E3 2019 Hands-On – Fuji VR

My time with Fuji VR was a strange one. This also happened to be my first time trying out the Oculus Quest headset and as cool as it was playing a VR game untethered, there were some issues I ran into. I can’t blame Fuji VR for the issues as I’m fairly certain it was the Quest and the Guardian system it implements. It kept losing my hands and making them pop back in, and the guardian alert kept stopping my game anytime I would turn around. Even after a few calibrations it was still not working great.

Now, please don’t take this as a mini review of the Quest or even Fuji VR. I think it was just the impromptu setup we had to do and with other people walking by and the flooring not having defined marks caused some issues. Needless to say, I didn’t get all that much time with Fuji VR, but the five or so minutes that ran well was interesting. Oh and to cut the gameplay even shorter, I got a random very heavy nose bleed while playing. . . As I said, it was a strange meeting.

Fuji VR

Interacting with these special flowers reveals beauty around you.

Fuji VR by Funktronic Labs is a relaxing game that has you exploring various biomes to cultivate plants and collect rare seeds for your own garden. The experience flows between outdoor exploration and creative gardening, merging aspects of adventure and cultivation into a refreshing, musically enveloping whole. The developer who was assisting me compared its relaxing nature to that of Journey. Where you can pop into the game after a long day and decompress with a slow, relaxing, and beautiful adventure.

The very little I did get to play was in a swampy area where you had to travel (teleport movement) to various lily pads to proceed. As you travel around, you must come in contact with glowing flower prisms that will activate and spread out new beautiful flora, fauna, and revealing more of your path ahead. There was multiple paths you can take which is good as it encourages exploration.

The music was also very nice and relaxing, providing softer tunes while you explore the wildlife. The visuals weren’t amazing, but the bright and bold color palette was pleasing to the eyes. Unfortunately, the small section of this biome was all I could do before I ran into the technical and physical road blocks I listed above. While my tech wasn’t working as normal, it still is worth noting that Fuji VR was funded by Oculus and it also fully supports the Index controllers with individual finger movement.

It was hard for me to get an exact bead of what the full game entails, but the gentleman that helped me out gave me a rundown of what I can expect. Basically, you’re exploring these biomes to collect rare seeds to then bring back to your own garden, as I mentioned above. You will also need to tend to your own garden as your grow it. This means being able to choose your plants, introduce insects and various wildlife, and you also have a garden gnome companion to chat with back at home. I got the impression that if you’re looking for a truly relaxing game, and you like the immersion of VR, and you like gardening without having to get dirty, then Fuji VR may just be the game for you.

Developer: Funktronic Labs
Publisher: Funktronic Labs
Platforms: Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, Valve Index