The relaunch of the popular 2017 VR platforming marks a big step for the SideQuest platform.
Despite having released all the way back in May of 2017, Electric Hat Games’ To The Top remains one of the best climbing experiences currently available on VR headsets. A unique movement system tailor-made for VR turns players into what the developers describe as “robotic cheetahs,” allowing them to leap, climb, and skate across around 360 scalable objects.
Regardless of the popular reception, the VR platformer was rejected by Facebook during the Quest approval process. Thanks to the popular sideloading app SideQuest, however, To The Top has finally made it to the Oculus Quest.
Available now for $15 via the SideQuest app, the standalone release includes 35 vertigo-inducing levels featuring three Time and two Collectable Goals each; over 30 customizable options, including hands, torso, and head; jet hand flying; and a slew of other challenges and obstacles to overcome.
Unfortunately, the Oculus Quest release does not feature multiplayer, a crippling blow for anyone who’s had the pleasure of competing in a high-octane race against a friend. Still, it’s nice to see this well-crafted platformer make its way to standalone VR, especially after facing rejection during Facebook’s rigorous new vetting process.
In February of 2019, Facebook announced a stricter game curation system for the Oculus Quest which would require a higher standard of content from developers in an effort to bring the standalone headset more inline with conventional video games consoles. Since then several high-profile titles, many of which already available on major VR headsets, have been rejected for release on Quest, including Loco Dojo, Deism VR, and Vinyl Reality, just to name a few.
Thanks to a free Oculus Quest sideloading app, however, many of these rejected titles—once deemed too rough for release—are receiving a second chance at life with Quest headset-owners. Crisis VRigade, for example, has generated a sizable amount of buzz on SideQuest after facing rejection by Facebook. Despite only featuring two completed levels, the Time Crisis-inspired cover-based shooter has been downloaded over 50,000 times via SideQuest.
Though SideQuest already features a handful of paid VR games in its rapidly-growing catalog of apps and experiences, To The Top marks the first sale of a fully-developed VR game on the platform. While this may not seem like a big deal per se, it does push SideQuest closer into Oculus Store territory.
“It has been a tough time to release this title and finding the best route to make this happen wasn’t easy,” said Electric Hat Games in a prepared statement (via UploadVR). “We see SideQuest as a new avenue to help support independent VR developers make the games they want and push the bounds of what is possible.”
With Facebook fully-dedicated to maintaining strict control over what content is allowed on Oculus Quest headsets, it’ll be interesting to see how they cooperate (or don’t) with SideQuest. For more information on To The Top and SideQuest, check out UploadVR’s virtual interview with the creator behind the industry-changing app.
Feature Image Credit: Electric Hat Games