When I was little I had an imaginary friend. I don’t remember what I named him, but since I grew up as mostly an only child with a single parent for most of my life, it was something I created at a young age for fun. I spent a lot of time outside, exploring, playing, and when I was inside I was either building things with Legos or playing video games. As a big fan of the Zelda series, which involved fairy companions, spirits, and other talking creatures, having an imaginary friend didn’t seem that bizarre to me.
Naturally, when presented with the premise of Turbo Button’s latest VR game, Along Together, I was immediately interested. In Along Together, you take on the role of a disembodied hand that descends from the sky to comfort and help a small child. The young kid has lost his or her dog and needs help finding the little pooch, so it’s up to you to move objects in the environment, solve puzzles, and guide the child back to their lost puppy. It’s a hybrid affair that melds elements of puzzle games, adventure titles, and platformers all together into one package.
The visuals are bright, colorful, and cheery, just as you’d expect from Turbo Button’s work. Previously, they developed an Adventure Time VR platformer that used a top-down camera angle similar to Lucky’s Tale. This time around Along Together uses the same camera angle but asks users to reach out and interact with the world using the Daydream controller instead of just pressing buttons.
Since this is a platformer puzzle game, I was moving blocks and pointing to where I wanted the child to go. As long as the path was clear and no objects were too high, they could easily move and climb around the world. In this way I felt powerful, almost like a God hovering above the world.
The first level I tried was bright and colorful full of trees and whimsical scenery. The puzzles were simple and I never felt like I was going to get stuck, but they were creative enough to hold my entertainment and actually had me looking around the world and moving my hand with the Daydream controller. Gaze-based interaction wouldn’t have been anywhere near as intuitive or satisfying. When I asked if they’d be supporting the new Gear VR controller, Turbo Button explained the game is primarily focused on the Daydream platform at this time.
When you’re not playing a level, you’re actually sitting up in a tree house. Drawings are hanging on a line across the room and other pictures are tacked to the walls around me. In front of me the levels are laid out almost like a story book, further supporting the “imaginary” notion of not only the character you control, but the world itself. It’s all quite interesting to see unfold.
The next level I tried took place in a mine, which was much darker. However, this new setting really showed off the impressive lighting systems that are newly incorporated into the Daydream platform. The difference in visual fidelity between Along Together, Turbo Button’s latest, and their original Adventure Time game on Gear VR, is extremely noticeable. Turbo Button has also promised this will be a longer experience than the aforementioned previous game as well, which was only about an hour long.
We don’t know any release date info for Along Together other than it’s coming soon to Google Daydream. Does this seem like the kind of game you’d like to play? Let us know in the comments below!
Tagged with: Along Together, GDC, turbo button
Source: Hands-On With Along Together, A Charming VR Platformer About an Imaginary Friend