written by Bradley Stevens
Every once in a while it becomes necessary to break up the routine of solely playing intense action games, for the more unique and simple experiences. Arch’s Path is one such game that has truly been fascinating and quite fun.
As one of the most unique VR games now available for PSVR, Oculus,Vive, as well as for Steam VR, Arch’s Path is an intriguing puzzler where you the player commandeer a geometric shaped sphere through an ever increasing and challenging universe of obscure design.
In fact, Arch’s Path is actually played from the perspective of a littlegirl who finds a mask of wonders (sort of like a VR headset), which whisks her away from her own disstressing reality.
With a peculiar and unspoken narrative composition, Arch’s Path impresses players with its unique control design and dynamic environments. Upon entering her new found toy, players become the guide leading the sphere through the wild. However, what makes the experience stand out is how moving the sphere/ball is managed by the players head movement. Initially, this new discovery is well complimented within a reasonably safe and mistake free design as helpful boundries quickly build your confidence of wandering until to reach the end of the puzzle.
Gradually, all becomes not so safe or easy as you begin to push your way through the charming levels. In total, there are 25 levels and within these varied elevations players are also tasked with acquiring all the crystals spread out through each level. Upon retrieving all the crystals and completing the given level, players are rewarded with a time trial bonus for the particular level.
With pathways which are wide, thin, breakaway floors, swooping down-hill designs, as well as the high complexity dynamic levels with moving paths, daring you to progress forward, Arch’s Path quickly becomes an exercise of focus and concentration and for some of us stubborn sheer will.
As mentioned before, Arch’s Path allows the player to control the gameplay by looking into the direction they desire to ball to travel. The players view is identified by a triangular/arrow which the ball obeys. This object is basically the players spotter, so where ever your head moves the spotter goes and the ball follows. If you want the ball to go faster, simply look further ahead along a given path and as the spotter/arrow fills up the ball proceeds faster dow the path. Thankfully, whenever you decide to stop the ball simply place the spotter/arrow underneath the ball regardless of the balls momentum. However, the physics of momentum, ball placement and the lack of player control can present some challenges. You will never feel cheated when you fail to complete a given level without falling a cliff a few times, as user error is oftentimes quite obvious.
Arch’s Path with its compelling gameplay design has a way of causing playersto overlook the full elaboration of a given level, and because ofthis players can miss those important crystals and or pathways leading to them. Thankfully develper Dream Reality Interactive thought it necessary to allow players the option of pausing the game in-play, allowing the player to look all around in order to assess their surroundings. Such a simple yet valuable addition.
Arch’s Path, while at a glance could be mistaken as a simple puzzler, the gameplay is an innovative VR experience. Due to the games unique controls and elaborate environmental design, one has probably never gazed and concentrated this long with such conclusive satisfaction. Arch’s Path is an absolute delight to play!