If you were a detective, what do you think are some of the more interesting cases you come across? Maybe it would be a crime scene that would relate to a famous person or possibly a mystery out in the middle of know where trying to find an answer. Detective work can be quite challenging, but sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing where to look and having that special feeling. But does the develepor, LunaBeat Games show us what it’s like to be a detective in the 80’s? Let’s find out with Paranormal Detective: Escape from the 80’s for PCVR.
Paranormal Detective: Escape from the 80’s is a nostalgic 80’s VR escape room puzzle adventure. You are playing a detective who specializes in unusual cases and has just found the cold case of the century. So before we begin, there will be a few things that we will need to go over. First, since this is an escape room game, I am not going to show all the levels as I do not want to spoil anything for anyone. Second, make sure your controllers are not about to die because there is nothing like trying to pick up an object only to receive that message that your battery is low. And finally, don’t overthink things. With all that said, let’s continue…
Since you are a detective that specializes in unusual cases should we say, finding a case that involves one Corey Savage who disappeared in 1987 with no traces to be found. But what we do know so far is that Corey’s parents did notice that his T.V. and Game Glove were buzzing with a strange electricity that hopefully could be some of the clues for you to solve this case. But since the setting here is in the 80’s that will mean a few things. One, expect some good ol cheesy 80’s humor, and two, expect some good ol 80’s items to interact with.
The controls are pretty simple, you point to interact with some objects while you use the grip button to grab. To move you teleport. There is no full locomotion here, but teleportation does work in this environment. The save files are even 80’s themed with VCR tapes that must be inserted into the highest tech VCR ever. I say this because it’s a pretty big VCR with the T.V. setting right on top. Once you have the save file inserted into the VCR, it’s time to start the game in your office. Looking around, you can see different cases that you have been working on to even the coffee cup laying on its side to even your laptop needing the password to unlock it. This is part of the fun in trying to figure out how to escape the room as you will need to look anywhere and everywhere for the next clue.
But besides trying to find the different clues including the different cassette tapes, there were parts of the game with the interactions that for a brief moment, I forgot about the case. Not that it’s a forgettable case as I was determined to find out what happened to Casey, but when you get to interact with things like playing on the arcade machine, the Speak N Spell, keyboard, and even an RC car that you can drive around. It’s these small things that allow you to get immersed in the immersion of Virtual Reality.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. Playing on the Oculus Rift S, everything was clear to read and see the number of details that went into the nostalgia with things like the individual markings on the speakers when playing the tapes, the few worn off letters of the Speak N Spell top the strings on the guitar on the wall, shows the amount of care that went into everything. Sound was equally satisfying with the soft background music was playing so more prominent sounds with things you could interact with standing out more. Even when at the main ending point where…oh wait, I promised not to spoil anything for anyone.
There are some things that I wish would get updated. For one, an option for full locomotion. Yes, the teleportation does work, it just would be nice to have options. Second, an option for sitting. It is possible to play the game sitting and if you really want to ability to adjust the height, you do need to use Steam’s OVR. Not everyone is going to go through trying to set it up, so again, I do hope this option gets added. And finally, length. I do wish my time spent in the 80’s here lasted just a little bit longer. I really was enjoying everything I could interact with and wish it could go on. But who knows, maybe in the 90’s the time will be increased.
Paranormal Detective: Escape from the 80’s allows us to escape back to a time when things were a little more simple all while allowing us to solve the clues as a detective while trying to solve the case. It shows us that there doesn’t need to be a lot of violence or gore to have some fun. Sometimes it’s the more simple and casual things in life that we can find joy in, and at this point in our lives, couldn’t we all use a little more joy?
Paranormal Detective: Escape from the 80’s is out now for the Oculus Rift/Rift S and for the Quest/Quest 2 via the Oculus App Lab on the Oculus Store, on Steam VR, and Viveport. A review code was provided.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I think I am going to go revisit the 80’s just for the fun of it.