GAME NAME: Lucky’s Tale
DEVELOPER(S): Playful Corp
PUBLISHER(S): Oculus Studios
PLATFORM(S): PC Oculus Rift
GENRE(S): VR Platformer
RELEASE DATE(S): March 28, 2016
Lucky’s Tale comes packaged for free with the Oculus Rift, I knew it would be a hard bargain for people since its normally treated as a demo and some people won’t view it as a game that makes the Oculus Rift a system seller. To clarify, it’s definitely not a system seller but its really fun to play and it made me happy playing it with the fun and colorful graphics and great music. I think it’s majorly getting the shaft in the review circles.
Lucky’s tale starts off like any other cartoon or platformer does, someone gets kidnapped. Instead of a princess, Lucky loses his companion Piggy. Piggy was stolen by the evil Glorp while they were napping. Piggy is a pig but also a piggy bank so when he was snagged and dragged away by Glorp, his coins fell out and are left strewn about the world for you to collect. Once this happens and you wake up and discover he’s gone, your adventure begins.
Lucky’s tale definitely hit the nostalgia button at times, it reminded me of Super Mario World. You can tell that Nintendo heavily influenced Playful Corp, it shows in various facets within this title. When you collect enough coins you get a 1up, there are even warp areas that are holes instead of pipes. These warps lead you to underground areas, the music changes up and there these areas are where the Rift really shines. For example in one underground area you use the rift as a light, and light your passage by looking at the different areas on the map. Lucky’s Tale also rewards you for exploration, there is a really cool invisible cloak on some coins and when you find them it feels great.
The camera at first was a bit wonky for me but this was my first time adjusting to this game. As I played through the levels I started getting used to the auto pan and was fine. For some people this is a major complaint, for me it worked really well. Everyone’s tolerance for VR is different, so keep this in mind when playing through VR games and reading reviews on a VR game you’re interested in.
I like that I can simply tilt my head somewhat to glance around for threats instead of moving around on the gamepad, it really adds to the experience. Although Lucky can just jump, attack, and slam I was amazed at how easy the controls were after seeing how complicated this engine actually is. Here’s a great example, the double-jump gives you more freedom to explore more and get to secret areas that most games wouldn’t let you get to, the VR component adds to it because you can get creative when it comes to exploring and visually seeing places you want to get to. The levels ramp up from easy to difficult at a good pace. You start learning new tricks and different ways to maneuver through levels. You quickly discover there’s more than one way to get through a level so you have to decide if one way is the extra coin route and a dead end or the actual way to complete the level.
You would think for a free bundled title that it would be a super quick play through but there is a plethora of content here. It clocks in at roughly five hours for the full story, and each stage has three objectives to complete. So you can finish the level, do a time trail and locate all hidden coins, Playful Corp is encouraging you to play levels more than once.
Lucky’s Tale is a great VR platform game, I was left wanting more at each level which is definitely a good thing. Each stage is fresh and nothing feels recycled. I think this game really sells in the VR platform on how games should be creatively and use the VR space. I hope that they come out with a full sequel in the future that has a lot more levels and story. I recommend downloading this first and playing Lucky’s Tale if you have an Oculus Rift.