luna

Not every VR game involves battle or fighting. Some titles, like I Expect You to Die or Fantastic Contraption, are more fun puzzles than violent shoot-em-ups. At the Oculus Connect event last week, I played around with Luna, a game that’s more reminiscent of the former. It’s a title by Funomena, a San Francisco-based independent studio, and even though it was on display at PAX a couple of months ago, this was the first time I’ve seen it in person.

The premise behind Luna is as whimsical as its quirky origami style. It all starts when an owl tricks a young bird into swallowing the last piece of a waning moon. The bird is then blown away by a storm, and is lost and confused. It is the player’s job to recollect the bird’s memories through untangling constellations of stars, unveiling bits and pieces of the bird’s home. Using the Oculus Touch controllers, I crafted shapes from stardust by dragging lines from one glowing point to another. When I was done, a victory song would play and a piece of nature would emerge from the constellation, like a tree or a leaf.

And once you’ve uncovered all the parts of the bird’s memories, you’re brought to a terrarium to build up the bird’s memories even further with those nature objects. Plant trees, leaves and grass and scatter floating water lilies around, populating the small little world with life. You can make them big or small, and as you brush through them, they’ll even play a little tune. The whole experience is beautifully charming, like a children’s book brought to life.

Luna will be available for the Oculus Rift — though not an exclusive — and will be one of the titles to launch with the Touch later this year. If you’re tired of the blood and the gore of Killing Floor:Incursion or Arktika.1, check Luna out — the peace and serenity will have you feeling like a child again.

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