Tag Archives: Coatsink

Augmented Empire mini-documentary: Behind the voices

I enjoyed my time playing Augmented Empire, a Samsung Gear VR cyberpunk RPG game from British development studio Coatsink – the same company behind the Esper games. It’s a great game that showcases the company’s skill with VR.

Well, the company has released a mini-documentary called The Voices behind Augmented Empire, which, incidentally, features the voice talent of actors Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black), Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz) and Doug Cockle (Geralt in The Witcher series).

At just a tad over 3 & a half minutes in length, it’s well worth a watch, especially if you’ve only got 5 minutes spare.

Esper developer announces release date for platformer Shu

British game development studio Coatsink, probably most well-known for its VR game Esper and Esper 2, have announced the release date of its next game – and it has nothing to do with Virtual Reality or mind-control.

Shu, described by the team at Coatsink as a “hand-drawn and carefully crafted platformer”, will release on the PlayStation 4 and on Steam on October 4. It will also be available on Sony’s PS Vita later this year.

Here’s what the developer says about the 2.5D side scrolling adventure game: “Control Shu and a colourful trail of hand-drawn characters as they run, jump and glide their way up an ancient mountain, forever pursued by a monstrous and unrelenting storm. Can you outrun the end of the world?”

I’m guessing that monstrous, evil-looking purple thing chasing Shu and friends is the unrelenting storm. It doesn’t look very happy, does it?

Here are some screen shots to give you an idea on what it looks like. No word on regional pricing yet from Coatsink.

This storm is very hungry

This storm is very hungry

Here the storm is smiling.

Here the storm is smiling.

Shu and friends are about to take a leap of faith.

Shu and friends are about to take a leap of faith.

Esper making its way to Oculus Rift

Not too long ago I reviewed Coatsink’s Samsung Gear VR game Esper. I liked it. A lot (who wouldn’t like being able to control things with your mind?)

Anyway, Coatsink has announced the game that tasks you, the player, with solving puzzles at a government testing facility just using the power of your mind, is now coming to the Oculus Rift as a bundle called Esper: The Collection, which will included both Esper and its sequel, Esper 2. I believe that Esper 2 is already available on the Oculus.

Here’s the launch a trailer showing you what to expect.

No idea on the price yet in our neck of the woods but it’ll be out on September 1. The Oculus Rift version will offer enhanced visuals and positional tracking over the Gear VR version. Head to Coatsink’s website if you want to find out more.

Esper: Moving things with the power of your mind

Ever pretended that you were Magneto from the X-Men movies, using your powers of telekenisis to pick up objects and/or people and fling them around the place as if they were nothing?

Oh, you haven’t – me neither – but while Esper, a game built for the Samsung GearVR from British developer Coatsink, doesn’t put you in the spandex suit of Magneto or any other super hero, it does let you pretend you have the ability to move objects around – with the power of your mind!

Esper1BSet in 1975 (so there’s a lot of brown and beige), Esper places you in the shoes of a test subject at a secret government testing facility where you have to prove your not a threat to society by completing a variety of puzzles.

Controls are simple, which is what you want in a game that involves mind powers: Look at an object and tap on the GearVR’s touchpad to pick it up (the object will glow with a blue outline), look around to place it somewhere then tap on the touch pad to drop it. Simple. If you want to move the object forwards or backwards in 3D, you simply slide a finger backwards or forwards on the touch pad. If you don’t want to play with your right hand on your head the whole time, you can also use a compatible Bluetooth controller (if you have one, obviously).

At their most simple, the puzzles involve things like simply lifting beach balls and Rubik’s Cubes and getting them to their respective destination. Most times, though, you’ll have to negotiate obstacles like glass pipes or other impediments to get to the end goal.

Puzzles start easy enough, but soon enough, the difficulty ramps up when the game throws in things like thickened glass that blocks your telekinesis. The puzzles aren’t difficult enough to have you ripping off your GearVR headset and throwing it across the room in frustration but you’ll have to think outside the square to solve some of them.

Esper2BEsper reminds me a lot like Valve’s game Portal, another game where you have to solve puzzles using the environment around you, except this one is for a VR headset, is a heck of a lot cheaper and, in true British humour, you spend the entirety of the game sitting in a leather office chair, behind a desk, while a plethora of puzzles appear in front of you, thanks to moving walls and opening hatches.

I actually played Esper 2, the sequel to Esper, before I played Esper so I had a pretty good understanding about what to do coming into Esper but some of the latter puzzles still stumped me at first. I never threw my headset across the room, though. Esper, and Esper 2, are great games when you have a few minutes spare and you want to, you know, throw beach balls around an office for a bit.

Esper is a great example of how to do an accessible, fun VR game that won’t break the bank and really shows how immersive VR games can be. Plus it lets you have mind powers. It’s win, win, really, isn’t it?

Recommended if you own a Samsung GearVR (it’s also available for the Oculus).

<Thanks to Coatsink for providing a code for the game. Cheers>