I’m a sucker for a good breakout game. If you’re unfamiliar with the genre, it involves a paddle, a ball of some kind, and bricks. You use the paddle to direct the ball toward the bricks to knock them out. Once the bricks are gone, you move on to the next level.
You may know the game Breakout, which originally appeared on the Atari gaming system in 1976. From there we had Super Breakout and a whole host of clones and variations in the 90’s an 2000’s. Arkanoid on the Mac platform was another of my favorites. Then came along Vector Ball 3D which turned the axis 90 degrees, so instead of a paddle moving left to right along the bottom of the play area, it now moved up/down, left and right. In Vector Ball 3D allowed forward and backwards as well.. This gave us a great glimpse of what would become possible once we could play in a truly immersive 3d experience.
This brings us to ZeroTransform’s Proton Pulse, one of my 10 must haves for new Oculus Go users. I posted to Reddit shortly after picking my Oculus Go asking if anyone had a recommendation for a breakout style game. Proton Pulse was one of the games mentioned, so I went directly to the Oculus Store and purchased it.
The game itself was written for the Gear VR years ago, and hadn’t been updated since. The tracking of the paddle uses head movements, as the default Gear VR didn’t have a hand held controller. Even with that limitation, the game play was still great.
What strikes me most about Proton Pulse is the environment itself. It’s very bright, very neon, and full of color and movement. I can’t help but think about the early visions of what VR would look like in the future (circa 1995) via Lawnmower Man, Hackers, Johnny Mnemonic and other scifi movies. Maybe the word I’m looking for is Cyberpunk. The soundtrack lends itself to this as well, with original music from Jake Kaufman [Virt], Dan Behrens [Danimal Cannon], and the developer himself, Justin Moravetz [Rave-TZ]. It’s pulsating and electric.
The updated Proton Pulse leverages the Oculus Go controller, and the game itself has been upgraded to Proton Pulse Plus, the same game that’s available across all of the other VR platforms.
This is a casual arcade style game that requires your attention. It causes you to put your thoughts on hold while you focus on getting to that next level. This is a good thing, and precisely the promise of virtual reality.
Proton Pulse Plus from Zero Transform is available for $4.99 (a steal in my opinion) from the Oculus Store. Yes, I did in fact buy it twice. It’s that good.
The Oculus Go is available starting at $199 for the 32GB model from your local Best Buy, or from Amazon. Yes, the link to Amazon is an affiliate link, so I will earn either $1.99 or $2.49 if you buy the Oculus Go with that link. If you do, thank you! 🙂