Review: FORM VR

FORM VR has been released earlier this month, and I have just got around playing and trying the game, now that I have settled the news from E3.

FORM VR is currently available on Steam for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Playstation VR users will be able to play the game in the near future too.

FORM is the debut work of independent game developer Charm Games. It is a surreal puzzle title, that’s littered with very light narrative in between for the backstory.

In this title, you play as Dr Devin Eli, a brilliant physicist working at the global technology mega-conglomerate “Mindful Laboratory”. You are working in seclusion in a research facility, located in the Alaskan wilderness, on a secret artifact known as “The Obelisk”. The Obelisk has been emitting some unknown signal, and you are on the brink of uncovering the meaning behind it.

You possesses the powers of geometric visualization, a side effect you received due to a childhood trauma. You will be using this power to trace the signal within the artifact to solve the puzzles in your own mind.

As stated behind, this is a surreal puzzle title, where you will be using motion controllers and your mind to solve puzzles. Trigger pulls in item, and there’s no movement involves: all of the puzzles are presented in front of you.

The puzzles come in different types, and the game doesn’t explain to you how to solve them. You have to manipulate the mechanisms in front of you as you figure out how to solve it: touching buttons in sequences, fitting pieces together or putting things into their appropriate positions, just to name a few. Most if not all of the puzzles made use of motion controllers, and being in VR allows the game developer to have a large canvas to present many of the puzzles.

The puzzles are not extremely difficult nor frustrating, in fact they are rather intuitive. Solving the puzzles results in beautiful transformation of the landscape around you, and the machines / contraption / mechanisms in front of you, and these makes solving them satisfying.

In addition, the ambient background  sound helps add the immersive feel of the mysterious and abstract atmosphere of the game too. This game takes about an hour (give or take 20 minutes) to complete, which is rather short, but it is a satisfying and fun experience.

FORM pairs both great graphic and gameplay, meshing into a high quality VR title that every casual puzzle fans should have in their collection. The game is highly polished, and runs well without much loading time in between. I also didn’t encounter any performance issue for me.

The story isn’t the strongest point of the game, serving mainly as a setup to the narrative of why you are solving these abstract logic puzzles. It will have been better if there’s subtitle to the dialogues of this game.

The content is rather light too, and in my opinion, will have been better if it is even slightly longer due to how fun this game is. There’s really nothing much you can complain about this game.

Charm Games has a great showing with this captivating VR title, and I will recommend this impressive 8/10 game to VR users. Personally I wish Charm Games will consider creating a sequel with longer gameplay as well as a stronger narrative.