The first part of episodic adventure title The Gallery was released on 5th April 2016 nearly two years after originally planned but the timing actually works out pretty well. Most publications are praising The Gallery – Episode 1: Call of the Starseed as one of the best examples of a virtual reality game available for the HTC Vive (with an Oculus Rift version due to be released later this year).
The impressive critical response to The Gallery also extends to gamers themselves with a 100% positive reaction from the 22 reviews so far on Steam which includes glowing praise for the graphics, acting, atmosphere, story and overall VR experience. Amidst all the hype it is worth noting that this first episode only provides 2-3 hours of gameplay experience yet costs $30 – although Kickstarter backers get a good deal as their pledges ensure they’ll receive all episodes as they’re released.
But as someone with an interest in crowdfunding the real headline for me is the realisation that the promised ‘vanilla’ version of the Gallery that be played with a standard mouse & keyboard setup has failed to materialise and has actually been quietly canned. Many backers who don’t have plans to invest in expensive Vive or Rift hardware are quite rightly outraged that developer Cloudhead Games is only disclosing this information at this late stage, and although the implication is that those in that situation are being offered refunds it does slightly sour what would otherwise have been a great Kickstarter success story.