With the rise of virtual reality, and VR devices becoming more affordable, there’s an almost impossible amount of VR games and apps to comb through. VR apps range from helpful, to novel, with games being either gimmicky, or genuinely fun to play and experience. Instead of digging through the Play Store, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorites.
The apps and games on this list vary on what they’re trying to accomplish, and they aren’t in any particular order of best to worst, they’re all just apps I think are worth talking about. Not all of these will need VR to work, but each app and game will look and play the best with virtual reality devices.
VR Fantasy – by Chibig
The first game I want to talk about has a pretty generic name, standard premise, but excellent execution, and a great visual style that leaves a lasting impression.
VR Fantasy is all about delving deep into a dangerous dungeon, finding weapons to make your perilous journey easier, and honing your skills to finally defeat the a terrible dragon waiting for you at the end of your quest.
If you’re any good at slinging spells and swinging blades, then your quest will probably be a short one, but VR Fantasy is worth a few minutes of your time if you like fantasy settings, and dungeon crawling.
Beasts of Legend VR – by Virtual Studios
This next game is a bit of a futuristic spin on the roller coaster type of VR game where you’re seated and look around to experience the ride. Beasts of Legends VR is separated into different episodes where you get taken on a ride through futuristic cities and locales to fight, you guessed it, legendary beasts.
Each episode length varies, with most coming in around 7-10 minutes. So pop on your headset, take a seat, and get propelled through a futuristic world to stop legendary beasts from destroying everything around them.
There isn’t much of a reason to go back to Beasts of Legend once you’ve seen everything, but it’s at least worth a quick look for the experience.
Netflix VR – by Netflix, Inc.
Netflix is something you’ve no doubt already used, or at least know about. Whether you’ve already been using it for a long time, just started using it, or never have before, Netflix in VR is a completely different experience entirely.
When you upgrade your normal Netflix experience to VR it’s like you’re sitting at a home theater at any point in time, or anywhere else you want to watch your favorite shows and movies.
Don’t underestimate how much a VR headset can add to your watching experience. Give Netflix VR a shot today if you haven’t already.
FD VR Theater – for Youtube – by Fulldive
So I’ve talked about VR for Netflix, but what about YouTube? Thankfully, with FD VR Theater you can immerse yourself in all of your favorite YouTube videos with just a few taps and a good headset to strap your phone into.
FD VR Theatre doesn’t have as many fancy venues as Netflix VR, but it’s more than enough to get the job done, and help immerse you in whatever you’re watching or listening to while at home, or even outside of it.
Insidious VR – by Focus Features
If you’re easily frightened, you’ll probably want to skip this game. Insidious VR is out for your head and to get your pulse racing, so be wary if you don’t think you can handle VR horror. This was originally a promotional piece for Insidious Chapter 3, but you can still play this game on its own to get a good scare.
It usually takes more than a few loud noises and creepy shadows to scare me, but putting something into VR makes it at least ten times scarier in an instant. Horror experiences are something that’s done a lot on VR platforms, but it’s done well here.
If you like being scared, are a fan of Insidious, or are just looking for another horror experience on VR, this is one of the best.
InCell VR – by Nival
InCell VR adds an interesting twist to normal VR racers, and with its name you might be able to guess what that twist is. From start to finish, you’re racing through a miniature world inside of a single human cell.
While there’s a focus on intense racing towards the center, and avoiding a nasty wave of viruses, InCell manages to be educational at the same time. While racing inside of a human cell, you’re learning about everything inside of it, making this a great learning experience for anyone on the younger, and even the older side of the spectrum.
Nival has done similar games for VR before, but InCell was what I decided to go with for this list since I think it’s the best out of the bunch for what I want to showcase. If you’re up to learn about human cells while dodging viruses, InCell is the experience for you.
Discovery VR – by Discovery Communications
Let’s go back to talking about videos this time, but instead of watching shows on YouTube, or movies on Netflix, what about footage on the Discovery platform?
This includes scenes and clips from already established Discovery shows, but also has several different categories to help you appreciate the world around you through a different lens in VR.
This app lets you discover the world right from your home with VR, and 360 videos to explore to your heart’s content. If desire to learn and explore is already screaming, try downloading the app and taking a look at all Discovery VR has to offer.
Proton Pulse – by ZeroTransform LLC
If you’ve ever played Breakout, or Arkanoid, you’ve probably played something like Proton Pulse. However, Proton Pulse helps make you the controller, adding another layer into the classic Breakout style of game that helps keep things fresh and interesting.
The game has a soundtrack that’s energetic enough to keep you moving, which you’ll need to if you hope to get through it in one piece. Proton Pulse starts out easy, but gets hard enough to make it a challenge, especially with its bosses.
Proton Pulse is one of the only games on this list that isn’t free, but I think $1.99 is a great price for a simple yet challenging game for your VR headset.
Carriage Rescue VR – by Madfal Studio
Carriage Rescue VR is another VR stand and shoot game, but this time the goal is to protect a carriage with your trusty bow. Enemies will come for you in waves, but with sharp enough skills, and good reaction times, you’ll be able to defend the carriage with ease at first.
The more waves you manage to fend off, the harder the game is going to get, which means you’ll need all the upgrades you earn along the way to stand a chance. Carriage Rescue VR is one of the more cartoony looking shooters out there, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to play for a little while.
Trail World VR – by No Pressure Studios
The colors and style of Trail World VR immediately struck me as an aesthetic I can, and will get behind. Set in an open world, you explore, complete mini games, and much like the name implies, blaze some trails.
The game has several different zones to explore, and getting to them is easy enough as you complete different objectives around the map. From fishing to riding around in a speeding minecart, Trail World can either be a relaxing or intense experience depending on how you want to play.
Since Trail World VR is an open world adventure, what you chose to explore and interact with is up to you in this free game that’s definitely worth your time.
Google Arts & Culture VR – by Google Inc.
What would you do if you could visit an arts and culture museum at any time you want, right from your home? If you’d jump at the chance, then I have the perfect app for you that’s free on the Play Store right now.
Take a virtual tour around the gallery, get up close and inspect your favorite pieces, and all without anyone else to block the views, or the clog up the floor. I’ve always been a fan of virtual tours, and moving that kind of activity to VR easily improves it.
The one catch with this VR app is it’s through Daydream, so it will only work with Daydream ready devices. I’ll get into Daydream as a platform, and as an app near the end of the list.
VR Silent Home – by SMF Studios
Even though the name of this game is Silent Home, home isn’t always where you’ll be walking around. Silent Home takes you through a number of spooky looking locations, and tasks you with finding your way through it and making it to the end in one piece.
Getting through a level in this game is easier said than done, not just because of the obstacles, but because you might not be able to bring yourself to move forward. Screenshots alone might not make it look that scary, but once you’re immersed, it doesn’t take much to make your skin crawl.
VR Silent Home is meant to be played specifically with Google Cardboard, and it’s recommended to play in night vision mode.
Matterport VR – by Matterport, Inc.
Matterport VR is all about visiting locations that you can’t normally either because of distance, time, or travel costs, and seeing them in a full 360 degrees you can look through as much as you want.
It’s a little like the Google Arts & Culture app I mentioned before, but instead of looking at art head on, you’re placed right in the middle of where you want to explore, and get to look around it to observe every fine detail.
From important spots in history, educational locations, and even celebrity homes, you get to explore them all with one of the best VR location simulators.
Hidden Temple VR Adventure – by HandyGames
Did you ever think you could do a better chance than contestants on Legend of the Hidden Temple? This won’t net you a spot on the show, but it is your chance to explore a hidden temple and uncover plenty of treasure. In Hidden Temple VR adventure you solve puzzles, avoid traps, and explore in a full 360 degrees.
Hidden Temple VR Adventure is playable outside of VR, but does not work on the Gear VR currently. There aren’t any plans to make it compatible as far as I can tell, but that doesn’t stop it from being a great VR adventure through a dangerous temple.
If you think you’re up to the task, and have the wits to grab the treasure, try giving it a shot today.
Cardboard Camera – by Google Inc.
I’ve talked about the Cardboard Camera before, and I think it bears repeating. When you use Cardboard Camera it’s easy to take beautiful panoramic pictures that look breathtaking when viewed in VR. At the same time, you can see pictures other users have taken through the app with just a few taps.
Cardboard Camera doesn’t have any editing features built in to touch up your pictures, but if you add another app on top of that you won’t have any problems. There isn’t much else to mention about the app, but it’s still just as solid as any other panoramic VR camera, and is possibly the best.
Lost in the Kismet VR Escape – by fast Company
I absolutely love escape rooms, and that’s exactly what Lost in the Kismet is. You start off somewhere unfamiliar and have to piece together clues and solve puzzles to escape. Looking around the room is all you need to do to control the action, and there’s plenty here to look at and solve.
Since Lost in the Kismet was made in a game jam, it isn’t terribly long, and has some blemishes here and there, but I think it’s an experience that’s worth a few minutes of your time. If you like escape the room games as much as I do, you’ll get the hang of the game very quickly, and have a great time.
Google Street View – by Google Inc.
Google Street View isn’t built from the ground up with VR in mind, but you can use VR with it, making it something to include on this list. You’d be surprised how immersive Google Street View really is once you add VR to the equation.
With how Street View has advanced over the years, and with VR, it’s easy to put yourself on almost any street in the world. Taking a virtual walk down the road has never been easier, or more fun.
Twilight Pioneers – by NetEase Games
Twilight Pioneers is another Daydream only game, but I’m only going to be talking about Daydream from this point on. In Twilight Pioneers you’re thrust into a first person fantasy world where you have to duel against giant beasts with a blade in hand. It’s thrilling to look at, and even more thrilling to play.
Your foes tower over you in each fight, but as soon as you master the controls it doesn’t how big of an opponent you have waiting in front of you, it’s just a matter of time before you take them down. Each fight is a one on one duel, so take your time, plan your moves carefully, and try not to get so immersed that you forget where you are.
Daydream Keyboard – by Google Inc.
This next app is exactly what it sounds like, it’s a virtual keyboard inside of Google Daydream. There aren’t any fancy frills here, or some kind of gimmick that sets it apart from something similar, but it’s hard to beat the allure of a floating keyboard right in front of you.
In some cases this is an auto-download for Android users, but I wanted to mention it here before I get into Daydream itself. If the idea of a floating virtual keyboard is as appealing as to you as it is to me, then I don’t need to say any more.
Daydream – by Google Inc.
Alright, for the last app on the list, it’s time I finally talk about Google Daydream, Google’s official VR platform. If you have a daydream ready phone, this is something you need to download immediately when you get the proper equipment to use it.
Google Daydream is both a storefront for VR applications and games, and a VR space itself, offering the best of what VR has to offer on Android in one organized and virtual spot. Daydream is relatively easy to explore, and has plenty of great apps just a few clicks away that I haven’t mentioned here.
If you don’t believe me, give it a look for yourself so you can start getting immersed and lose yourself to VR daydreams.
VR is getting better every day, and it’s only going to improve on itself even further as time goes on. From Google Cardboard, to Gear VR, to Daydream, there are plenty of ways to experience VR for the first time, and keep experiencing it for as long as your phone keeps its charge.
These are some of the best VR apps and games out there to try on Android, but if you dig into Google Daydream, or even just wait for more releases in the future, everything on this list will eventually have something better to experience.
If you have a favorite VR app or a game, please share it with us down below!