It's Like Super Mario 64, But You're The Camera

Most of the time when people think about playing a game in virtual reality, they think about being in the game. If you were going to play a VR Mario game, you'd see the world through Mario's eyes, right? Turns out, that might not be the most fun way to play.

While visiting the Oculus booth at E3, I tried out a new Oculus Rift game called Lucky's Tale. It's more or less a Super Mario 64-style 3D platformer where your character, a fox named Lucky, makes his way through a colorful world breaking boxes, stomping on enemies, and collecting stars.

The Oculus twist is that your head is essentially hovering in space above Lucky, moving slowly as the camera would automatically do in a regular 3D platformer but also free to crane your neck and peer around the environment.

Watch me play it here:

The game, which is being designed by Words With Friends creator Paul Bettner's studio Playful Corp., will be an Oculus Rift exclusive. It's designed with VR in mind, which means that to solve some puzzles and find some hidden objects (among other things), you'll have to move your head creatively within the space.

I thought Lucky's Tale was impressive and surprisingly intuitive, and easily one of the coolest things I've seen on Oculus Rift or any other VR headset. It's easy to get stuck imagining a single type of "optimal" VR experience—a first-person immersive game—but it's really cool to see just how many different types of games VR can make more interesting.

I took noted VR skeptic Jason Schreier with me to try out Lucky's Tale, and he loved it. Actual quote: "I don't want to stop playing."