The Oculus App Lab has grown from its original 12 titles to over 100 high quality VR games to try out. We’ve play tested everything and have a list of the best App Lab games you need to play on your Oculus Quest 2 or 1 today.
Unlike our complete list of App Lab games, which has a short write up of everything, this list is the best of the best.
If we missed your favorite game, comment down below and let us know!
The Best Oculus App Lab Games to Play
Don’t feel like doing a ton of reading? Here are our favorite App Lab games you need to go search for and play today:
- Gorilla tag
- All Hail the Cook-o-Tron
- Car Parking Simulator
- Ancient Dungeon
- Puzzling Places
- Warplanes: WW1 Fighters
- Harvest VR
- Pavlov Shack Beta
- Operation Serrpens
Criteria For Our List
So, what makes a good App Lab game? Unlike the official store, a lot of the games in the App Lab are made by independent developers or small teams. This means that some of the graphics may not be polished as much as Population: ONE. However, it also means that you can reach the developer on social media or Discord and they will be happy to hear your suggestions and feedback.
When reviewing all of the games in the app lab, here are the key criteria we wanted to see:
Replay Value: Like all VR games, we want ours to have good replay value. We aren’t that interested in a technology demo that is less than 2 hours. All of our games below have lots of replay value and deserve to take up space on your Oculus Quest, even if you only have the 64 GB version.
Uniqueness: One of our favorite parts of the App Lab is how it gives unique and different games a chance to stand out. There are plenty of VR shooting games available on the main store, so an amateur version on the App Lab needs to be different.
Polish: Even if the game is made by an independent developer, we expect a certain level of polish to make our best App Lab games list. We want clear controls, a progression in difficulty, and a sense of achievement to reach.
What factors do you think are important in a VR game?
Next, let’s get into our best App Lab games in more detail. These games are 100% worth your time to try out and play today!
Deisim is a god simulator game developed specifically for virtual reality. In the game, you get to create your own world by expanding the land with different terrain such as grass, forest, mountains, or ice. As your world grows, you supply your population with resources and perform miracles for them.
The job is a balancing act as you try to help mankind evolve from the stone age to modern times and into the future. Natural disasters and special events try to slow you down as you try to increase your population.
Deisim has a ton of replay value and is perfect for those who like simulation games, which are under-appreciated in VR. Deisim doesn’t hold your hand, which is on purpose. You need to figure out what to place in your world in order to give you population the resources it wants. If you want some help, our Deisim tutorial guide is a great place to start.
Deisim is a true independent developer success story. Approval in the App Store has caused the dev to quit his job in order to focus on Deisim full time. This means that new features and more frequent updates are coming soon. This is the perfect chance to jump into Deisim and play.
There are some games that, the second you play it, you know are made for virtual reality and Gorilla Tag is that (Superhot VR is another that comes to mind). Gorilla Tag is an online multiplayer game where you control a massive ape. The highlight of the game are your controls, which force you to mimic a gorilla’s movements to get around the map. This means swinging your arms and pushing off of the floor or other objects to propel yourself forward.
Gorilla Tag is one of those games that is immersive to play in VR and ridiculous to any spectator. You can parkour up objects and walls in order to gain an advantage over your enemies. The game requires a ton of movement, which will have you working up a sweat after any session.
It is free to play, which is awesome since servers aren’t cheap. The game also has cross play with the Steam VR version, which mans that you’ll have plenty of enemies to go up against.
Two game modes are included in Gorilla Tag so far. In tag mode, you have to catch and tag other gorillas while avoiding them when you aren’t “it”. In infection mode, you become infected when you are tagged and need to survive as long as possible.
All Hail the Cook-o-Tron
All Hail the Cook-o-Tron is a VR cooking game where you have to make orders in order to satisfy your customers. Quest users who have played Cook-out VR will want to know how Cook-o-Tron compares to that. In our opinion, it’s actually a lot better. Cook-out had a lot of chopping and placement of ingredients, without much variety. Its strength was in its cooperative multiplayer mode where you can play with three other friends.
Cook-o-Tron doesn’t have a cooperative multiplayer mode, but its game mechanics and gameplay are better in every other way. You have to make a wider variety of food and all from scratch. The game uses real life physics, which can make placing burger ingredients more unpredictable and quirky.
Cook-o-Tron features a respectable campaign mode with good difficulty progression. There is also an arcade mode, where you see how long you can last for. Overall, All Hail Cook-o-Tron is one of the best App Lab games you can play today.
Car Parking Simulator
Car Parking Simulator is exactly what it sounds like. You have to maneuver and park your vehicle in a number of situations. However, the game is a lot more than that and deserves a spot in our best App Lab games list.
To start, the game has different difficulty modes and vehicle types such as a sedan, SUV, or hatchback. Physics are done well, so you can feel the difference in driving each vehicle. Like a real car, we found that the game works best when you are sitting down to play.
Once you get into the game, you’ll find that it has over 65 levels to complete! Other than easy or advanced parking maneuvers, you’ll also have to handle your vehicle in other situations too. Where the game has a lot of potential in the future is in its free-roam mode. This allows you to drive around and explore a city in virtual reality.
In free roam mode, you can find new challenges and activities to do while you drive around. It’s this mode that we think has a lot of opportunity for new features to increase the replay value of the game.
Arrows is a VR tower defence game. You have to protect different cities, forts, and lands with a bow and arrow from escalating waves of enemy attacks. If you’ve played other bow and arrow games like In Death: Unchained or Holopoint, the controls will feel natural to you. However, shooting at moving targets from varying distances is HARD and it makes Arrows more challenging than those games.
Each level has multiple different vantage points you can shoot your arrows from. Finding the best one to sit at is not always easy. Most levels also have a cannon in it, which allows you to fire a bomb and take out multiple enemies. The cannon has a reload time so that it can’t be used too much.
Arrows also has other power-ups and abilities you can unlock and bring into battle for more variety.
The game has over 25 levels to play in and three different difficulty modes. We found the game to be challenging on normal play mode. We sailed far too many arrows over the heads of the bad guys, so our tip would be to aim lower.
Ancient Dungeon Beta
Ancient Dungeon Beta is a hack and slash action game that takes place in a dark cave. The awesome twist to the game is that each dungeon is generated procedurally within your room-scale guardian boundary. Those with larger play spaces available will instantly see why Ancient Dungeon Beta is one of the best App Lab games – and free too!
Ancient Dungeon Beta features 90 Hz support for the Oculus Quest 2 and feels great. Dungeons are generated with multiple levels so that they feel big and massive no matter how big your space is. Lore has been recently added into the game to give it some more depth too.
As you travel deeper into the dungeon, you unlock its secrets. Along the way, you will fight various bad guys and animals, plus bosses too. There are achievements to unlock and permanent upgrades to help you out in subsequent plays.
Did we mention that Ancient Dungeon is currently FREE? There is no telling how long that will be the case, so go download it today. This was one of our best SIdeQuest VR games too and we are excited to see it on the App Lab early.
Puzzling Places is a virtual reality puzzle game. If you want something more chill and therapeutic, there is something really great about putting together puzzles in VR. We also like that the puzzles in this game come from real and beautiful places around the world.
The beta includes six different puzzles ranging in size from 20 up to 200 pieces. Some of the famous places featured from around the world are Tsuruga Castle, Tatev Monastery, and the Market Square in Gliwice.
Puzzling Places has a few features that helped put it into our best App Lab games list. To start, the environments are beautiful and relaxing. Each puzzle is very high quality. You can play the game seated, standing, or moving around. Plus, the controls are easy to learn. Puzzling Places is a great showcase to show your family who has never played in VR before.
Warplanes: WW1 Fighters
Flying an airplane in virtual reality was high on my list and Warplanes: WW1 Fighters did the best job to hook me in. This is a World War 1 aerial combat game that lets you fly tons of different planes – 16 to be exact. The quality of each location and mission is high enough to put this game into the official Oculus Store for sure.
You can customize Warplanes to your liking. If you are starting out, arcade options will make things easier. As you get into each mission, simulation settings will add aerodynamics and enable manual takeoffs and landing. You use the Oculus motion controllers, which feel surprisingly natural.
The campaign in Warplanes in split into two separate game modes. There are hundreds of missions to complete in different locations, seasons, and time of day. As you pass levels, you will gain medals and be able to upgrade your skills.
If that’s not enough, Warplans also features player-vs-player and co-op multiplayer modes too. This is easily one of the best App Lab games you can experience.
Guardians lands on our best App Lab games list because of the depth it offers in bending different game genres together. At its core, Guardians is a VR shooting game. The game takes place in a Halo-like sci-fi world where you control an elite robot guardian. Your job is toe protect the “federation”, while they extract an energy source at the outer rim of the galaxy.
Guardian features real-time strategy elements that really make this game shine. It forces you to think on your feet and do more than just endlessly shoot and reload. You can summon other units and control defensive structures in order to get the help you need to defeat enemies.
As you pass levels, you get to upgrade your arsenal with new goodies and powers. Deploy different strategies to find what works best for your gameplay style. Combat graphics and effects are done very well too. Overall, there is a lot to like about the game.
Guardians features a single player campaign, as well as co-operative online game modes.
Harvest VR is a simulation game where you have to take care of your own farm. You have to buy seeds, take care of your plans, and sell your vegetables for money and tools. The game has continuously expanded with more features and customization, giving this simulation game a ton of replay value.
There are 15 different kinds of plants you can grow and work with. Each one is a little different in its strategy, so you have to learn as you play. Some of the other value-added minigames you can do are:
- picking apples
And more ideas are added into the game with each update. You can visit town, where you can buy and sell foods and items. Similar to Deisim, the game goes on for as long as you can continuously grow and give your farm what it needs. Harvest VR has a worthy spot on our best App Lab games list.
Pavlov Shack Beta
Pavlov is a competitive first-person shooter game originally released for wired-VR headsets. It focuses on a realistic experience, with sights and sounds matching real life where possible. You can play in both casual and competitive modes depending on how confident you’re feeling. As well, there is an offline mode if you don’t want the pressures of playing with other people.
Pavlov: Shack is a stripped down version of the Steam game developed for the Oculus Quest. Some graphics had to be scaled down for the Quest, but the game is still a blast to play. The official release of Pavlov: Shack is estimated for later in 2021. Until then, you can play the beta version by installing it in the Oculus App Lab.
Pavlov Shack had over 500,000 installs from SideQuest VR, which means that it is very popular. It rightly deserves a spot on this best App Lab games list. Cross-play is not supported yet, but is planned in the official Pavlov Shack release in the full Oculus Store.
Operation Serpens is a wave shooting game. You join an elite squad that is formed to dismantle the evil Snakes Organization. The gameplay in this App Lab game is very simple – just grab the weapons and shoot the enemies.
There is no locomotion in the game so it’s very comfortable. Each level presents a new challenge and scenario in a slightly different style. This is a non stop action game and you will need to constantly duck and hide to dodge the bullets. Shoot at and eliminate hundreds of hostiles in a very short time.
Operation Serpens is a lot of fun and more in depth than it appears on first glance. It is a game you can play on your own or show off to your friends. Shooting feels challenging, while still natural. Mechanics are similar to Pistol Whip but without the movement or music features. Overall you will get a great arcade feel, hilarious moments and a lot of fun.
What is the best App Lab game you have played for far? Comment down below and let us know today! Our list above has a really good sampling of what is available. Check out some of the videos for each game to get a better idea of the gameplay.
We will be updating this best App Lab games list continuously, so keep checking back!
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