HTC Vive Roundup
When I found out Bit-Tech had an HTC Vive sat in the testing area, there was only one way it was going to end. Team Bit-Tech spent the better part of a day setting up an HTC Vive test-area in the bowels of the office capable of letting my 6'7" bulk bounce around in room-scale, and I came in to play some games. There are, literally, hundreds of HTC Vive games out there, so this isn't an exhaustive list, but I played a stack of Vive games, and here are some I enjoyed. First though, to answer the question: yes, you do still look like a dick playing with virtual reality. I also wish I'd worn a belt during play.
Holopoint is an intense workout. Mechanically it's simple. In your right hand is a bow, and behind your shoulder are arrows. You reach over your shoulder, grab an arrow, nock it and shoot it at a target. Sometimes the targets are blue boxes, I'm told later in the game there are ninjas and samurai, but in this first couple of hours I wasn't good enough to get that far.
There's something basic about the action of drawing an arrow, pulling the bow and letting it fly, before ducking under the returning fire. The mechanic of having to actually duck under returning fire will feel instantly familiar to anyone who has played Space Pirate Trainer, but here that motion is combined with you pulling an arrow off of your shoulder and preparing for another shot all in one fluid motion.
The day after I played this for two hours, my shoulders weren't working. I'd recommend it anyway.
Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades isn't that 'gamey', but might be of interest to the people who usually play tactical shooters and their ilk. HHH, to give it an acronym, is a series of shooting ranges stocked with plenty of guns.
The appeal here is the ballistics and firearms modelling, the best I've seen so far in a game. Want to fire a handgun? You've got to load the mag, rack the slide and remove the safety. For an M4, you'll need to pull a charging handle. Grenades require you to pull the pin. There's an element of physicality to using the weapons, which makes it quite fun. The game part comes from testing your skills in the various gun ranges but also in a (still experimental) series of kill-houses that you can fill with targets or gun toting robots.
It doesn't always work that well as a game, but for its dedication to modelling firearms accurately, it's a fascinating thing. It's quite low energy too, which is a plus after I nearly killed myself playing Holopoint.