It really seemed like it was only a matter of time until Zoink Games began dabbling in virtual reality. They’ve got a particular style that just seems like it would fit into the headset so well, and now that we’ve got proof of that, it’s a wonder the studio didn’t start exploring that platform earlier. Announced shortly before E3, Ghost Giant is the story of a young boy who is very lonely, that is until a ghost giant–you, the player–shows up to be his friend. I got a chance to play Ghost Giant at E3, and even this early demo proves Zoink is doing incredible things in VR.
I’m always fascinated by VR allowing us the ability to either be extremely tiny or huge. Virtual reality affords us the opportunity to look at things in macro, or to seem like we’re playing with a diorama. Ghost Giant does the latter, and the very short demo gave us a chance to play around a little bit in Louis’s world. At the outset, Louis, the scared and lonely little boy enters the area and sees me, the ghost giant floating in the middle of the town. He gets freaked out and runs off to hide. I peaked under roofs, spun houses around, and even scared off some bullies for the little guy. The whole town is designed like a dollhouse, with open backs, hinged roofs, and other adorable details that make this a world I want to explore.
The interactions act as a series of puzzles. At one point I needed a key to open a certain wall of a house to get to Louis. In order to do this I had to spin a house around, change channels on a TV to get one guy to drop the key, and then use the key to open the wall of the other house. Louis looks up at me and panics again at this point, running off to another place in the town where I had to solve more puzzles for him. The demo took a little more than five minutes, so it was a very short look at the game, but it showed a lot of potential for Zoink’s first foray into VR.
In many ways, Zoink is channeling a lot of the same things that I love about Moss, just with their own style. Within five minutes I felt connected to Louis. I wanted to be his friend. I didn’t want him to be afraid of me anymore. By the end, he was just starting to come out of his shell, and then the demo was over. I can’t wait for Ghost Giant to actually release so that I can become Louis’s friend and continue to explore his world. The worst thing about Zoink’s VR game will be trying to convince my wife to stop playing with their digital dollhouses and the adorable little anthropomorphic animals that inhabit that world.