Arca’s Path VR is a new virtual reality game on both PSVR and Steam which takes a very simple idea, but is also one that is very sound.
Strap yourself in (with a VR helmet), and tilt your head in all angles to move a ball move around the track, so this is very similar to the ’80s arcade game Marble Madness in that respect, although that had a trackball compared to you moving your head about. In either case, you can just as easily take the direction of travel too far and too fast, to the point where the ball flies off the track.
In Arca’s Path VR, some levels require you to double back on yourself a bit, while there’s also crystals to collect. Get them all to unlock a time trial bonus on that level. As you’ll see from my gameplay for level 1, there are no crystals on that one, so completion means you unlock the time trial simply through completion.
There are 25 levels in total, and even by level 3 I was starting to feel the burn, since the tracks are often quite long, and while you’re not penalised in terms of lives for being flung off the track when you go too fast, you do go back to the last checkpoint and it can be a fair distance, sometimes.
Also, level 20 was quite a complex level, if only because you were mostly moving left/right or towards the camera, rather than going forward as usual, so it felt counter-intuitive, but that’s the fun of the task!
Arca’s Path VR has gorgeous graphics with an environment which often just builds as you go, if it’s too far ahead in the distance, as well as a complementary ethereal soundtrack.
When it comes to gameplay, as I mentioned earlier, you don’t even need to use you your controller while playing it! To that end, and since it was getting very tense at times, and despite not being at all religious, I sometimes found myself clasping my hands together, almost praying that I’d make it through sections of certain levels!
Oh, and beware – don’t swerve your head about to get an idea of the course while the ball’s in play, since you run the risk of falling off the edge!
Striking a balance, there’ll also be those who want to speed-run each level, and those who want to make a perfect level, without any falling off, whilst collecting every crystal.
If I did have one criticism, it’s that while it gives you the opportunity to restart a level just after you have completed it, it doesn’t reset all the crystals so, for example, my capture card glitched while recording level 6, and I wanted to do a re-take, but… only one crystal remained – the one I didn’t get first time round. I’d like them all to have been there, or at least to have had the option.
Also, there is a plot to this (as you’ll see from the occasional interludes in the gameplay), although I didn’t really understand it.
Having completed it, I can confirm that if you quit back to the main menu inbetween levels, you can still pick up from where you left off. In the Time Trial menu, there is an option to ‘Reset’. I didn’t try it, but I wouldn’t want to reset the whole thing – just the crystals per level so I can try a level again with all the crystal restored so I can try for a full house again.
It won’t leave you scratching your head too much, but it will just enough. Just don’t rush each level, since haste makes waste, and you fall off the path. It also took me around five hours to complete it, end to end. So, yes, I then had a numb bum!
Oh, and in some gameplay videos, there have been a bit of glitching between my capture card and the PC on some levels, but given how slow the movement of the ball is, you shouldn’t lose anything vital in the levels.
Overall, Arca’s Path VR is one of those games that is easy to pick up and play, but difficult to master. If you have a PSVR, this could be a lot of fun for the whole family over the Christmas period.
At £14, it’ll screw with your mind, but not with your wallet.
Check out more gaming footage on loads of games on my DVDfeverGames Youtube channel.
- Publisher: Rebellion
- Developer: Rebellion
- Players: single player: 1
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.