Review – Virtuoso

Playing musical instruments in VR. I’m not gonna lie, this was one of the main reasons I bought the Oculus Quest 2 in the first place. I was eager to test some of the system’s music-centered games and apps, given how easy it is to, for instance, create a VR drum game, or a VR piano simulator. Virtuoso, developed by Really Interactive, tries to go even beyond. Instead of just being a musical instrument simulator, it tries to mix the worlds of gaming, music production, and VR instrumentation in a neat, user-friendly package.

Virtuoso VR Synthwave

Thank you, Virtuoso. I now feel like a synthwave Timbaland.

Virtuoso doubles as a virtual reality music studio, albeit way more limited than ProTools or even a trial version of Garage Band, and also a musical sandbox, where you’re given free range to play and mess with a handful of futuristic instruments created with VR motion controls in mind. That means that, while VR drums work as they should, other instruments like a synthesizer were completely revamped in order to fit with the Quest’s controller’s limitations. It takes a while to get used to these more esoteric instruments, and they don’t exactly offer a lot of range when it comes to their sounds, but you can come up with some neat music in this game with surprising little effort.

Granted, knowing a little bit about music production, namely knowing how to record multiple tracks and mix them altogether, is a massive plus. There is a tutorial that teaches you how to play each instrument individually, and how to properly stack a track on top of each other, but if you’re looking for a proper career or any other kind of mode, you won’t find a thing. Virtuoso is a pure, no-frills sandbox: its visuals are just a compliment on top of the music-centered user interface, it is devoid of scoring systems or points, it has no minigames. This is a music tool disguised as a game. Which is not a bad thing, mind you, but you need to take that into account.

You also need to take into account that, while being touted as a music sandbox, Virtuoso is mostly focused on electronic music. Its samples, its presets, its synths, they are all perfectly catered for you to create an EDM tune, a retro-infused synthwave track that could be inserted in a cyberpunk movie or game, an old-school techno banger, and so on. I hope the developers decide to include more instruments and presets in the near future. While I loved making some Vangelis-esque bangers with ease, I think there’s a lot more that Virtuoso can pull off besides electronic music.

Virtuoso VR Keyboard

This is supposed to act as a keyboard. It works better than you would imagine.

It is more of a tool than a game, but I had a great time with Virtuoso. I’m a sucker for musical production, and I can’t help but laud the devs at Really Interactive for coming up with a ridiculously easy way for a person like me to compose, perform and download brand new creations of my own. I just hope they continue supporting it down the line. While there’s a lot to love in Virtuoso right now, I really hope they realize the potential of this engine and more more instruments, tempos and samples for us to come up with even crazier tunes.


Graphics: 7.0

I like the futuristic backgrounds, but they’re here just to give you an illusion, a distraction. The meat of the game lies in its music creation tools, not its visuals.

Gameplay: 8.0

It’s a gamified music recording studio. It does wonders with its paltry resources, but some of its interfaces just don’t feel natural. Some instruments don’t respond as well as others.

Sound: 9.5

It’s limited when it comes to the genres covered by these virtual instruments, but you can come up with some high-quality bangers thanks to Virtuoso‘s excellent sound samples.

Fun Factor: 7.5

Even though the game does a good job trying to teach you how to play its “instruments”, and how to record, you do need a bit of music production knowledge in order to fully enjoy Virtuoso. And that’s basically all you can do with it: make songs. It’s great if you’re into electronic music, though.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Virtuoso is available now on Oculus Quest and PCVR.

Reviewed on Oculus Quest 2.

A copy of Virtuoso was provided by the publisher.