ForeVR Games Inc. succeeded in creating a fun and engaging VR bowling sim earlier this year, but what about their new ForeVR Darts? The game takes advantage of the Quest 2 hand tracking and attempts to give a faithful recreation of playing darts with up to four other players in different environments. I joined Founder/CEO Marcus Segal in VR for a few matches to chat about the game and why they decided on darts as their second release. This is our ForeVR Darts review.
Marcus and I started out playing a match of 301 double out, where you work your way down to zero but need to finish by hitting a double points bar on the board. He showed me around the first ForeVR bar/pub environment as the match went on. The bar/pub had that same comfortable feel as the initial ForeVR bowling hall.
Marcus explained that the team at ForeVR want to recreate all their favorite real-life games in VR and darts was the next step in that process. They are specifically targeting social games that the team grew up with. Doing this means family and friends can have shared experiences in VR no matter their location in real-life. These games also tend to be easy for people to pick up and play, so you could easily have a grandparent playing darts with their grandkids while on the other side of the country.
In time Marcus indicated plans to link ForeVR games through a shared lobby. If players own both ForeVR Bowl and Darts, they will eventually choose which game to play while in the lobby area. As more games are released, they will also link up within a ForeVR universe. I could already see how a shared lobby would work since the ForeVR Bowl and Darts lobbies are very similar.
Out of the gate, ForeVR Darts has a great feel to it. The team did well at creating the environments, and as with bowling, the music included in each area fits the atmosphere. If players want to adjust the music settings, a jukebox is also present in each play space. Each environment has a unique feel and theme music. The backdrop of Las Vegas with a reflective fountain looked great but initially felt odd. It would be the perfect spot for a competition though.
The game does feel a bit limited currently, with only three environments and a few game types. I did find the option to challenge different AI characters in each space when playing solo fun. I loved it being able to throw darts at other players/AI characters and have them stick, but some players may want the option to turn it off/on. I wouldn’t mind seeing a fun game mode where everyone wears a bullseye shirt and runs around like mad.
After my session with Marcus, I played around with various darts and game spaces on my own. The darts feel good when thrown and perform differently depending on their weight. I did notice that some darts did throw quite similar and that many animations and special traits didn’t exist yet as they do for several bowling balls in ForeVR Bowl.
The game has three difficulty levels. I found the medium setting to be the most enjoyable since aiming without assist feels off, especially when using hand tracking. Once I get more used to where the aim target lands, I could see myself playing on hard difficulty, but I will be using the controllers for accuracy.
The implementation of hand tracking feels good, but I noticed while holding my darts that they tended to be jittery and that my throws were not as clean. It may just be that the Quest 2 hand tracking needs further improvement, or the lighting in my playspace was too dim. For now, I will stick with the controllers in more competitive matches.
While you can have up to four players in a match, one issue has carried over from ForeVR Bowl. Avatar framerates can still stutter here and there, it doesn’t take away from the gameplay, but it does break the immersion.
At a price point of $9.99 US, ForeVR Darts is a great game to own on the Quest and Quest 2. You can even high-five other players after a match. With the addition of game environments, game types, and different dart effects/traits over time, this title will only improve.
A copy of the game was provided for review.
COMPARE TO: ForeVR Bowl, Darts VR