No console or platform is complete without a "killer app." While Oculus Rift has announced a few games for its virtual reality headset, "Lucky's Tale" will be free and bundled with the hardware when its released in the first quarter of 2016.
The game is a made-for-VR platformer that has gamers controlling a fox named Lucky.
"Lucky's Tale" was developed by Playful as an Oculus Studios title. Players will guide Lucky through different locations, running, jumping and collecting. The Oculus Rift lets players explore the world around Lucky. "We always believed there was an opportunity for platformers in VR, but it wasn’t until playing Lucky’s Tale and working with the Playful team that we truly realized its potential to change how people view this genre of gaming forever," Palmer Luckey, Oculus Rift founder, said in a statement.
"Lucky's Tale" has received strong praise from those who have tried it as an Oculus Rift VR demo. The game was described as akin to "Super Mario 64," with the player in a third-person perspective. Despite VR's selling point being total immersion into a character or environment, this gameplay choice works to the benefit of "Lucky's Tale."
"It’s like you’re actually in there. When Lucky hits a box and stars pop out of the top of it, you naturally look upwards to see where they’re going to fall. And at that moment you feel like you’re staring up at the sky in real life," Chris Kohler wrote for Wired.
A great bundled game can do wonders for a new console. "Wii Sports" was bundled with the Nintendo Wii in 2006, which led to countless hours playing tennis or bowling. It was a great way to start a party, but it also showed off the motion sensing capabilities of the Wii. The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) came with "Duck Hunt" and "Super Mario Bros." while the Super NES included "Super Mario World."
Oculus has not released an official launch date or price point for the Rift. Many experts expect the VR headset to cost around $350 to $500.