Google IO 2016 Coverage

These are the best virtual reality apps to start 2016 with

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The world of mobile virtual reality is growing, and with a host of headsets now on the market, there’s no reason not to grab a viewer and experience some adventures of your own.

Today, we’re taking a look at some of the best VR experiences on the Play Store. All of the apps featured function with a variety of headsets, from the budget DIY Google Cardboard to the lavish Samsung Gear VR. The apps we’ve picked all do a top job of demonstrating the power and potential of mobile VR. More importantly, they’re all great fun too.

Read on as we pick out 10 must-play Android VR apps of 2016, featuring the likes of crime-busting game Stitchers: Hack the Case, Cmoar Roller Coaster VR and the spooky horror, Sisters.

Cmoar Roller Coaster VR

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In our minds, this is the very best rollercoaster virtual reality experience on Google Play right now. Yes, this is a paid app, but the 4-minute thrill ride won’t leave you disappointed. Riders are treated to some spectacular sights as the rollercoaster travels through mountains, soars past fire-breathing dragons and dives into an underground cave coated in lava.

The game world is unusual in the fact that it combines a western setting with fantasy elements, with the winding track also featuring a couple of jumps along the way. Whereas other virtual reality apps we’ll be spotlighting aren’t really suitable for everybody, Cmoar Roller Coaster VR can be enjoyed by pretty much anyone.

A free version of the app is available to download, although the ride is cut short at just over a minute.

Play Store Download Link

Hidden Temple – VR Adventure

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Hidden Temple – VR Adventure invites you to explore a mysterious ancient tomb, solving puzzles and finding hidden chambers as you work your way through the deep jungle environment. We’ve chosen to feature Hidden Temple – VR Adventure on our list not only because of the mesmerizing setting, but also because of the stunning, vibrant graphics on show.

This virtual reality game is a modern take on a classic point-and-click adventure, and players can pick up and combine items to help them navigate through various underground rooms. The aim is to grab as many hidden treasures as possible by exploring and solving riddles scribbled on the walls of the temple. It’s possible to play Hidden Temple – VR Adventure without the use of a headset, but where’s the fun in that?

Play Store Download Link

Google Cardboard

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Google’s own Cardboard app is the perfect introduction to the world of virtual reality on your phone, with the title split into various sections that each offer a unique experience of their own. Included are demos for Earth, Tour Guide, My Videos, Exhibit and Photo Sphere.

Earth brings VR-compatibility to Google Earth, which means you can explore places around the world with a newfound level of immersion. Tour Guide allows you to visit Versailles with a local guide, whilst My Videos lets you view clips you’ve recorded on your phone with the VR headset. Instead of making your videos truly 3D, the app instead splits the video down the middle and displays it twice to give the illusion of 3D. Photo Sphere is similar, but instead functions with still images rather than video.

Play Store Download Link

Stitchers: Hack the Case

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Stitchers: Hack the Case is an interactive crime-solving experience that is based on the Freeform drama, Stitchers. Players are transported into the memories of victims to relive their final moments and uncover clues as to who is guilty of killing them.

The slightly dark nature of the app means it might not be too child-friendly, but the story is certainly a gripping one. VR mode is optional, but exploring crime scenes and interacting with evidence by actually moving your head and body is great fun. If you think you’ve got what it takes to join the government’s secret Stitchers Program, get your crime-solving glasses on and dive in.

Play Store Download Link

‘Cleanopolis VR’

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Cleanopolis VR is an educational title primarily aimed at kids, but that doesn’t stop the experience being fun for folk of all ages. The free-to-download app sees Captain Clean fighting against climate change to rid the city of Cleanopolis of its CO2 cloud. Players are assisted by Toby the dog as they explore the 3D city and have a go at the mini-games in each of four districts.

The graphics on display are impressive and the game does a good job of throwing you straight into the action. Whilst there’s sections of the app that quiz you on your ecological footprint, the topics are genuinely interesting and covered in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re stuck in a boring school lesson.

Play Store Download Link

House of Terror VR

 

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House of Terror VR is an interactive horror experience that challenges your bravery as you explore a haunted house full of traps, monsters and brain-busting puzzles.

Unlike some of the other virtual reality apps we’ve covered, House of Terror VR requires a joystick so players can walk around the house. As a result, not everybody is going to be able to play this title. If you have the required equipment though, it’s definitely worth downloading the app and taking a look around the dark environments on offer.

Not many other virtual reality horror games nail the unsettling atmosphere as well as House of Terror VR.

Play Store Download Link

VR Roller Coaster Attraction

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VR Roller Coaster Attraction arrives courtesy of Fibrum, who we believe to be one of the top names in the mobile VR world. VR Roller Coaster Attraction isn’t as long as the ride on offer in the Cmoar app, although this attraction boasts a far prettier environment, deep in the jungle surrounded by lavish rainforests, rock formations and waterfalls.

Players start the ride by focusing their gaze on a large wooden lever, and before you know it you’re riding the rollercoaster up to the top of a hill, with just a couple of seconds to take in the scenery before you plummet back down to earth. A recent update to the VR Roller Coaster Attraction app adds a freemium system which has annoyed quite a few people over on the Play Store, but this shouldn’t be enough to put you off trying the app out for yourself.

Play Store Download Link

Sisters

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The Sisters app for Android devices isn’t about exploring but instead about seeing if you have the guts to keep your eyes open as ghosts and ghouls burst into life around you.

Sisters is set in a spooky room inside a mansion on a stormy night, and as the title suggests, you’ll be introduced to a pair of characters that have a surprise or two up their sleeves. When the lights go out, the pair of wooden dolls go missing from the fireplace. What follows is a tense, immersive VR experience that’s a must-try for fans of horror.

Although the experience is fairly short, it’s great fun to watch friends and family try Sisters out for themselves. We recommend you take on the app equipped with a good pair of headphones.

Play Store Download Link

Lamper VR: Firefly Rescue

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Lamper VR is one of the most polished titles on the Play Store at the time of writing, starring Little Lamper, a brave lightning bug in a big, dangerous world.

The game is fully 3D and is the successor to another popular Google Cardboard app, only this latest entry into the series offers more features than ever before. Players are asked to explore lush woods and fiery caverns as they go in search of their lost friends. Powerups such as explosive fireballs can be picked up along the way to help gamers blast past enemies to reach their goals.

There’s no in-app purchases to contend with and the app is perfect for younger audiences.

Play Store Download Link

InMind VR

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InMind VR, which we reviewed in 2015,has one of the most interesting settings of the apps we’ve mentioned, taking place entirely inside a human head. Players must travel through the brain of a patient in search of neurons that cause mental disorder. The title is free to download and does a good job of providing an engaging experience exploring the miracles of the human mind.

The game’s makers write: “The future is nigh. The humanity is standing upon the brink of a new era where modern healthcare makes tremendous scientific advancements. With the help of nanotechnologies a surgical prototype bathyscaphe allows its operator to shrink to a microlevel and travel inside the patient’s body.” Technical stuff!

Play Store Download Link

Closing

Here at Talk Android, we’re very excited to see what the future holds for VR gaming on Android. As new major app developers join in on the action, we’re expecting to see even more incredible mobile experiences. Right now, the Play Store already has plenty of thrilling VR adventures to get stuck into, but the number of apps is growing on a daily basis.

The beauty of mobile VR is that there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a horror fanatic in search of the ultimate scare or a parent on the hunt for educational apps, there’s plenty of options out there. We hope this list keeps you busy.


About the Author: Tom Morgan

After three years studying at the University of Winchester, Tom graduated with a journalism degree under his belt. A couple of work placements out in the real world at PC Advisor and the BBC taught him that journalism is pretty fun, and a couple of months later he joined the team at Phonecruncher, then signing up with TalkAndroid. Tom would be the first to admit he spends far too much time worrying about Arsenal FC results and watching strange videos on YouTube.


  • sgtreesh37

    Another good one is Google’s own Street View.