Mind Labyrinth VR Dreams, by Oxygene Media, has just launched on Playstation VR after coming out on Steam just a little earlier. Here’s our look at the console version.
When playing Mind Labyrinth VR Dreams, my thoughts quickly wandered to Perfect by nDreams – a virtual reality experience that would allow you to experience remote locations on earth in a serene manner, whisking you away to a faraway paradise through the use of VR. Mind Labyrinth VR Dreams might not have the “perfect getaway” angle, but it too is more of an experience than it is a game.
Granted, Mind Labyrinth VR Dreams does feature more traditional gameplay elements than Perfect did, but the emphasis is still very much on an almost meditative experience. In Mind Labyrinth, you explore imaginary environments that have seemingly been crafted with influences from the worlds of sci-fi and fantasy. My favorite setting was an Avatar-like level that plays out in the dark, with bright neon colors lighting up the alien landscape surrounding you.
As you progress, you regularly run into phrases that were lifted from philosophy for you to ponder – a good indication that you’re not dealing with an action-packed game here. Backing up the dream-like visuals is an excellent relaxing soundtrack – the kind that warrants the use of a good surround system or specialized headphones when you play.
Visually, Mind Labyrinth VR Dreams works best when there’s not a lot of detail needed in a scene. The nighttime scenes illustrate this very well, as they look richly detailed and vibrant while their daytime counterparts show the limitations that VR can have in rendering highly detailed textures. I came away thinking that “Perfect” looked a little better, but that was also a far more static experience. Mind Labyrinth lets you actually walk around the environments, which makes for a more immersive experience – as does the fact that there’s more interactivity here.
Speaking of which, walking and moving aren’t implemented as smoothly as they could have been. Turning is done with 45 degree increments per click, which breaks the immersion a little bit every time it happens when you’re walking forward and need to change direction. Alternatively, you can also use that other VR staple, teleportation, to get around – though you’ll still need to click-turn your way through the environment. Both Move controls and DualShock controls are supported, and although it was easier to navigate with a DualShock it’s more fun to engage with items when using the Move.
Interaction is only sparsely used though, for example when you pick up a candle and use it to light fireworks. Each environment (there are 10 in total) only has one or two items to use and it’s pretty self-explanatory what they do, so you’re never drawn you into a puzzle scenario or anything like that. There is room for discovery though, as special sub-stages and ‘shelters’ can be found as well, in addition to the various quotes that adorn each environment.
As with Perfect, Mind Labyrinth VR Dreams isn’t the kind of title you’re going to want to pick up if you’re only interested in a traditional videogame experience with clear objectives, a story or nailbiting action. Mind Labyrinth VR Dreams is an experience that utilizes virtual reality to transform you to a dreamlike world for some quiet time away from everything that’s hectic or stressful. If that describes what you could use, then Oxygene Media has you covered.