When I think about VR gaming, I generally think about flying or driving sims—games in which I'm seated in some sort of cockpit. (You may recall that CCP touched on this topic last year.) Platformers? Not so much. But Oculus VR announced today that the Mario-inspired, “made-for-VR” platformer Lucky's Tale will not only be an Oculus Rift launch title, it will come bundled with the headset at no extra charge.
“We always believed there was an opportunity for platformers in VR, but it wasn’t until playing Lucky’s Tale and working with the Playful team that we truly realized its potential to change how people view this genre of gaming forever,” the coincidentally-named Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey said. “Lucky’s Tale delivers on everything you want in a next-generation VR game—it’s thrilling, full of adventure, and incredibly fun to play.”
Lucky's Tale developer Playful Corp. has been involved with the Oculus Rift pretty much from the beginning—Playful founder and CEO Paul Bettner backed the Rift Kickstarter at the $5000 level, and the studio has made “dozens” of game prototypes for it over the past three years. And even though platformers may not be the most obvious fit for VR, we had a look at Lucky's Tale back in the summer and it actually sounds really promising. “A year after Lucky’s [2014 prototype] debut, Playful Corp. returned to E3 with a real game, and it’s even better proof that first-person isn’t the only way to make VR gaming work,” we wrote. “It might not even be the best way.”
The Oculus Rift still doesn't have a hard launch date, but Luckey—the Palmer, not the fox—recently tweeted that the company remains on target for a release in the first quarter of 2016.