To say mobile VR has been a bit of a disappointment would be … an understatement. Google Cardboard seemed like it had loads of promise, as there’s a variety of headsets available ranging from around $6 to $20 that use your mobile phone, a set of lenses, and a (as the name suggests) folded piece of cardboard to provide a reasonably decent entry-level VR experience. The problem is, like most things that require an accessory, the install base is super tiny and as such developers really never bothered making much for it. Most of the “better" mobile VR stuff we’ve seen are hard to describe as much more than a tech demo. Meanwhile, in the PC space, the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift have loads of cool stuff on them.
My favorite VR stuff is categorized as “experiences." I can never stay in VR for too long without getting a headache, so playing full-blown games is sort of difficult. On the other hand, sitting on top of a mountain, under the ocean, or other similar things for a few minutes at a time is super cool. There’s a VR experience demo I tried at E3 where a T-Rex charges you that was simply incredible. In a similar vein, IT: Escape from Pennywise VR ($0.99) hit the App Store tonight, and it is really, really cool.
They’re calling it a “terrifying cinematic virtual reality experience," which seems like a pretty good way to describe the whole thing. You strap on (or hold up) your headset, and explore Pennywise the clown’s creepy house. Navigation through the house is mostly handled automatically, and you make choices in the game by looking at doors for a few seconds. Light will leak around the cracks in the door until the whole thing is illuminated, and you’ll proceed to the next scene.
There’s a lot of 3D audio, and loads of jump scares. The whole thing is shockingly well done, and the kind of thing I wish we saw more of on the App Store. If you’ve got a Google Cardboard, you’ll easily get a buck worth of enjoyment out of fiddling around in this- Particularly if you have friends you can show it to who are terrified of clowns.