When it comes to VR you either love it or hate it. I love VR and still think it contains huge potential however it all comes down to the game that is being produced for VR. You do have to look high and low for a good game that you think ‘wow’. Particularly, I like horror VR games, gets my heart racing but I do love a good chilled out game. Lucky’s Tale, for example, was calm, collective, just got you in the right happy mood. Paper Valley is one of them.
When you first jump into Paper Valley I felt summery, put me in a good happy mood. The atmosphere is beautiful and not many games pull this off. I want one of those scented candles that are currently being made for VR. There was that Resident Evil one, Skyrim got one, I really wanted an ‘Enchanted Forest’ one. At that moment I thought this game may be something special. We will see.
The game has puzzles throughout. You through virtual paper planes to unlock ancient ruins. Somewhat of it feels like a tour, a ride that you’re on and to proceed you complete the puzzle. Paper planes fly in front of you and you have to pick them up using your Oculus Touch controllers. Once you have them at hand you can throw them…just like a paper plane. Sometimes they will just drop. It’s not the matter of throwing them as hard as you can, you gently throw them to go further and get that perfect glide. There are different types of planes. Usually just your ordinary orange paper plane but sometimes you get a unique looking paper plane and those can glide far…very far.
When you’re journeying through the meadows, the open fields, ruins etc it is extremely vibrant world and sometimes this can be distracting. It’s extremely beautiful however sometimes it’s a little too bright. During the levels that you’re on, they can be quite difficult. Some will be just, there is the target, hit it, next one, please. Some are very tricky. Curling some planes to be able to hit a target requires some technique and when this occurs you can imagine what it is like with the sensors. Sometimes the tracking can go off and I cannot tell whether this is the sensors or the game itself. I tried re-positioning sensors, myself and recalibrating but sometimes it would just re-appear and cannot determine it. Not often but it does occur.
The gameplay you would think is fairly simple but it doesn’t come without frustrations. When gripping the plane, sometimes there is an issue of holding the plane too long and it would just flop. This happened quite a lot near the start when you’re getting the hang of it. Once you do begin to get the hang of it there are ways around this.
There isn’t much of a story to follow. I think that is what also makes it so Zen. You have nothing to think about happening or what has happened. It’s just you, your trusty paper plane and the target you got to throw it at. Another reason to take you away from stressful games and to chill on Paper Valley.
Ultimately, Paper Valley is simple but elegant. It had its goal, it set out to achieve this goal and they have done it, that goal was to make the user zen-out (if that is a word?) There isn’t a lot to the game other than puzzles, this makes the review that little bit short than normal. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s a calm, well-made game that is very zen. If you’re ever feeling stressed off of Fortnite just jump on this, you’re still playing your video games but you’re calming down. The only let downs are it can be a bit too vibrant and the controls can be a little bit iffy but it’s literally, flying paper planes in VR.