Townsmen VR Gameplay Preview

Developed and published by HandyGames – March 24, 2022 (PC)
*MSRP: $39.99 – https://store.steampowered.com/app/749960/Townsmen_VR/

Townsmen VR is a VR management sim. I didn’t think it would be any different than playing the game normally but playing in virtual reality definitely does make a noticeable difference in immersion. It’s the same effect with most VR games where even though the graphical fidelity of the game may be worse than its non VR counterpart, the combination of the head and hand tracking along with the controllers make for a much more immersive experience.

The same can be said of Townsmen VR. Graphically speaking, the game does look less sharp than the non VR version. Controls are way more efficient and faster using a keyboard and mouse and yet playing on my headset was way more fun.

You feel like a giant god amongst tiny mortals. You can pick up and examine most objects and animals, and even the people. Your hands actually interfere with the world and I can’t count the number of times I’ve mistakenly knocked off an innocent worker into the ocean because I was not watching where I placed my hands. You can tell because of the traumatic gurgling noise they make as they slowly descend into the watery depths. A horrifying yet apt reminder that life is indeed fleeting and that with giant hands come with giant responsibilities.

You can help the townsfolk by carrying resources to build sites. Unfortunately, despite your massive size, you can only carry one resource at a time.

Playing in VR also gives you more control and things to do in game. You don’t have to just sit idly by and watch your villagers do all the work. You can actively pick up and carry materials around to help your tiny kinsmen. It is kind of funny that even though you are this massive giant, you can only carry one piece of wood or stone at a time.

The menus were pretty intuitive and worked well.

The game does a great job introducing new mechanics and larger islands if you choose to play the campaign. There will always be something for you to interact with, such as finding and placing treasure chests for your townsfolk and ferrying around resources to help facilitate a more efficient village.

I was playing on the Oculus Quest 2 on remote desktop and while the game itself runs fine, I did run into some issues with remote desktop. The video and audio feeds were a bit laggy but overall it worked fine. You will definitely need an arm’s reach worth of space in front of you to be clear as you will be reaching out and making a grabbing motion frequently. I found myself frequently hitting my mic, my desk, and my monitor while streaming. I definitely need a better setup for streaming in VR haha.

Townsmen VR did an excellent job of translating the management sim into a VR game that is actually more fun than its non VR counterpart.

Overall, Townsmen VR is a pretty solid management sim and an excellent VR experience. Something about being in the world and having a direct, hands on experience made it much more immersive and enjoyable. I would personally prefer to play the VR version over the non VR for this specific game.

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