Nvidia’s VR Funhouse makes it feel like you’re in a virtual carnival
I reached over my shoulder to grab an arrow, nestled it in my bow, pulled back, and hoped for the best. When I released my grip, an arrow engulfed in flames pierced a wooden target in front of me, leaving a trail of billowing flames in its wake.
This is just one of the experiences HTC Vive owners can try with Nvidia’s VR Funhouse, available free of charge beginning Thursday. It’s the first virtual reality (VR) game from Nvidia, best known for its graphics cards and developer tools rather than consumer-facing apps.
VR Funhouse is a collection of carnival-themed mini games that range from popping confetti-filled balloons with swords to a new take on Whack-a-Mole. Initially created as a demo, Nvidia is opening the game to developers so that they can modify different parts of it.
Mini games that use the Vive’s motion controllers in creative ways already exist — The Lab is a particularly good example. But what makes VR Funhouse especially engaging is the close attention Nvidia has paid to detail. Slamming a mallet down onto the table in front of me prompted the Vive’s motion controllers to buzz, providing tactile feedback as if I had actually hammered the surface in real life. When I lifted a sword to my face to examine it, the blade gleamed just like real metal.