HTC Vive

Astroderps – Review for HTC Vive Version

In Astroderps, you are tasked with guiding your derpy little space denizens from a starting point to an exit. Very much like the deceptively spartan design of reverse tower-defense “Cubemen,” wherein you are not tasked with preventing the bad guys from marching to your defended zones, but instead, clearing a path for them, Astroderps will have you deftly manipulating physics-based obstacle courses to clear a safe path for your crew.

Anyone who has used VR understands quite quickly that a sense of scale distinguishes it from other media. Astroderps takes advantage of this by emphasizing the Lilliputian nature of the levels, making you feel like an over-sized 6 year old playing with Star WarsTM action figures.

Besides this charming effect, the game doesn’t truly make use of the opportunities in room-scale; you generally stand in position and look down at a 45 degree angle. You can, technically, walk around to get a better view, buy nothing you could’t manage from a seated position.

A brief tutorial demonstrates that you can use the trackpad menu to reset your ‘derps or speed them through the level. Pulling triggers allows you to move and manipulate the objects on the board. It’s plain and simple and without much fanfare. There is no story or context to speak of, unlike tower defense titles like Defense Grid.

Astroderps also features a scoreboard so you can check your time scores against others.

With clever multi-layered puzzles, an adorable aesthetic and solid implementation, with smooth progression though its increasingly challenging puzzles and makes a great introduction to room-scale VR. It is a short game though, and at the time of this review, the asking price of US$17 feels a bit steep.

Title: Astroderps
Release Date: June 17th, 2016
Developer: Chronos VR
Genre: Puzzle, Strategy

By RoomScalist

The RoomScalist is a VR enthusiast and programming hobbyist who is always on the lookout for titles to inspire and bend the rules. His favorite movies are Blade Runner, Dark City and Donnie Darko. He also thinks William Gibson, JG Ballard, Mervyn Peake and Neal Stephenson write good books.

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