Have you ever just looked up in the sky and saw the clouds and started to see things appear, but the person right next to you could see something else? What about looking up at the night sky and thinking to yourself, what could possibly be up there? For me, it’s always been about the stars in the sky where there are no other lights around and trying to find all the constellations I could while also trying to see if I could find anything within the sky above. It really is quite amazing that we have this whole view where anything can appear if we just open our eyes and let our imaginations flow. So does developer Maku XR shows the puzzles in the sky? Let’s find out with Skybinder for the Quest/Quest 2.
Skybinder is a minimalist VR puzzle game where you connect dots to solve increasingly detailed 3D puzzles connecting dots while trying to solve the puzzles that are presented to you all while getting you into the flow. So before jumping in trying to solve everything that you can, there are just a few things that you will want to do. First, find your favorite place to sit, stand, or possibly even lay down. Second, have some time set aside. And finally, make sure your headset and controllers are fully charged. With that said, let’s continue…
When you first start Skybinder, you are welcomed to the simplicity of everything. The object is really simple. Each puzzle is made up of a certain amount of dots that really look like a constellation. Those dots have a number which represents really how many uses of that dot you can use while trying to connect the dots. But it’s just random dots, you are trying to make triangles with the hopes of different sides forming to eventually reveal what your puzzle actually is. The controls are simple, use the Touch controller to place inside the dot, hold the trigger to draw a line, and connect the dots. If you need to move the dots closer, you spread both arms, hold the grip buttons and then bring your hands together or further away if you want to spread things out. If you need to spring your puzzle around to see all the different views possible, you just hold both grip buttons and move your hands. But that’s really it. So simple, but yet works in a creative way.
Each of the different puzzles starts to increase with difficulty. Which, when you think about it, is just giving us an opportunity to stop what we are doing and just think a little, not too much, but just a little. You just have to see the bigger picture of what it is. If you still are having a hard time, you can see a clue of what the end result will be, but that may end up spoiling it for some or even just restart the puzzle over if you need to. But there is something about being in the space and seeing a big animal come to life that makes you really enjoy what Virtual Reality can bring.
Let’s look at the graphics and sound. Looking at the graphics, some may say it may not be the most detailed and may consider it on the low-end side. And for what Skybinder is, that’s all it needs to be and it works. Seeing the constellation of dots in an empty space that almost could represent one’s mind while trying to connect the puzzles together and watch everything connect really is a peaceful time to have. The music compliments the gameplay with just a relaxing tone that, at least for me, made my time in this space, in this world a calming one that is almost therapeutic to the mind and soul.
If there is anything I would love to see added to Skybinder is that I wish that there were more puzzles. Maybe even additional puzzles with themes such as ones for the holidays or even ones represented and inspired by the great minds of artists and creators.
Skybinder shows us that we don’t always have to have the highest of graphics that are full of action and aggression, and it doesn’t need to be. Its simplicity with its environment allows for you to escape from reality in the time that you allow that any member of your family can play regardless of their age of life or their age inside and just enjoy the experience that is being presented. And with all that this going on and still continues to go on, couldn’t we all use just a little more simplicity in our lives?
Skybinder is out on for the Quest/Quest 2 via the Oculus App Lab on the Oculus Store. A review code was provided.
To learn more about Maku XR, please visit their site, follow them on Twitter, follow them on Instagram, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.
Also, check out the Skybinder interview.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to go back and escape.