Virtual reality can’t fix the disconnect between clicking a card and slamming it down on a table, but playing on a battlefield between two fantasy dimensions certainly helps distract from it. Watch us play High Voltage’s Dragon Front on the Oculus Rift and see for yourself.
High Voltage Software might have had trouble landing original games not named Conduit on more traditional consoles, but they seem to be hitting their stride on the Oculus Rift platform. I’ve played two games from the developer on the Rift now, the body-shifting shooter Damaged Core and now collectible card game Dragon Front, and I’ve been quite enjoying myself.
Currently in beta, Dragon Front is a collectible card game with a sort of high fantasy meets World War II meets steampunk vibe to it. Two teams face off across a four-lane board, taking turns laying down cards and advancing their troops, aiming to destroy the other side’s base.
In the video atop this post I’m simply going through the tutorial missions, because what I want to demonstrate (in sadly semi-spherical format) is how the board is laid out. Card hands zoom into existence. Inspected units blow up large in your field of view for a detailed look at design and destructive capability. Your champion awaits faithfully by the side of the board for the massive mana infusion that will set him free. You feel sort of like a banished deity waging war, which is excellent, as that is what the game is all about.
I’ll go deeper into Dragon Front as the beta progresses. For now I’m enjoying the immersion. As virtual reality experiences go, I find looking over a table at floating cards to be downright relaxing, and the isolation afforded by the Rift headset is exquisite.
We will probably never see a full virtual reality version of Yu-Gi-Oh or the Pokemon Trading Card game—translating every creature and spell in those now-massive games into interactive 3D models and effects would be an overwhelming exercise. But a fledgling game like Dragon Front, or a deck builder like Ascension VR? This is the perfect place for them.