E3 blew my mind in a lot of ways. Tons of great games. Amazing cosplayers. Nintendo’s ability to be awesome and hilariously bad at the same time. This complete and utter gem…
But what really blew my mind was Oculus Rift. The system was just brilliant and felt so natural that I almost refused to give it back at the end of the demo. But there’s one super cute, adorable, and oh-so-fun platform game that really made the Oculus Rift shine: Lucky’s Tale.
Taken at face value Lucky’s Tale doesn’t look much different to Mario, LittleBigPlanet or other platform games. It’s colourful and cheerful. It has a super-cute character and a soundtrack to melt your heart. And the gameplay is traditional run and jump action.
What’s absolutely amazing about Lucky’s Tale is just how natural it feels. I’d always been far more excited about first person VR games than third person ones. But Lucky’s Tale changed all that.
Lucky’s Tale proves that third person platformers and virtual reality work perfectly together.
Playful Corp CEO Paul Bettner is so certain of third person VR games that he says they’ll end up being one of the biggest genres on the Oculus Rift. “Most VR games with character locomotion are going to end up being 3rd person games, where you’re either traversing an environment or moving your character in an environment.”
A year ago I would have told this lad that he’s nuts, even given the fact that he’s CEO of one of the fastest growing game developers out there. Because surely the whole point in VR is to literally step into the character’s shoes, and the only way to do that is in first person. But I have to eat my hat. Because Playful Copr. has proven that third person games work like a carm in virtual reality. And the proof of that is Lucky’s Tale, a new platform I.P that is about to take the world by storm.
The last time I was this intrigued by a platformer was way back in 1994 when Nintendo were promoting Mario 64. Lucky’s Tale has the same sort of feeling that Mario 64 did back then. It’s a truly defining moment in gaming, a moment that could completely change the platform genre.
Imagine Mario Galaxy style levels but in virtual reality and you’ll have a good idea of what Lucky’s Tale is all about. A lot of Mario 64’s success came down to how natural it the camera felt and how easy it was to explore the 3D worlds.
Everything was intuitive. And so too with Lucky’s Tale. Dan Hurd, the director of Lucky’s Tale, says “Our emphasis is to design for comfort, and then push that to do interesting things.”
So far they’re succeeding. Lucky’s Tale feels every bit as natural as Mario 64 did when it was released. Imagine actually stepping directly into one of the levels from Mario Galaxy. Imagine running around actually inside Bowser’s Castle. That’s precisely what Lucky’s Tale feels like. —In fact, if you really want to know what it’s like to be inside one of Mario’s levels you absolutely must watch this video right now.
Dan Hurd with the real-life Luckydan hurd with the real life luckys tale character
I’d personally love to know what it feels like to fight Bowser in VR. That might be a way off. But Lucky’s Tale does have its own mix of boss fights, and also mini games.
We’re hearing that Playful Corp has up to 40 different types of mini-games that they might be putting into the game. That’s a hell of a lot of VR experience to enjoy. And it’s all thanks to the creativity of Playful Corp.
“What really ignites our creativity is asking ourselves how we can complement traditional platformer levels with new games that feel VR but are also very exciting,” says Bettner.
That’s the best thing about Lucky’s Tale. Like all true innovation in AAA games, Lucky’s Tale takes the best of the past. It takes everything that makes Mario great. And then it remoulds it to create an all new experience.
Keep an eye on Lucky’s Tale. This could be the most important platformer since Mario 64.