While VR hasn't necessarily taken the world by storm (as some had hoped), it's certainly given us some of the most memorable gaming experiences of the last few years. VR is arguably at its best in the RPG genre, but that doesn't mean it has to be an isolating experience.
There are quite a few VR games out there with asymmetrical gameplay, meaning one player is wearing the VR headset, while everybody else is using the screen; and this can be a fantastic setup for some fun parties. Some of the most creative developers are taking a stab at this genre - here are some of the best VR games for your party, (in no particular order).
10. KEEP TALKING AND NOBODY EXPLODES
In my opinion, one of the coolest games on this list is Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes. One player will wear the VR headset, putting themselves inside of a room with a bomb in front of them. The timer counts down, and the job of the person in the VR headset is, obviously, to defuse the bomb. The only problem being, they have no idea how to do that. Everybody outside of a VR headset has the 23-page bomb defusing manual, but they can't see the bomb. The person in the VR headset has to describe what they see, and the players with the manual need to carefully guide the player in VR. Think of it like an action movie, where an average Joe has to defuse a bomb with over-the-phone directions from an expert. The expert(?) being your friends.
Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes is available for PSVR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Samsung Gear VR.
9. THE PLAYROOM VR
Convince your friends to bring some extra PS4 controllers, because The Playroom VR is a title that has a wide variety of mini-games to play. Some support five players, others can have as many as you'd like. There's a ghost problem that needs solving, there's a kitchen full of mice that need catching, there's a monster loose on the streets, and a whole lot more. There's a ton of potential with this game, a huge amount of replay value, and would be an absolute blast with a roomful of friends.
The Playroom VR is available for free exclusively on PSVR.
8. BLACK HAT COOPERATIVE
You're sitting in your cubicle when a call comes over the phone. “Hello, Neo,” says a voice... Okay, maybe not, but it's still pretty similar. In Black Hat Cooperative, you and a friend are tasked with escaping a building chock-full of robots with murder on the mind. The player in the VR headset is the one trying to escape, the VR view actually putting them in the building. The player watching the television/monitor has a birds-eye view, like a map, where they can see the entire layout of the building, as well as any objects and enemies within. They have to direct the player in VR out of the building safely. While this is only a two-player game, it's loads of fun to watch others play, and you can easily take turns each time someone succeeds or, possibly more likely, fails.
Black Hat Cooperative is available on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
7. RUCKUS RIDGE
In Ruckus Ridge, the player wearing the VR headset has the delightful job of shooting their friends with some sort of alien blaster. The VR player is in the middle of the map while everybody else has a top-down view of the map and their character. They can see exactly where the VR player is looking, and they need to stay alive until the time runs out. It's a simple premise, with some pretty fun results.
Ruckus Ridge is available on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
6. MASS EXODUS
If you haven't had enough of hunting down your friends after Ruckus Ridge, then give Mass Exodus a try. Set in a future android factory, the VR player plays as a giant android in the center of the factory. All around you are a ton of other small androids, going about their business working in the factory.
Or are they? It turns out, some of them are your friends trying to sabotage you. Pick your friends out of the general mess of other innocent androids, and your job is complete. If you can't take them out before they finish their own job, then it's time to update the resume.
Mass Exodus is available on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
5. HIDE AND SPOOK
A lonely alchemist goes about their work. Suddenly, a candle blows out beside them. A strange wisp passes through their vision... Too many fumes? No. Your laboratory seems to have a ghost problem.
In Hide and Spook, the VR wielder plays as the alchemist, while the other two players use the Vive motion controllers playing as the ghosts. The goal of the ghosts is to extinguish all of the candles in the room. But if the alchemist gets a good look at you, you're finished. Keep moving and stay quiet, and you might stand a chance. The laboratory scales to the actual size of your play-space, so no matter the size of your room, the game adjusts to your needs.
Hide and Spook is available exclusively on the HTC Vive.
4. BLUE EFFECT VR
Blue Effect VR has more to offer than the local multiplayer Hide-and-Seek mode, but the Hide-and-Seek is definitely worth checking out. One player wears the VR headset and must simply survive against the enemies. One of those enemies? It's your friend standing next to you. Surprisingly scary, the task of the VR player is not for the faint of heart. But if you can handle the pressure, it's definitely a fun experience worth having. That's not to say that the player outside of VR isn't having fun, too. Who doesn't love to scare their friends?
Blue Effect VR is available for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality.
3. EYE IN THE SKY
Eye in the Sky is another two-player game, where the player in the VR headset and the player using a traditional screen are working together. Both players have a different perspective and need to work together to solve puzzles. This game has a cool variety of aesthetics and can make for a fun night of problem-solving.
Eye in the Sky is available for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Schlocks has 50+ minigames for you and your friends to compete against each other in. With each and every game having a time-limit of 10 seconds, you'll need to work fast to get the hang of the game and beat your friend's score, lest you be subjected to some brutal smack-talk as you pull off the VR headset. This game is still in early access, with a ton more minigames on the way.
Schlocks is available for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
1. THE TAKE
The Take is a hot-seat-style VR game, where two players take turns. Each player is a spy, and the first player's objective is to hide a folder of classified intel somewhere in a stronghold, as well as set up some traps. The second player is supposed to find the hidden intel while avoiding the traps. There's a lot of replay value in this one, taking in consideration the size of the stronghold, the variety of traps, and the limits of your ingenuity.
The Take is available for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality.