App Lab Roundup: Vegetables and Hover Racing

Each week we will be taking a look at some of the upcoming videogames, demos and unique experiences available through Oculus App Lab for the Meta Quest headsets. Many of these videogames come in varying states of completion, so each title is subject to change.

This week we’re feeding vegetables and racing at speed!

I’m not entirely sure why anthropomorphic vegetables would want to eat chocolate chip cookies, but I feel like if I focus too hard on this the questions would continue spiralling out of control. Let’s just accept it. In Cookie Gardening you sit in a garden with lots of cute vegetables scurrying around; broccoli, potatoes, carrots and many more are darting around and it’s your job to catch them, put them in a basket and sell them.

How do you catch them? Easy, you drop cookies nearby and wait until they dash in before you snag them and throw them in the basket. I’d love to tell you what the point is, but I have no clue, and I’m not sure it even matters. After a successful hunt in the garden, you can head over to a shop to spend your hard-earned gold on upgrades, more bait cookies and new variants of the vegetables.

One of the first upgrades you’ll buy is an office, where a fussy VEGETABLE gives you particular tasks to earn bonus rewards. For example, collecting three types of potato rewards some extra gold.

Due to the very loose reasons to be in the garden hunting vegetables, and the ease with which the game plays, this would be ideal for a first VR game for kids. You don’t have to move around in reality, the veggies are easy to catch, everything is colourful and cute and the repetitive nature of the gameplay would attract children over adults. It’s a solid demo and a must-try for families with a Quest headset.

Omega Pilot

Omega Pilot uses asynchronous multiplayer to pit you against players from around the world (though real-time multiplayer is on the way) and I’m glad that real people didn’t have to witness me pilot my hovercraft into the walls. And floor. Or barrel roll it upside-down and barely bring it back to its correct position. I’m a terrible Omega Pilot.

Taking its cues from the Wipeout franchise – high-speed, angular, hovering vehicles – I found myself a pilot desperately trying to grasp control of the ship. Oddly, Omega Pilot has chosen to only use motion controls to steer the craft and they’re very sensitive. Holding the grip button and rotating your hand will roll the vehicle, and tilting it up and down will change the nose height. This all happens while holding the trigger to accelerate. This is all on the right controller, with the left taking care of button presses for a turbo boost and a slow-motion ability. 

By the end of my first race, I felt like I’d taken an unfortunate tumble in a washing machine. My vehicle was spinning, bumbling and what I can only call, careening, in every direction except the one I wanted. At points my vehicle was trying to impale itself nose-first into the ground, other times I would head into a corner feeling as if I was at the perfect angle only to run straight into a wall.

By the end of my first session I felt nauseous and a bit frustrated. Motion controls are great when done well and for many, these are probably fine, but leaving out stick movement feels like a misstep. In a racing world where sometimes up can become down swiftly, the addition of balancing motion controls feels a little overwhelming. I can imagine that for many, Omega Pilot would feel ‘too much’ and a little alienating.

Samurai Frogs & Shadowgate Returns – VR Games On Our Radar This Week

A first look at a new third-person action game and anorhwe platform for Shadowgate VR are just some of the new VR games on our radar this week!

Every week we get a lot of updates on new VR games at Upload – so much so that we don’t have time to cover them all. This week we talked about news from  Ultimechs, Twilight Zone VR, World of Mechs and more, but here are some other titles we didn’t get to take a look at.

Wandering In Space

Here’s a visually striking new first-person shooter with roguelite elements. Wandering in Space is set in a far-flung future in which a virus has sent humanity into disarray. Players find themselves on one of civilization’s last space stations with no memory of why they’re there. Zombie-like enemies stalk the facility, and you’ll need to fight through levels to discover what’s going on. It’s set to release on Steam sometime in June.

Shadowgate VR: The Mines of Mythrok

First released on Quest a few months ago, Mines of Mythrok is soon to bring the Shadowgate Saga — which began on Macintosh some 35 years ago — to SteamVR. Wield magic and explore deadly labyrinths in this fantasy adventure. Look for the PC version on June 17.

Soul of Kaeru

First shown on Reddit a few months back, Soul of Kaeru is an upcoming third-person action game with Metroidvania elements. You control a warrior frog (yes really) that fights through an ancient world of evil. Think Moss… if Quill ate flies. It’s coming to SteamVR but is currently in the prototyping stages.


Check out this cover of System of Down’s Chop Suey! from the VR drumming app. You can already get Paradiddle in early access on Steam and try a demo on App Lab but developer Emre Tanirgan says the full version is coming soon.

Omega Pilot VR

We first wrote about this futuristic racer a few weeks back. It’s now out on Steam via early access for $15, with an App Lab release coming on May 23.

The VR Drop: Driving a Living Metropolis

Welcome to another VR Drop where gmw3 looks at what XR videogames have been announced for the week ahead. There’s a superb collection to look forward to, from Early Access releases looking for community support to casual titles where you can sit back and relax to some virtual reality (VR) world-building.

Musical Range

Musical Range – Rockhopper Studios

First up is a rhythm action game called Musical Range, coming to Steam Early Access on Monday. This is a rhythm shooter with the rather unique mechanic of being able to bend and distort the notes after each shot. For the EA launch, Musical Range will have a selection of songs to try and achieve highscores on as well as a Freeplay Mode, shooting the notes to make your own music. Plus, there’s a custom song system where you can drop in sound files to play.

Area Man Lives – Numinous Games

This is a title gmw3 wasn’t sure would come to life, but it lives! Announced in 2020 as a reworking of Numinous Games’ much earlier Google Daydream title Untethered, Area Man Lives is part quirky radio drama and part mystery to solve, putting you in the chair of a local radio DJ. In this little bubble of radio paradise, you have to play some music, record commercials and most importantly, talk to callers and find out what’s going on and how you can help.

Little Cities

Little Cities – Purple Yonder

Developed by British indie studio Purple Yonder and published by VR powerhouse nDreams (Fracked, Phantom: Covert Ops) Little Cities is a delightful city builder coming exclusively to Meta Quest. With various archipelagoes to build on (Desert, Volcano and more), Little Cities is all about balancing the needs of residents by creating enough housing, factories and commercial properties whilst adding essentials like network coverage, power and the occasional airport. Unlike other city builders, Little Cities doesn’t bog you down with deep financial planning, keeping gameplay light with the option of hand tracking support coming in June.

Omega Pilot – Xocus

Having launched its futuristic racer Z-Race for PCVR headsets last year, Xocus is back with Omega Pilot. The developer created the entirely new Omega Pilot because Z-Race fans wanted one thing, a cockpit viewpoint, which couldn’t be done due to Z-Race’s control scheme. So now players can jump into the cockpit of these futuristic vehicles and race at ludicrous speeds through winding tubular tracks.

Omega Pilot

Afterlife VR – Split Light Studio

Now let’s finish on a VR genre that loves to scare us all, horror, with the Early Access release for Afterlife VR from Split Light Studio. Play as a young rookie cop who needs to go and investigate a mental health facility and…well, you know what happens; stepping into an insane asylum at night only amounts to one thing. There are puzzles, you have telekinetic abilities and shit is going to jump out at you. So bring a flashlight and a spare pair of pants.

Omega Pilot Puts You in Z-Race’s Cockpit This May

XOCUS, the virtual reality (VR) developer behind Z-Race has announced the upcoming launch of its next racing title, Omega Pilot. Putting players in the cockpit of ludicrously fast vehicles, Omega Pilot is due to speed onto Steam Early Access an Oculus App Lab in a couple of weeks.

Omega Pilot

It was just over a year ago that XOCUS launched its futuristic racer Z-Race for PCVR headsets. One of its main features was the comfortable control scheme, whereby players controlled their vehicles directly through the physical movement of their hands; kind of like a toy car. Receiving a positive response from the community, players also wanted to step into the cockpit but due to Z-Race’s particular control scheme that wasn’t possible. So Omega Pilot was born.

Creating a whole new game just so fans could heart-pounding speeds in first-person inside Z-Race’s tubular tracks, Omega Pilot will feature “realistic physics and control mechanics.” The early access launch in May will include 10 tracks and three gameplay modes; Circuit racing, Checkpoint racing and Slalom. XOCUS hasn’t confirmed if these are brand new tracks or tracks ported from Z-race.

Initially, Omega Pilot – just like Z-Race did – will feature an asynchronous multiplayer so players will race against each other’s times rather than directly against one another. That’ll change as development progresses, with more content and features added.

Omega Pilot

The final version of Omega Pilot which is slated to arrive before the end of 2022 will offer: “a real-time multiplayer with an exciting deathmatch arena mode. The player will take on the role of a racer of the future, who must advance along increasingly difficult tracks and defeat dexterous rivals in order to become the Omega Pilot champion,” the developer explains in a statement.

Omega Pilot will launch as an Early Access title on Steam and via Meta Quest’s App Lab on 12th May 2022. No price has been revealed just yet but for further updates keep reading gmw3.

New Sci-Fi Racing Game And Cactus Cowboy Returns – VR Games On Our Radar This Week

A new sci-fi racing game and the return of Cactus Cowboy are just some of the new VR games on our radar this week!

Every week we get a lot of updates on new VR games at Upload – so much so that we don’t have time to cover them all. This week we talked about news from the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase as well as Rooms of Realities and more, but here are some other titles we didn’t get to take a look at.

Cactus Cowboy – Plants At War

It’s nearly time for another outing for the Cactus Cowboy series. Wait, what’s the Cactus Cowboy series? Essentially a series of experimental VR games, usually released for free. Plants at War brings full scale conflict against the Cacti Army with first-person shooter action. I swear I’m not making any of this up. It’s out now on Quest via App Lab and will be on Steam early next month.

Omega Pilot

The developers of Z-Race return for more VR racing, this time with a focus on more immersive futuristic driving. Omega Pilot will feature first-person cockpit races similar to WipeOut. There’s a cinematic trailer above but expect to see gameplay soon; a Steam and App Lab launch is planned for May 12 via early access.

Jordan Jones Dies In Space

There’s abstract VR and then there’s this. Poor ol’ Jordan Jones has been abandoned in space and reflects on some seriously weird situations as he stares into the abyss. It’s coming to App Lab soon and is worth keeping an eye on if you’re into the stranger side of VR.

Tiny Island

A relaxing god sim where you lean down into the world and grab items with chopsticks? Sure, why not? This looks like a simple little delight, and is on the way to PC VR headsets in 2022.