GDC 2016: Thunderbird brings on some Myst nostalgia


I’ve always been a long-time fan of puzzle games, ever since playing Myst on PC years ago. It would only be natural that I’d play the next evolution of this genre on the next platform of gaming aka VR. Developer Innervision granted me this ability, as they are the ones behind the upcoming Thunderbird game. So far. there’s not much known about the game, but it definitely looks to follow in the similar footsteps Myst and Riven laid before.

Before I get into it, I must note that the game will be available on both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, but for this playthrough, I was on the Vive while using its motion controllers. Stepping in, I started off on a beautiful snowy mountain top, with what appeared to be an eagle head in front of me and a door behind me. The motion controllers appear as hands on the screen. Pretty much the only thing they’re used for is grabbing.

I’m not going to walk through all the puzzles and such, as I’ve included a video of what I played below. I will however, talk about my experience in the world of Thunderbird. Again, with being a puzzle game enthusiast, it was an amazing experience being encompassed in that world. Being in a VR device as opposed to looking at a computer screen makes the immersion so much greater. The puzzles themselves had varying levels of difficulty, but nothing was too easy or too hard, they were just right.

Grabbing items, levers, and whatever else I needed to was a breeze. The only thing I needed to keep reminding myself, was that I had to be close enough to things to interact, as if it were in real life. This is something I really liked. Traversing through the puzzles were a joy, and having near-physical interaction made it feel so real. The only problem I ran into was walking around, as I had to always be conscious of where all the cords were. If I wasn’t careful, I’d probably crash and burn pretty hard.

Overall though, the game is phenomenal, at least the little bit that I played. I honestly can’t wait to see the end result and what the story holds. The only problem I can forsee is if I’m so sucked into the world, what will happen if I game over the course of a few hours on a VR unit. But that’s not really the game’s fault at all, so it’s not necessarily a drawback for it. If it makes me want to play more, then that’s a good thing.

Thunderbird will be releasing later this summer on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Playstation 4.

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Narvin Seegoolam
Narvin Seegoolam 712 posts

Narvin's middle name is FPS....ok maybe not, but he's like BOOM!! HEADSHOT!! I'm hungry...