When I heard about VR platforming game TO THE TOP, my first thought was – how could that work? A platformer in VR?! What if I accidentally jump on my cat in the real world? And surely there will be motion sickness? How wrong I was. Get excited, coz TO THE TOP is not only one of the best VR games this year, but one of the best VR games I have ever played.
Cue Van Halen….
In TO THE TOP, you’re a Super Bot (a human piloted robot engineered with super powers to protect and serve the people). And you need to take part in TO THE TOP Academy, a training program to test your skills and see if you are capable of piloting one of these machines. In layman’s terms, you have superhuman abilities to scale any buildings or obstacles, with your goal being to get to the Finish Line at the end of each level. Despite the complexity of some of the levels, the controls however are remarkably simple. You can climb with one hand at a time, or you can leap. Just simply grab on with both hands, look at where you want to leap to, and release. If you do consecutive leaps, you’ll build up speed and power. It’s a thousand times more fun than I can put in writing. Climbing up cranes, jumping on moving cars…it all works so smoothly and miraculously there is not a single hint of motion sickness. Jumping through the air feels utterly joyful and will take you back to your childhood dreams of being a superhero, flying through the air.
Content wise TO THE TOP delivers as well. Your sections are split into Easy, Medium, Hard and Bonus Levels. Whilst you can casually go through levels, taking your sweet time, you actually earn medals for getting certain times, almost like a Bronze, Silver, Gold system. And you have to unlock a certain amount of these to unlock later levels. So unless you’re Superman first time around, you will be backtracking here. But somehow, it never feels like a chore. It’s like the developers know you need one run through to learn the course, and then another to perfect it. I personally had an absolute blast beating my previous times and seeing where my times ranked in the world. There are over 35 levels here to conquer, and as the game goes on it adds more and more fun mechanics around your environment: jump pads that launch you in the air, moving platforms, gloves to fly…you’ll see what I mean when you get there. It’s all so masterfully put together and as VR games go, it’s utterly invigorating.
TO THE TOP is perhaps a game that you don’t realise how special it is until you’re playing it. It’s immersive to the point that when I took my headset off, I was literally disappointed to be back in my lounge. I’d totally forgotten about the real world, and if that’s not the point of VR, then I don’t know what is.
TO THE TOP deserves to go all the way to the top of the charts. A majestic, thrilling, exhilarating ride which encapsulates everything VR is about.
Punk rating: 9/10