In the market of virtual reality (VR) devices, there are two top pieces of machinery: the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Today we'll review the HTC Vive and list the top five best HTC Vive games. The Oculus Rift, being the original VR system, was also designed for seated games. It's more affordable, but you don't get the same full-immersion experience as you do when your whole body can interact with the game you're in. This is the kind of full-immersion experience you get with HTC Vive.
With the HTC Vive, you can move around and walk towards objects you may want to interact with or run away from. In this list of the top five best HTC Vive games, we'll review some of the most entertaining games you can interact with.
About The HTC Vive
As mentioned, the HTC Vive is a virtual reality device that lets you move around to interact with your virtual environment. It can still be used while you are sitting stationary, but it is meant to be used while you are standing or walking. The HTC Vive has gone through many pricing formulas, with today's price landing around $500. You can find the HTC Vive both online and in-store through most major retailers. Its older brother, the HTC Vive Pro, goes for around $800.
As you may have imagined, the HTC Vive looks futuristic. It's a sleek black headset that covers your eyes and most of your face. It has more of an aggressive design than other models in the same market, which lends itself to its more futuristic look. The device has unique controllers that are often replicated in the game you're playing, featuring a ring at the top of the controller useful for housing gems or grabbing objects.
An obvious and unfortunate downside to the HTC Vive is how sturdy and bulky they've made the cable for the device. It's thick and can cause issues in games that require a lot of turning around or movement. The last thing you want to do while playing a VR game is trip over your cord.
All the device's cables run into a link box, consolidating cords without the need for a separate power cable. This link box also acts as a breakaway in case you do trip or get a little too enthusiastic, and it protects the cable from being yanked away. Imagine if this design had to be plugged into a PC—you'd yank the PC right off its desk!
The HTC Vive features infrared tracking dots across the face of the headset that are inset against the rounded shape of the device. These dots lean on the technology used to sense where you are in space and time and essentially drop you into the game you're playing. From the trackers on the headset to the controllers and everything in between, the HTC Vive is designed with sturdy, thick plastic that gives it a heavier feel and creates more of a balancing challenge, but given how solid the device is, it seems worth it to us.
It's easy and quick to fit the HTC Vive headset to your comfort level using the sturdy and adaptable velcro straps. Most can fit it to their person within a minute. The part of the headset that fits over the user's face is cushioned well and goes all around the user's eyes, breaking at the bottom for the rubber nose rest. If it fits correctly, there should be no pressure points and no red rings around the face or eyes—known as "VR face."
This cushioned headset and rubber nose rest pose an obvious problem in games that are more physically demanding as you will have to deal with sweat leaking into your HTC Vive. It doesn't drip as you may fear, but it turns the face frame into something more like a sweatband. Better to disinfect and let it dry before sharing with other sweaty gamers.
An issue that's been noted with other VR systems is motion sickness caused by the action of the game. HTC Vive has nearly eliminated this problem by allowing you to move through real space while moving through virtual space.
The biggest takeaway from our comparisons? HTC Vive games are unparalleled by the device's ability for freedom of movement. Each game is great at incorporating this feature and creating an immersive experience. This is likely one of its most impressive factors that leads to its dominance it the VR gaming world.
Now, let's look at those top five best HTC Vive games.
Top 5 Best HTC Vive Games
In this list of the top five best HTC Vive games we've compiled, we'll go through our top pick of games in the five following categories: Action, Adventure, Puzzle, Role Playing, and Social and Creative.
Action: Eagle Flight
Eagle Flight is one of those games we imagined virtual reality would be like when looking towards futuristic technology not too long ago. This game gives you a literal eagle's eye view of Paris after it's been devoid of humans for 50 years. Created by Ubisoft, this game gives the users the opportunity to experience a place they may not have otherwise been able to access without a VR gaming headset.
It has fun and competitive multi-player capability and "capture the flag" mode taking us back to our Quake years, but this time you'll be swooping between steeples and clock towers across Parisian rooftops overgrown with 50-plus years of wildlife.
Adventure: Star Trek: Bridge Crew
One of the most anticipated VR games we've come across, Star Trek: Bridge Crew did not let us down. Allowing you to live out your dreams on the Enterprise, this game gives you the ability to explore the cosmos with your own team of four. One user pilots the ship, one is the engineer, one makes tactical choices, and the fourth teammate serves as a captain.
This team-oriented multiplayer is best when you have three friends to play with, but there are also options to use it in single-player mode or with less than four users. Did someone say LAN party?
Puzzle: Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes
In the land of puzzle HTC Vive games, sometimes the puzzle category can lend way to less-mature games that are more intended for a younger audience. With Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, you can include both adults and children as everyone plays along.
While VR devices can seem isolating unless in multiplayer mode, there is the option for one user to mirror their visuals to a screen so that the people around the user can see what the virtual user is experiencing. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes combines this idea with the multiplayer experience without each player having to purchase and hook up to their own headset.
The constructs of the game are that the player will wear the headset while disarming a bomb using input from other players. Only the user with the headset can see the bomb and to disarm it, they must describe the modules on the bomb to the surrounding players that cannot see the bomb. The players blind to the virtual experience must consult a lengthy manual that offers instructions on what to do.
While this may seem like a stressful game reminding us of our Escape Room days, the brilliant thinking that went into developing this game is so inclusive of every player, the stress is mitigated. Are you the only one in your friend group with an HTC Vive? You can all get together and take turns at being the bomb disarmer with part of the crowd shouting suggestions from the manual. Complete with a clock ticking down, the tense and frantic setting creates a great environment for anxiously translating morse code and playing memory games.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes teaches us that communication is vital and can quickly break down if everyone isn't participating. It's extremely socially oriented and one of our favorite puzzle games.
Role Playing: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
Bethesda Game Studios outdoes itself again with a beautifully crafted role-playing classic now available in VR. Elder Scrolls takes the cake with its beautifully designed visuals and complex world of possibilities. Referred to as one of Bethesda's many masterpieces, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR looks even better on the HTC Vive than any other platform we've seen. The immersion factor allows you to even more fully become the character you've created.
In the VR game, one of the most notable features is movement through teleportation. One controller lets you cast out a target location then instantly move there. Meanwhile, the opposite controller allows you to rotate around in sharp, 60-degree turns. You can also opt for natural movement which may lead to a slight chance of motion sickness, but in our opinion the experience is worth it.
Social And Creative: Tilt Brush
The Tilt Brush is not as immersed in the game aspect of VR as it is in the interactive and creative experiences that the headset can give. The Tilt Brush showcases the different capabilities of the HTC Vive beautifully, allowing you to maneuver around in virtual space while painting your virtual reality around you. The Tilt Brush was one of the first Google-owned apps created specifically for the HTC Vive. It allows you to bring your creativity to life in 3D with various paintbrushes and palettes.
While one controller holds a palette allowing you to select your tools and colors and manage system settings, the other controller holds the brush that's easily adjusted in scale with the touchpad. The Tilt Brush has the option to choose tools such as oil paint, marker, and dry brush. The palette includes effects like smoke, fire, and stars. The Tilt Brush is our top pick for the creative artist wanting to explore their art in a new dimension.
Out of all the games available for the HTC Vive, our list of top five best HTC Vive games has highlighted the ones that topped their category in how user-friendly they are, how brilliant the graphics are, and how interactive they can be. Each game we highlighted touches on different key features of the HTC Vive and creates a well-rounded experience of the entire gaming system itself.