anything like that.
  • Works on any smartphone running Android out there thanks to the simplicity of the Cardboard platform.
  • Walking detection really works and is a good workout as well as a great way of moving in VR.
  • Psychedelic elements will throw players off-guard and give them something fun to experience in VR.

Cons

  • Doesn't give players any sort of guidance or introduction to the game at all, not even how to interact with things.
  • Needs higher-resolution assets as well as some more decorations and such dotted all over the place.

VR Room Escape is something worth checking out, especially if the sort of user that's interested in what Virtual Reality has to offer gamers and curious users alike. Still, this is more of a tech demo than anything else, and hopefully it can transform into something much more than that in time. With the real walking detection, there's certainly some value here, but it does need some sort of improvement in the looks department.

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About the Author
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Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.