Full disclosure, I’m not impressed with virtual reality. Most are just about an experience and a lot of what’s out there currently doesn’t impress me. I want to play games, not experience an ocean. If I wanted that, I’d go to… I don’t know… an ocean (crazy right?). VR sets, in past experiences, have been lack luster to say the least. There were a ton of VR games available at PAX, I tried none of them. However, at Seattle Indie Expo #7 I found Golden Stairs. I’ll admit, I was going to walk past it, but I made eye contact and that was it. I was roped in.
Golden Stairs comes off as yet another VR experience on first glance. However, looks can be deceiving. Golden Stairs is an action/puzzle game with the protagonist, Rapunzel (thus explaining the Wonder Woman-esque lasso), fighting and solving her way through this tower. At first it was just a puzzle game with some “walking around” (the typical point and click of VR) picking stuff up and putting things down to unlock other bits to open and take other things elsewhere. If this were a regular videogame, it would have been lame. Somehow, Daily Magic had put all of the picking, placing and cranking into the game in such a way that I was having quite a bit of fun. The cartoonish aesthetic helped me enjoy myself more because it felt like more of a game.
To then top it all off, skeletons attacked me. Now, in all fairness fair, (despite VR being around for a long time) VR is still in its infancy. While I could dual-wield swords in Golden Stairs, I couldn’t be a whirling dervish like Drizzt Do’Urden (believe me I tried) and have every cut count, but I was able to put a few hits in and parry their counter attack. Shields worked much the same way without a shield bash option (or the ability to block with a right-handed shield, but that’s being fixed). And after I defeated the skeleton I was able to practice a little BM and flick their corpses around for fun. All in all, Golden Stairs gave me hope for VR being viable for gaming again.