Cortopia Studios, the Stockholm-based crew behind the spellcasting fight sport Wands (2016), confirmed off their subsequent entry into the realm of VR at Gamescom 2019 this week. Referred to as Down the Rabbit Gap, I acquired an opportunity to go hands-on with the third-person journey sport, which duties you with fixing a wide range of puzzles whereas main a misplaced lady via a miniature world impressed by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (1865).
Strapping on an Oculus Quest, I discover myself taking a look at a two inch-tall pair of characters, a lady (merely referred to as ‘The Woman) and somewhat enjoying card-shaped knight, the so-called 4½ of Spades.
Grabbing onto a big root suspended beneath the scene, I pull the diorama of the darkish forest nearer to me, and absentmindedly brush my fingers via a river and play with the leaves of the bonzai-sized timber.
Picture courtesy Cortopia Studios
The narrator tells me that the plucky duo is trying to find one thing referred to as the King’s Carry on their quest to observe the White Rabbit, and as luck would have it, a tiny Cheshire Cat is there to assist.
A lot of my 15-minute demo was performed within the third-person; character locomotion is achieved by both shifting the pint-sized folks by way of Contact’s thumbstick or drawing a path to the specified vacation spot (the latter is particularly helpful when you need to backtrack via advanced pathways). Nevertheless at instances you’ll additionally snap right into a first-person mode too. Strolling near the Cheshire Cat, I’m offered with a dialogue tree populated with just a few choices to interrogate the curious kitty.
Picture captured by Highway to VR
If you understand your lore, you’ll keep in mind that Cheshire Cat is pathologically incapable of answering straight ahead questions although, so he as a substitute saddles us with the essential activity of rounding up 5 pesky butter-flies—literal sticks of butter with wings, which is the overarching activity for the demo.
Though I say ‘most’ of the sport is in third-person, I can’t actually make certain of that from what I’ve performed. As with dialogue timber, among the puzzles I encountered have been really within the first-person too, so it appears like there’s going to be loads of latitude for attention-grabbing and assorted interactions between the 2.
Ambling my characters individually via just a few adjoining rooms to finish some door puzzles—all of it in service of these hidden butter-flies—it turns into clear to me that it’s really I who’s down the rabbit gap. The quite a few dioramas ultimately create a cylinder round me, and the black void above and beneath me retains revealing increasingly more little rooms stacked on high of one another. Utilizing the identical locomotion technique as once I leaned in to get a greater look, I shift the world round me and climb round through the use of the various roots as handholds.
Finally we run into extra acquainted faces, together with the hookah-smoking Caterpillar himself, and a reasonably suspicious-looking King, who is basically only a low-numbered card with unexpectedly painted on whiteout and a giant ‘Ok’ scribbled on his chest. That’s some low-key Swedish comedy for you.
Picture courtesy Cortopia Studios
The demo’s puzzles, each first and third-person, have been pretty easy, though have been assorted sufficient to maintain my consideration. A puzzle with a singing chook and musical set of flowers was essentially the most troublesome for me personally, though that’s as a result of each musical instrument I’ve ever laid my fingers on turns to mud and flies out the window in a magical twister conjured by the ghosts of classical musicians previous.
In the long run, it seems the sport isn’t going to supply a single prescribed ending both, as Cortopia say that you just’ll have the ability to make “many selections concerning the lady’s backstory” and the way you need to take care of the assorted characters, one thing they are saying will in the end decide the ending of the sport.
Down the Rabbit Gap is slated to reach on PSVR, PC VR headsets, and Oculus Quest someday in December 2019. Take a look at the gameplay trailer beneath to get a style of what’s in retailer: