Eden River was just released as a free download in the Gear VR Oculus Store. I tried it out and here’s my Eden River review.
So I just finished trying out Eden River. I actually got to try the earlier version for the DK1 which came out over a year ago. I really liked the original version, so I was happy to see what this one offered.
Like with many VR apps, it’s tricky to describe exactly what it is. It’s interactive, but it’s not really a game. The creator, Unello Design, has aptly called it a “relaxation experience”.
A Beautiful and Peaceful River Environment
The basic idea is you float down a beautiful and peaceful river environment.
The background music is an excellent touch, and I wholeheartedly approve of the selection. It has a kind of classic rock, psychedelic feel to it, which fits the experience well.
The experience was quite short. You find yourself recognizing the repeating loop pretty early. There is one scene included, but others are coming soon.
And the environment and graphics are great, but you soon see that there is not much variety to be had. To be fair, I have to remind myself that this is running on a smartphone, and they probably couldn’t push the 3d graphics much farther than this.
There is also a “dream mode” which just means you can lie down and reorient the view such that it’s still in front of your face. It’s a nice touch. But VR beginners will have to be careful as it is easy to get in to a strange orientation which could be uncomfortable with the movement.
I think that “lying down mode” is something that will become standard in more apps, including Oculus Cinema. Sometimes you just want to lie in bed watching a movie.
You control yourself without any controller. You simply tilt your head left and right to move, and you use the headset touchpad to change your speed. VR control is still being worked out, and these guys found a good solution for this experience.
However, I do have to say that I sometimes tilted my head when I didn’t mean to, and this led to some unexpected motion. Generally, any unexpected motion is a problem in VR because it can lead to motion sickness.
Another small criticism is that it’s sometimes tricky to face exactly to the front position. This is important because, like in a car, you can alleviate motion sickness by always facing forward.
I think experiences in general will be huge in VR. Often times, we don’t want to be wracking our brain figuring out what to do, like in some games. We just want to kick back and experience something amazing.