I have a lot of VR games because I think they transcend barriers for non-gamers, and they are also a whole lot of fun. Job Simulator was a great way to break in new players, but I have to say that Vacation Simulator will be supplanting (or at least supplementing) their previous effort. While some of the minigames won’t keep you coming back, there’s enough here to keep you busy for quite a while. Owlchemy Labs has spent four years hard at work, but I’m gonna enjoy bit of my Vacation Simulation.
On the surface level. Vacation Simulator is a seemingly familiar dive back into the whimsical world of Job Simulator, although this time around the studio has added a fair bit of structure and story to the game that really gives the vacation-focused sequel some much needed legs. Since you're given a wide swath of activities and only a few requirements to complete them, you're basically left to your own devices to have the most fun you want to have. In the end, it wasn't as relaxing as a vacation, but I certainly came out the other end with a smile on my face and enough reason to go back in after finishing the main story line.
To be honest Vacation Simulator was always going to face an uphill struggle against its sibling. Is it better than Job Simulator, most definitely yes, enhancing that hands-on play style fans love. But it also arrives at a time very different to 2016, when expectations have changed, but it hasn’t. Once again the series proves ideal for newcomers. Experienced players will get through Vacation Simulator fairly quickly with the only reason to go back being to 100% the memories. Where Vacation Simulator will really find its market is on standalone devices like Oculus Quest creating new VR fans.
Ironically, Vacation Simulator feels like a progress report. It’s an encouraging news flash from Owlchemy about where it is with making VR as immersive as possible as we continue to tolerate the shortcomings of other, ‘fuller’ games. But its philosophy of authenticity and intuition above all else is to be praised and preserved. There’s playful fun, immersive wonder and liberating agency all gathered under one roof, here. Vacation Simulator may only be a small step in a wider journey, but it’s one well worth taking.
Walking around Vacation Simulator’s locations and carrying items between them to solve its various puzzles is where I had the most fun. The robots have a good sense of humor even if they’re not hilarious, but the overall experience relies too much on how much entertainment you can wring out of moving physics objects in a VR environment.
SummaryWelcome to the Vacation Simulator: a rough approximation of VACATION inspired by real human NOT JOBBING, brought to you by the same robots behind the Job Simulator. Reallocate your bandwidth and get ready to splash, s’more, snowball, and selfie your way to optimal relaxation.