I'm a big fan of games like Beat Saber it's still my go to game for a bit of fun in VR with a side order of mild exercise. But a lot of games like that Pistol Whip, Synth riders et al tend to not align with my musical preferences and penchant for Pirate themed Heavy Metal and or Swedish melodic death metal (see 3 Inches of Blood and In Flames among others).
So when I picked up Ragnarock on Oculus Quest during the recent sale it was a prefect game to enjoy the music and unwind beating the hell out of some virtual drums while sailing through a volcanic hellscape in the shadow of a towering sword wielding colossus .
I know the VR's are still somewhat niche and not terribly accessible for everyone since it's available on the older quest as well as quest 2 & steamvr etc it's in the more available slot of vr games.
I also think this style of game the sort you can pick up and play in small increments that makes use of format and controls well are where vr shines. Even with the lightest of hmd's spending any significant time in VR is just uncomfortable and until we get those neuralink brain connection headsets Musk is working on, to
control our brains provide entertainment, it probably always will be. Games like Half life Alyx or Lone Echo are amazing experiences and great fun to play using the VR well but I find you can only really experience them in short bursts which diminishes the narrative type game a lot.
The gameplay is pretty simple you are in a viking long boat and your job is to pound the drums to encourage you rowers to go faster. You have 4 drums in front of you and then a hammer in each hand a series of runes come at you guitar hero style aligned with one of the four the drums and you pound the thing when the rune is over the drum. The more accurate you are the better and it indicates the symbol on the drum to show where you hit it. More accurate hits make you go faster and chaining hits together generates a combo where you can strike a shield off to the side for a burst of extra speed. Missing a rune resets the combo continuing to add to the combo longer increases it's multiplier to higher levels. There is usually some judgement involved in when to hit the shields finding a gap in the flow to do that and then not miss the next set of runes some of the songs don't give an easy break so it becomes a trade off use the combo now or hold on for a better combo but risk stuffing it up if the song gets more intense.
Unlike Beat Saber or others in the genre there is less penalty for missing a rune you don't fail the level its just you don't go very far and the objective is to go as far as possible with the multiplayer aspect having you race against other boats.
The difficulty on the easiest option is just challenging enough to feel fun but not so hard as to be very frustrating that combined with the more forgiving failure mechanic makes it less hardcore than some of the other games like this where a barrage of symbols fly at you and then you fail in the first 3 seconds. It can up the difficulty and get really challenging as the later songs even on easy are pretty tough.
The boat and characters are all pleasingly low poly the environments colourful rendition of fantasy landscapes or metal album covers not super detailed just enough for a sense of movement and colour since for the most part you are focused on the runes coming at you.
It's great fun to play with a suitably rocking soundtrack of bands I've never heard of with names like UltraVomit or AleStorm or Feuerschwanz but so far have enjoyed if you have a vr headset maybe give it a go