8.4 tech score NVidia's VR Funhouse was one of the games that introduced me to VR and still holds a special place in my heart as something I like to show off to friends and family then showing them the Vive for the first time. The graphics are stunning, the gameplays solid and the Price (absolutely nothing) is quite phenomenal. The only point I feel this game falls down in is it's atmosphere, or in this case immersion. In-game the atmosphere is solid with a good amount of background noise et cetera. However during the loading screens rather than simply fading to black the game has a spiral transition, which although is cool in terms of fitting the aesthetic of the game, I don't feel the transition really works, especially seeing that (for me at least) there is micro stuttering just before the next scene loads which can cause some head-drag which can be both immersion breaking as well as nauseating. Overall this is still probably the best looking thing within VR and the gameplay still holds up after the countless minutes I've sunken into it.
Not to introduce the article with a heaping of bias, however, NVidia’s VR Funhouse was one of the reasons I bought the Vive, and it was of the big reasons I don’t regret buying it. Although it runs within Ue4 which seems to be mixing with VR badly (creates jagged edges without supersampling enabled) this game looks stunning. Or should I say this tech-demo looks stunning.
If you are familiar with NVidia’s Flex tech demos you are basically familiar with each element of VR Funhouse. For example, when you pop balloons in VR Funhouse, the confetti inside is the exact same cloth effect as the one used in the flex demos. The porcelain rabbit from the first minigame can also be seen in flex as a rigid body you can pour goo over, with the paint gun further in the game using the same physics as the goo in flex. So to cut it short, if the Flex demos were a game, they would be VR Funhouse.
From the recommended specs this game seems insanely demanding with NVidia claiming it would take 2 GTX 1080s running in Sli to play it on high settings, however I just can’t imagine this to be the case. I can play the game on Medium settings with my Asus Turbo GTX 1070 (with a slight overclock), and as far as I can tell I get a smooth 90fps. Not only this but by default at least one form of reproduction is turned on through SteamVR, so I could be getting anywhere between 45fps and 89fps and still play it smoothly (although the visuals do take a hit).
In terms of what type of game this is I think that it falls into the category of party games, but don’t think that means it’s just a VR rip-off of Carnival games by Global Star Software. This game is everything that is great about party games (i.e. short a sweet mini games that you can challenge friends and family on) without any of the negative usually associate (i.e. motion controls not working or the mini-games being shovel ware). I think this is a great game to use to demo VR to a group of friends as it allows for a small competition, as well as the fact no mini-game is exactly long, so if they need to come out of VR for whatever reason they will have time to finish the game they are playing rather than having to pause.
Overall this game is likely the one I’ve clocked the most time in on steam (mainly because I really enjoy demoing my Vive) and I think that’s pretty justified, especially with the relatively active workshop community creating completely new mini games or stages on a regular basis. If you have a VR system and haven’t gave this a go I definitely would recommend it as it is completely free on steam.