vr week: 10 best VR rollercoasters for the Vive, Oculus, Cardboard and Gear VR


Introduction

Planet Coaster

Rollercoasters have been part of gaming’s heritage since the earliest days, back as far as 1983’s 3D Crazy Coasters on the Vectrex. But VR’s inherent sense of presence makes the managed terror of roller coasters all the more impressive. It also has the added, uh, ‘bonus’ of sometimes inducing exactly the kind of sickness that you get from a really impressive rollercoaster (try ‘Cyber Space’ below for the full effect.)

Why do so many developers make VR Rollercoasters? Well, the easiest VR experience is one that has the player sitting down in one spot, with a fixed path going by that the player can look around and control their passage through. That throws up something like Operation Wolf – or a rollercoaster.

Obviously, the dream would be for Frontier’s upcoming Planet Coaster to support VR, like their Elite Dangerous did. Yet, from the early preview code we’ve seen, Planet Coaster is throwing a *lot* of polygons around – and the whispers at that it won’t be able to stay that pretty and hit the 90fps that makes for comfortable VR viewing. (Which is going to be a huge problem with Playstation VR too, but we’re guessing that they’ll just focus on keeping poly counts low, taking its graphics back to the PS3 era…)

Atlantis: Infinite Coaster

Atlantis Coaster

Oculus Rift

This unusual coaster was developed by a physicist, not a software engineer, to prove to himself that he could code something solely in openGL. That means Atlantis: Infinite Coaster doesn’t have the regular big bugs from engines like Unity or Unreal – it has it’s own range of interesting bugs! Thankfully building collisions are fixed in the latest version.

What’s most unusual is that this coaster is procedurally-generated – That is, you’ll never get the same ride twice. Yes, it’ll always take place in a mammoth city floating on the surface of an featureless sea – but once in the city proper, the ride will go on forever, theoretically.

YouTube : https://youtu.be/SjHuxYDRHCM

Frag VR Roller Coaster

Frag VR Roller Coaster

Google Cardboard / Android / iOS

You get what you pay for with everything… and this is free. Seriously, though, as long as you can get this working with your iOS or Android device (not guaranteed by the comments on the Google Play store) then it’s a solid Roller coaster experience.

Playing it, you travel through a detailed cityscape that’s randomly generated each time you start riding, and full of noisy crowds, birds, cars, screaming fellow passengers and an airship. The ride isn’t like Atlantis because it all loops in on itself, rather than spreading out to explore the city.

Tip: tap with one finger to face forward, or tap with two fingers to restart the ride.

YouTube : https://youtu.be/bDoEYULinMU

Chunks

Chunks

HTC Vive

The guys behind Garry’s Mod and Rust are working on this fun Minecraft style VR world. It’s obviously been designed from the ground up to be both silly and flexible – and a core part of its silliness is that it allows players to quickly and easily design their own roller coasters. You can pretty much sketch a 3D rollercoaster track with the Vive’s controller, then ride it – and blow it up with TNT, if you so wish.

Unfortunately, at the moment, it’s only an internal prototype – but we’ll update this piece whenever we gets hands-on with it.