Cosmic Trip Is, Well, a Cosmic Trip – Hands-On Preview [BitSummit 2016]

“This is like Starcraft in VR,” said a BitSummit booth worker for Cosmic Trip. Having only watched Starcraft but never played it, I thought this meant I was doomed. Thankfully, Starcraft was more an RTS genre reference point than an exact comparison, and Cosmic Trip‘s take on this familiar gameplay was very easy to pick up.

This is already available on Steam Early Access (for HTC Vive headsets), so if you want to skip my demo recap in favor of jumping into it yourself, welp, see ya later. For the rest of you, check this shit out.

My goal was to defend myself and my adorable friend bot from waves of other evil robots that would love nothing more than to wreck our shit. I’d do this primarily by whipping discs at them, but I also needed to mine resources. This is where that RTS stuff comes into play. It was indeed familiar: set up little factories/machines, power them, send out minions to dig up important stuff and bring it back to you, use those resources to make other things, which in turn make your base more powerful and capable.

The Cosmic Trip version of all of this is done with incredibly satisfying virtual reality controls. I didn’t expect simple picking stuff up and moving it around to feel so good, but it did. Whatever the team a Funktronic Labs did with Cosmic Trip‘s controls, they did it right. It took only a toss or two to get down a smooth flow to throwing my discs at enemy robots. This game takes place on another planet, but its physics fall right into place and feel completely natural.

After mere minutes, I felt like I was controlling things like a pro. This is going to sound like such a small thing, but a touch that stuck out to me and others I spoke to at BitSummit  was a simple rotation of the controller to check resource numbers. The same motion we all use to do things like check a watch or a phone is used as the method of checking resources, which is one of those things that sounds so simple that it’s genius.

You’ll need to set aside a decent amount of play space in your gaming room of choice. With a full 360 degree play area, you might need to do some turns, and almost certainly need to take a step or two in this direction or that. Make sure you clear the floor of obstacles if you don’t want to end up falling and jamming the Vive up into your skull.

Cosmic Trip is still early in development, but as VR gaming itself is fairly young, the demo play available is crazy impressive. If you’ve got a Vive and a Steam account, I see no reason not to give this a shot.

Related: Great pictures of my bald spot while it played Cosmic Trip.