Google Cardboard transports you inside of the app, and for better or worse refuses to let you go.
By now you've no doubt heard about Google Cardboard and its ability to turn your phone into a 3D projector you strap to your face. The best part about Cardboard right now is the volume of apps to check out, but as is often the case that causes a new problem. With so many options for apps on the Play Store, it's easy to get overwhelmed. There's more than a dozen roller coaster apps, some games that require full controllers to play, and others that don't quite work as advertised.
We've gone through dozens of games and app in the Google Play Store recently, and made a short list of the stuff you should be trying out.
1. Labyrinth VR
Okay, we'll admit it. This is probably the dorkiest of the games on the list, as it's an escape the maze game. The controls are just turning left and right to navigate through the towering walls of stone. Like any maze, these ones can be tricky. They aren't small by any stretch either, and with the height of the walls it's really easy to get disoriented and then subsequently lost. The easiest way to get around that is the trick of always following either the right, or left wall — even when it means going down a dead end for a moment.
Best of all the app is just $0.99, and while it isn't an intensely immersive experience even with headphones on, it is a ton of fun.
2. Cosmic Rollercoaster
Like we mentioned earlier, you can't throw a rock without coming up on a roller coaster app in the Play store. We played with a bunch of them, and while they were all varying degrees of fun, this one stuck out to. Instead of a normal coaster, you are taken on a trip through the cosmos. The visuals are gorgeous with vivid sights during your ride including planets and what appeared to be a space station.
The trip itself isn't particularly long, but it is a lot of fun and a great way to introduce other people to Google Cardboard.
3. Subway Surfing VR
A basic game that can also be played without Cardboard, the aim is simple. Ride the tide, and stay afloat while collecting coins to compete on the leaderboards. Tilting your head left and right with help you navigate, and make sure that you don't tip over. A gauge in the middle of the screen helps to let you know when you're close to falling over, which is definitely key to staying alive. You'll end up wiping out almost immediately if you aren't paying attention.
The music isn't amazing, but it is fun and sets the mood for this arcade style game. It's a fun, simple and free game for you to check out with Cardboard.
This app goes in a very different direction than anything else on this list. Rather than a game, it involves immersive virtual stories that you are in the middle of. You don't move around much, but watching the videos with a full 360 view lets you see the story how you'd like. We watched a few of them including Evolution of Verse and New Wave. Both of them took my breath away, in the best possible way.
Binaural sound means that wearing headphones makes it feel like you've been 100% transported into what you are watching. You can even watch the video a few times and get a different view with each go, if you're using Google Cardboard you have got to make sure you check out VRSE.
So there is a reason that we saved Sisters for very last, and it's because of the apps and games here this one is a cut above the rest. It's perfect for giving someone new to the platform a scare, but even seasoned Cardboard users will be impressed by the volume of detail in this creepy little app. Sisters is a horror sim by Otherworld Entertainment that stick you in a room during a thunderstorm with two creepy dolls, a handful of furniture, and something else in the shadows.
The controls really just involve turning, since it's 360 degrees, but paired with the visuals and audio it is extremely creepy. The room periodically goes dark, brightens, or gets hit with flashes of light from the storm outside which just adds to the atmosphere. That and something breathing, right over your shoulder.
Out of all the Google Cardboard apps that I checked out this week, this was just the best of the best.
6. Weigh in on Cardboard
These are the five games for Google Cardboard that actually caught and kept our eyes. Each of them is a little bit different, which really just demonstrates the variety of apps that are available now. For the most part these apps make terrific time wasters, but there's always something new to check out that might offer more.
With hundreds of apps on the Play Store, it's entirely possible that I missed the best games out there. So what you think of the games on the list? What are your favorite games for Google Cardboard, and what did we miss? Let us know in the comments!