VR apps and games for iOS
Lewis Painter showcases best of the App Store’s VR offerings
YouTube Price: Free
YouTube has a wide range of 360-degree videos that the company can turn into VR experiences with the tap of a button in-app. This offers the ability to browse from a wide range of VR videos, from horror VR experiences to snowboarding and more. The best part is that it’s free to use, and you need only tap the Google Cardboard icon on any compatible video to convert it into a VR-ready video.
Google Cardboard Price: Free
Of course Google Cardboard was going to be included in our list – it’s a great place to start for those just starting out in the world of mobile VR. There are several experiences within the app, which should give you an idea of what VR is like. It also lets you travel to various places around the world, including the Great Wall of China and the Eiffel Tower, thanks to Google Maps.
Zombie Shooter VR Price: Free
While Zombie Shooter VR used to be a paid app, it has recently been made free to play, suggesting something about the amount of competition in the mobile VR space at the moment. You find yourself traversing a post-apocalyptic subway, fighting off hordes of zombies. The good news is that you don’t have to do much to fight them off – simply looking at the zombie will trigger your gun, making this a fun introduction to the world of VR.
VR Horror Price: Free
VR Horror is a virtual reality horror game for iOS, immersing VR users in a horrifying world – one step further than any horror film will go. While the game may not be frightening if viewed on television, being ‘in’ the game provides users with something immersive that will get the blood pumping. For a free app the graphics are pretty good, and it’s actually pretty scary, especially with noise cancelling headphones on. So what do you do? We’ll leave that down to you to find out…
Within Price: Free
Formerly known as Vrse, Within is essentially the Netflix of virtual reality. Why? The company produces a lot of VR content itself, which is showcased via the app, and ranges from immersive VR music videos to investigative journalism reports. If you’re looking to experience something a little more high-end than the 360-degree videos you find on YouTube, Within is a great place to start.
End Space VR Price: 99p
End Space VR is a must for those that enjoy sci-fi movies, as this gives you a chance to pilot your own space ship (complete with guns, of course) in space, dogfighting with enemy space pilots. In essence, it’s a wave-based shooter that allows you to upgrade your ship over time, making it more effective and deadly in combat.
It is one of a small number of mobile VR games that allows you to look and go in any direction as opposed to being on ‘rails’, and combined with decent graphics and immersive 3D audio, it’s definitely a favourite amongst mobile VR users.
Romans from Mars 360 Price: Free
If you like Tower Defence games, you’ll love Romans from Mars 360, which puts you at the top of a castle under attack from endless waves of Martians, with the aim of taking over Earth. What else did you expect? The only thing standing between the Martians and a worldwide takeover is you and your crossbow, which can be used to fire arrows, or you could use your elemental powers (Fire, Ice, Earth and Lightning) to take down enemies. You can upgrade your crossbow to do more damage as the rounds go on, giving you an ‘objective’ of sorts. The graphics are cartoony, but look cool, and for a free game you can’t really say no – can you?
NYT VR Price: Free
The New York Times is, rather surprisingly, at the forefront of mobile VR, collaborating with Within (Vrse) on a number of projects – this might explain why you’ll find some duplicated content across the two apps. You’ll find a number of journalist-created VR videos within the app, although these aren’t streamed – you’ll have to download them before you pop your iPhone into the VR viewer.
InCell VR Price: Free
InCell VR is the mobile equivalent of the game available for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, providing an experience not that different to the PC-powered game. The action/racing hybrid has a simple story behind it: your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to be shrunk down and injected into a human body to protect it from within, on a cellular level. Move your head to dodge and collect objects, and don’t forget to take in the colourful, psychedelic environment around you.
Lamper VR: Firefly Rescue Price: Free
Who said there’s no money in VR? Following the popular Lamper VR game, the little firefly is back for the sequel; Lamper VR: Firefly Rescue. Control Lamper using simple head movements and navigate your way through forests and caverns, recruiting firefly friends on your travels. Make sure you collect coins and other powerups that will let you defeat the various enemies you’ll come across on your journey.
VR Sniper Price: Free
Another game controlled by head movement, VR Sniper puts you in the shoes of a sniper perched on a rooftop with the aim of taking out 10 soldiers strategically placed around you. The intuitive controls make the game easy to play despite being timed, with the only real requirement being a steady gaze. Those that like the first level can part with 99p via in-app purchase to unlock three more levels, more soldiers and of course, to deactivate those annoying ads that pop up now and again.
Haunted Rooms: Escape Price: Free
Considering that Haunted Rooms: Escape is a free VR game for iOS, it offers great quality content and decent game time before completion. The idea is to escape, rather obviously, from various rooms in a haunted house by interacting with objects and solving riddles that require a bit of brain power to solve. Of course, with any free iOS games, there are adverts that can break immersion, but these can be easily dismissed. Our only gripe is that there doesn’t seem to be an in-app purchase to disable them, as is the case with other iOS apps and games.