This month I’ve used VR to become an action movie star in Pistol Whip, explore the new Polus Point map in Among Us, and entered a VR bowling tournament in ForeVR Bowl.
June has been a jam-packed month for VR – what with Apple announcing its brand new Apple Vision Pro at WWDC 2023 just days after Meta officially announced the Meta Quest 3. But when I’m not writing news and features about the hardware reveals, I’ve found time to enjoy several VR games and apps using my Oculus Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro headsets, and I want to highlight three of them below.
For our picks of the all-time greatest VR games you can play right now check out our best VR games list, but read on to find out about the VR games and apps I’ve been playing in June 2023.
Among Us VR: Polus Point
Ahead of its release on July 27, I got to try out Polus Point, the new map headed to Among Us VR, free for all players.
Polus is my favorite Among Us map, so I was initially disappointed to hear that Polus Point is merely a tribute to it rather than a complete remake in VR. Having tried the map out for myself, though, I think it’s an excellent stage in its own right while still honoring the original that I love.
Despite it being intimidating to newer players, I stand firm that Polus is Among Us' best map. Mira can feel a tad claustrophobic with lots of Crewmates running around, The Airship can feel too massive once a few players have been bumped off, and while I like Skeld, it’s a bit too easy for people familiar with the map’s room and vent layout to sus out Impostors.
Polus sits between these options. It’s big but doesn't feel overwhelmingly large, and its more complex layout allows players to take multiple different paths between the same points. This means Crewmates can still have their suspicions about who might be responsible for a dead body. Still, Impostors can retain some plausible deniability over the route they traveled, allowing them to potentially survive a few meetings even if they’re caught out.
Polus Point isn’t an exact replica of Polus, but it retains its spirit. The sprawling map is something of a labyrinth, with a few branching paths to take you between different sections. This layout allows Impostors to get away with murders they might not on the Skeld 2 (Among Us VR's other stage).
The new Polus Point map also borrows the aesthetics of the original with Polus’ iconic decorations like the bridge to nowhere over a pool of lava, Crewmate snowmen (snow-beans?), and the docked Drop Ship. There are also new locales to explore, like a crystal mine that features a claw-machine-like visual task – meaning other players can watch you complete it and know you’re not an Impostor.
I had an absolute blast exploring Polus Point, and if you want to try it out early, there’s a beta available right now, from June 29, 1pm ET to July 3, 1pm ET (June 29, 5pm GMT / June 30, 3am AEST to July 3, 5pm GMT / July 4, 3am AEST)
To get involved, Meta Quest players need to head to the Among Us VR game’s store page on a web browser and look at the Version section. In the drop-down menu, change the version from Live to Beta and your game should update and take you to the new map. You may need to uninstall and reinstall the game on your device to get this to work.
Steam players should right-click Among Us VR in your Library and select Properties. In the Betas tab, change the drop-down menu option from None to Beta, and then boot up the game. If this doesn’t work, you may need to exit Steam (close it completely rather than just minimize it) and then reopen it for the Among Us VR update to happen.
This month I was invited to take part in a bowling tournament hosted by developer ForeVR Games, with its game ForeVR Bowl being the battleground for the event.
ForeVR Bowl feels like a bowling game made for everyone. Pros looking for an accurate bowling sim with realistic physics and different ball stats will appreciate the depth the title can offer. More casual players, like myself, can dial back the realism and enjoy an experience that harks back to the good ol’ days of Wii Sports bowling, albeit with some solid upgrades.
One of my favorite improvements is the game environments that have you bowling in more typical joints – like a 90s-era alley and a club that could have been ripped straight out of Brooklyn – as well as alleys deep under the sea and in space. Much like Walkabout Mini Golf’s courses, these are places where you and your friends will want to hang out, and if you go exploring, your crew might be able to find hidden ball designs dotted around each location to add to your collection.
My first-round match in the tournament was against UploadVR’s Henry Stockdale, a fellow Brit who has previously freelanced for a number of sites, including this one, to share his thoughts on VR, and it was great to finally meet him in person (well, virtually).
The match started off close, but, after a few balls, I could see victory slipping away from me. I was doing well, but whenever I left some pins standing, Henry would be able to score a few extra points or even secure a spare or strike.
I was trailing, and as I stepped up to take my fourth turn, I was convinced that the first round of the competition would be my last. Feeling like my back was against the wall, I grabbed the virtual bowling ball, made a quick prayer to the bowling gods, then did what I do best – I lobbed the ball as hard as I could and hoped it would go well.
For what felt like an age, I watched the ball roll toward its destination, convinced I’d only score another six points or so. It appears the bowling gods were listening, though, as I saw every single pin tumble. I had earned my first strike!
Henry was still ahead, but the gap had shrunk, so with my newfound confidence, I tried the tactic again, and again, and again, getting two more strikes in a row. I only managed to win a spare in my 7th round, but that was fine; my burst of skill (read: luck) had helped me pull comfortably ahead of my competition. A few more good throws and I had won, with 171 points to Henry’s 130.
At the time of writing, I’m organizing my second-round match. Hopefully, I’ll be able to report next month that I’ve progressed further in the competition – maybe even made the finals – but we’ll have to wait and see how well I do.
If you love action movies and wish you could star in one, then you’ll love Pistol Whip. I regularly play Pistol Whip, and with it being one of the first two titles on Meta’s new Meta Quest Plus subscription, this is the perfect time to write about it.
Pistol Whip is an on-rails shooter that has you race through levels armed with a firearm – there’s the classic single or dual-wielded pistol, but also a range of different weapons. You earn points by blasting the enemies that come your way, and you can earn bonus points by shooting your foes in time with the beat (like a well-choreographed fight scene in a film) or pistol-whipping them (hitting them with your gun rather than shooting them).
This title sounds fairly simple, but particularly on higher difficulties, it can become an intense VR workout. You’ll have to contort your body a fair amount to dodge the rain of bullets the baddies will be firing at you.
Each level has a unique music track, and there’s a huge range of stages inspired by different action movies. You’ll find classic Westerns and cyberpunk sci-fi stages, as well as levels that take clear inspiration from franchises like John Wick and Mad Max.
If you want to try Pistol Whip, you can pick it up for $29.99 / £22.99. If you sign up for Meta’s Quest Plus service for $7.99 / £7.99 per month ($59.99 / £59.99 per year), you can download it for free (Meta hasn’t released details yet about the service’s availability in Australia). Once it's downloaded, you’ll have access to Pistol Whip until you stop paying for Quest Plus – unless you buy the game separately.
Not liking the look of anything on this list? Check out the VR games and apps I played in May 2023.
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Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.