We go hands-on with the successor to Owlchemy Labs’ wildly popular flagship VR title.
Austin, Texas-based video game developer Owlchemy Labs struck gold with their 2016 smash hit, Job Simulator. The comical VR experience was met with overwhelmingly positive reception, going so far as being hailed as one of the first “full” VR games for the HTC Vive as opposed to a glorified tech demo like so many other experiences at the time.
Now, two years later, Owlchemy Labs is back with Vacation Simulator, a brand new VR “simulation” that kicks players out of the office and onto the beach for an afternoon of virtual fun in the sun.
“After pondering the progression of life, the universe, and JOB, we came to the natural conclusion: First you JOB, then you VACATION,” states Owlchemy Labs in an official release. “Experience RECREATION, optimal RELAXATION, and classic human pastimes like SUNBURN. Vacation Island offers all this and more so that you can discover the lost art of TIME OFF.” (If you read this in a robot voice, you’re not alone)
Upon first entering Vacation Island you’ll be greeted by an entire host of relaxation robots each designed to make sure your stay is as fun as mathematically possible. Want to grill up some grub for a few hungry mechanical beach-goers? Hit the snack shack at the top of the lifeguard stand to complete some incoming orders. Looking to cool off and maybe toss the ball around? Why not hit the water for a few rounds of water polo against one tough digital goalie? Feeling explorative? Help one bot collect a slew of hidden sea critters scattered throughout the island.
There are a multitude of other beachside interests to investigate, many of which feature their own progression system in which users can unlock more challenges and fun activities. For instance, by completing certain objectives for a particular instructor located on the dock, I was eventually able to unlock my diver’s certificate. This in turn gained me access to a scuba diving kit in which to explore the crystal-clear waters.
While my time with the experience at the Tribeca Virtual Arcade was short, it was long enough to develop a genuine appreciation of the little details Owlchemy Labs has included in this sequel. True to its predecessor, Vacation Simulator is chock full of secrets and was clearly crafted with love. Owlchemy Labs continues to pour its heart into its products, delivering yet another endlessly silly VR game dripping with character.
Vacation Simulator is available for demo at the Tribeca Virtual Arcade now until Saturday, April 28th and is set to release sometime later this year on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR.