Side-Scrolling Platformers Are Also Awesome on the Oculus Rift

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When you think about the Oculus Rift—with its lenses that extend into your peripheral vision and motion sensors that mimic your head movements—you probably think it's an accessory made for first-person games and nothing else. The makers of Super Mega Mega have done their best to prove this idea wrong.

Super Mega Mega is a side-scrolling platformer designed exclusively for the Oculus Rift and its special features.

The world in Super Mega Mega is shaped like a hollowed-out cylinder with you sitting in the middle and the Rift controlling the camera. Your character, a gun-wielding space man, then travels around the inside edge of the wall.


In general, the game plays like any other platformer. You jump, shoot enemies, and climb your way to victory. The special twist is that your spaceman can switch between three planes: foreground, middleground, and background—similar to Little Big Planet. Unlike Little Big Planet, however, you can shift at any time—including mid-jump. Thus as you climb, you must use the Rift's stereoscopic 3D effect to correctly judge which plane the next platform is in or enjoy a long fall to your death.

In all honesty, the game plays quite well as a first effort at Rift platforming. However, as switching between the three planes is nearly instantaneous, I found that I would lose the location of the spaceman for a brief moment after each shift—occasionally making me miss what should have been an easy jump. It also takes more than a little bit of practice to correctly guess if you are lined up with a platform in a different plane when you are in mid-jump.

All in all, Super Mega Mega may just be a prototype but it is still an enjoyable experiment into the other types of games the Oculus Rift is capable of supporting.

Check out the video above to see Super Mega Mega in action. For more information, head over to the Super Mega Mega homepage.

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Now here's the question: Is the camera moving with the world, or is the world simply rotating itself around to give the illusion of the character physically moving left/right while you're a soulless being hovering there, watching?

The Oculus Rift sure must be a fun design challenge for a lot of programmers. I'm curious to play an RTS style game with it some day due to the many possible routes you could attempt to deal with the 2d-HUD in 3d-space issue, in terms of both ease of use, and immersion factor. I'm imagining a game like Populous, where you're just a god hovering above some faint clouds, peering down onto your large piece of land watching simple beings tending to their world as you gesture about with a 3d hand within the world to make things happen without any solid interface stuck in your vision the entire time.