SF Weekly

We now have the technology to allow you to become Q*Bert

We now have the technology to allow you to become Q*Bert

IndieCade and Oculus have teamed up for the VR Jam 2013, a worldwide game jam where teams compete to create the best games for the Oculus Rift. Each grand prize winner will receive $10,000, a trip to IndieCade Festival 2013 to demo their game, and an invitation to meet the Oculus team. There are already games with playable demos available, and one of them is an amazing take on Q*Bert.

The game is called V^Bert, and it’s barely working at this early stage, but it’s already one of the better things I’ve played on the Rift lately. You begin the level by falling onto the pyramid that makes up Q*Bert, and then you look around and physically jump in real life to move from one spot to the next.

You don’t need a controller! The jumping mechanic feels great, and is a fun detail that does even more to put you inside the game. The enemy AI is way too basic to be enjoyable at this point, but the basic concept is both functional and effective.

I downloaded the demo and gave it a shot, and had fun looking all around to figure out where everything was on the board, and then hopping my way around to change the color on each platform. I’ve embedded a video so you can see how it works.

It’s dizzying when you begin to jump down the side of the pyramid, and even more so when you’re at the bottom level looking up. The snake seems like a physical object that is actively hunting you, even if its behavior isn’t really in place yet.

For now this is a neat tech demo, but once it’s up and running with everything in place? You will get to actually become Qbert. I love everything about this.

Note: the header image for this story came from this article.