Games to Check Out on Gear VR

From original games to arcade classics

Virtual reality is about to get into full swing in the coming years, but for many people, their first spin at a real VR experience is going to be the Samsung Gear VR. Developed with Oculus, this headset supports several Samsung phones and offers its own app store for Gear games. With the powerful system requirements for the first retail Oculus Rift, this will be the main way that many people enjoy VR for the first time in a serious capacity. While the early days of the Gear VR store are somewhat limited, especially as developers are still learning what works best in virtual reality, there are some real gems out there that you can play right now.

01
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Land's End

Land's End by Ustwo. Ustwo

This is the next game from the creators of Monument Valley. If you could imagine exploring a world from the creators of one of the best mobile games ever, then that's what you get here. You'll solve puzzles in a haunting, mysterious landscape. While the presence of a 2D trailer seems to at least tease that maybe this could come to non-VR devices someday, there's no guarantee that it ever will. The game is a brief experience, but Monument Valley wasn't known for its length, either. Regardless, this is a must-download if you have a Gear VR.

02
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Dead Secret

Dead Secret VR by Robot Invader. Robot Invader

Chris Pruett, who works with developer relations at Oculus VR, and one of the principals of Wind-up Knight developer Robot Invader, is a horror aficionado. He regularly discusses horror games on his Twitter page, and has a blog dedicated to studying horror game design. So, you should check out Dead Secret if only because it's made with a lot of care and attention by someone who wants to pay homage to the horror game genre, and wants to find ways to make VR games work well in these early days when everyone is still figuring out what works best, such as discussing how movement works. Even if you're not a horror fan, this game is worth checking out just to study it.

03
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Into the Dead VR

Into the Dead by PikPok. PikPok

 Running into a horde of zombies trying to eat you was scary enough when it was on a flat 2D screen. Put it on the Gear VR, and you get something that caused at least one employee at developer PikPok to scream while playing it. The experience just gets to be so much more visceral and real when it's in your face and you're made to feel like you're there.  Not only is the entire original game here, but a new Gear-exclusive mode can be played, even if you've enjoyed the mobile version already.

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Adventure Time: Magic Man's Head Games

Adventure Time: Magic Man's Head Games for Gear VR. Cartoon Network

 Cartoon Network's game publishing division deserves a lot of credit for producing well-made titles based on their shows. The Steven Universe RPG is a particular standout, but Adventure Time has gotten some great games as well. Sure to add to that list is this VR experience set in the world of the show. The trippy world alone would be interesting enough to play with, but throwing in trickster character Magic Man makes for a unique, mind-bending experience, and something that both kids and adults can enjoy. 

05
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Temple Run VR

Temple Run VR by Imangi. Imangi Studios

 One of the most popular mobile games is a clever fit for the Gear VR. Now you can jump over obstacles, slide through narrow paths, and outrun the demon monkeys all in a first-person perspective. You can look around as you're playing to see your pursuers, as well. It all gives the game a sense that you're in an actual world that you just don't necessarily get in the 2D version.

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Oculus Arcade

Pac-Man on Oculus Arcade. Oculus

 While the games aren't necessarily in 3D, one unique way to get a Gear VR experience is to check out the retro games you can play on a virtual arcade machine in the Gear VR. There's just something cool about the presence you get of seeing a game on a virtual screen, that you can't get without going to an actual arcade. And since actual arcades are few and far between nowadays, this might be as close you or your kids will ever get to playing Pac-Man on an arcade cabinet any time soon.