10 best iPhone VR apps and games
Getting yourself into the exciting world of virtual reality is easier than you might expect. All you need is your iPhone 6S, iPhone SE, – or any iPhone running iOS 8. All of the necessary motion sensors, processing power and crisp screen resolution are right there in your pocket.
Oh, and you’ll need a headset. But don’t worry, those are relatively cheap.
For example, Google Cardboard goes for £15 (US$20, AU$25) and comes with lenses and a mechanism to secure your phone into the headset, so when you move your head in the real world, you can look around in the virtual one. If you don’t fancy the cardboard build, they are plenty of other designs to choose from, too.
Until Apple unveils its own virtual reality device, Google’s solution is the only option for iOS users. But that’s alright because there’s plenty of entertainment to be had. You’ll find VR movies, games and apps, both free and paid for, to be enjoyed from Apple’s App Store, as well as plenty of 360-degree movies to stream on YouTube.
With all that content to choose from, we’ve narrowed the vast – and growing – selection down to ten that shouldn’t be missed.
It doesn’t get much more perfect than this. YouTube is an app you probably already have and is free to download if you don’t. Now that it has embraced 360-degree videos the amount of VR content is growing by the day.
Inside a YouTube 360-degree video you can look around as if you were really there. Thanks to more 360-degree cameras hitting the market, both professionals and amateurs alike are uploading footage. This is a great place to dip your virtual toes into the excitingly immersive digital world of VR.
Zombie Shooter VR
Despite originally being £2.49, Zombie Shooter VR is now free – a sure sign the competition is heating up. The name gives the game away really, it’s all about shooting zombies – you guessed it – in VR.
Look-to-shoot controls make it immersive in its simplicity, allowing you to focus on the myriad post-apocalyptic tunnels you can explore on the hunt for the undead.
Ever wondered what it would feel like to be shrunk down small enough to enter the human body? If you’ve seen the Inner Space movie you’ll probably have ideas of what that’s like but InCell VR shatters them brilliantly.
This simple game has a basic story about protecting a human at the cellular level but in reality, or virtual reality rather, you’re playing a racing game where you dodge or collect objects. It’s fun, addictive and jaw dropping in its size and beautiful colours. Plus you can pretend you’re doing good, not just goofing off in a VR headset.
Within (formerly known as Vrse) is like a platform within virtual reality, the Google of VR if you like. Except in this case a lot of the content created is produced by Within, making it a bit more like Netflix with its Originals, only in VR.
Everything is laid out nicely and keeps content varied from investigative journalism videos in VR to immersive music videos. One excellent collaboration features Michael Fassbender and Kristen Wiig in a film called Take Flight, which was created with support from The New York Times. This is a growing platform that’s not to be missed.
Lamper VR: Firefly Rescue
Price: £0.79 (US$0.99, AU$1.49)
Lamper returns in this sequel that offers a polished and entertaining VR experience. Control Lamper the firefly as you navigate stunning worlds using fireballs and power-ups to get by enemies.
Flight is controlled with simple head movements, making enemy targeting and object evasion a doddle. Collect enough coins and you’ll kick into high speed flight with Rainbow mode. Lamper VR: Firefly Rescue both takes you back to classic gaming while pulling you into the future of VR all at once.
End Space VR
Price: £0.99 (US$0.99, AU$1.99)
Take control of a spacecraft, with guns, and unleash on enemy space fighters. It’s a sci-fi dream come true.
Since space is the ultimate 360 experience End Space VR takes advantage of the virtual reality world perfectly, allowing you to look and go in all directions. Thanks to top graphics and 3D immersive audio you’ll be forgiven for getting totally lost in this one. Upgrade your ships and weapons to take on the ever more difficult waves of enemies. Rinse and repeat.
Romans From Mars 360
This one would have made it onto the list for the name alone. It’s just a bonus that it’s a great game and it’s free.
In Romans From Mars 360 you’re a Roman soldier fighting off an invading alien army using arrows and elemental powers of fire, ice, lightning and more. Weapon upgrades and enemy waves make this highly addictive. The fact it’s Google Cardboard compatible just makes it even more accessible.
Fractal Combat X
This fighter jet shooter was created primarily as a normal game and has had VR support added. This is a good thing, as the original Fractal Combat X was graphically stunning and the gameplay was fast-paced and addictive. Making it VR-friendly just adds to the awesome.
New missions are added daily and MFi gaming controllers are supported, as are Google Cardboard-style VR visors. While the game is free be warned there are in-app purchases to be had. That said, any purchase will disable ads so it could be worth it.
Google Street View
Google Street View already has nearly the entire planet photographed in 360-degree photos. What better app to adapt for virtual reality?
Strap on your VR headset and you can go anywhere in the world and look around as if you were really there. Imagine classrooms in the future taking children all over the planet to explore, rather than just seeing sites in a textbook. Very exciting stuff indeed, and of course it’s all free.
Roller Coaster VR
What’s a VR experience if it doesn’t involve a roller coaster? We had to get one on the list.
Roller Coaster VR isn’t just a normal roller coaster though, as it’ll take you to exotic locations on a tropical island. So not only will you be shaken up but you’ll be mildly stirred by the beauty of nature at the same time. Try that combo on for size with a phone strapped to your face, we dare you.