GDC 2016: CoLab first impressions

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CoLab is a VR puzzle solver set in a virtual labyrinth coming soon to anyone who owns any of the following: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or the Samsung Gear VR. This sci-fi virtual reality escape room starts with you waking up inside a labyrinth, greeted by a witty and enigmatic voice who will serve as your guide through each of the rooms.

Each room will have a puzzle that must be solved in order to advance, and the exit may not always be the answer to the puzzle. These type of challenges are what you can expect from CoLab. As you solve the increasingly difficult puzzles, you begin to wonder where this voice is leading you and why is it leading you there in the first place.

With VR becoming all the rage, CoLab is sure to be a favorite for puzzle fans. While it is only estimated to have around 2 hours of gameplay, it will be an enjoyable one thanks to the combination of simple and intuitive gameplay. The game only requires one button which makes it available for consumers that choose to invest in the Samsung Gear VR. They have also implemented a blink movement locomotion system to cut down and possibly eliminate the motion sickness that some people suffer when using VR.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with CoLab as it really made me think of more things it comes to VR games. I found myself solving many of the problems with ease, but they did in fact increase in difficulty during my demo time. There were times where I would be attempting to solve a puzzle based on the directions given to me audibly when all I really needed to do was focus on the room’s puzzle visually.

This type of mechanic and smart writing by the developers makes me even more excited for VR and the various possibilities that are upcoming in the gaming industry. CoLab is designed to be challenging yet fun and showing off mechanics and gameplay that is only possible thanks to virtual reality.

It is scheduled for release in the summer of 2016 for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and the Samsung Gear VR.

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