Google Cardboard – A Little Rough But Still Awesome!
I quickly downloaded the cardboard app and tried out a few of the apps that it recommended. I tried the app VR Silent Home where you play a character trying to either solve a mystery or something within a haunted house (the game wasn’t too clear on that point). I am not too embarrassed to admit that I did in fact jump a little bit when as I was exploring, I walked my character into a bathroom, watched the tub begin to fill with a red liquid that could have been blood or raspberry jelly, and then turned around to discover a ghostly looking woman who screamed in my face (friendly hint: do NOT try this one in the dark when you are home alone like I did!)
I wanted to get my son and wife’s opinion and thinking the Silent Home was not an appropriate choice for them, I downloaded DinoTrek VR. In DinoTrek VR you are a bystander that is dragged along while several dinosaurs around you fly, run, fight, chase and eat each other. It was a little disconcerting being dragged along without any control but it was enjoyable overall. My son is still struggling with the fact that he didn’t do anything to the T-Rex and that it was chasing him…
Where the Cardboard really shone was with the new Jakku Spy VR experience that is available through the Star Wars app. You didn’t get dragged around from place to place like in DinoTrek and didn’t have to worry about having something jump out at you and most importantly you were able to see the high quality graphics that Disney and Verizon put into it. If the other apps looked anything like the visuals in Jakku Spy I wouldn’t be able to put it down!
Compared to the IonVR Google Cardboard isn’t all that great. IonVR had a padded headrest and a strap that you could put around your head for a hands free experience. It was painful to use Cardboard for an extended period as the cardboard bit into my nose and forehead while I was using it. My arms also got a little bit tired from holding it up for extended periods. In my previous experiences with VR I was almost instantly nauseous and rarely could I use them with my glasses. With both Cardboard and IonVR I found that although I did get nauseous it took quite some time to get to that point. Where the Cardboard does shine is the fact that it is insanely cheap, you can’t beat free to around $20 USD!
So if you are looking for a cheap option for what may just be a passing fad I would recommend getting down to your local Verizon store and seeing if you can get your very own Star Wars Google Cardboard today!
Thank you to the friendly guy at my Verizon store who cut me some slack and let me have one without being on Verizon!