Psychological thriller meets gallery shooter in a must-have title for the HTC Vive. Although savvy shoppers will immediately look up Ghost Town Mine Ride & Shootin’ Gallery and proclaim its short length a standard issue of current first generation VR equipment, purveyors of VR Games know this is a title which provides a small chunk of perfection. Ghost Town Mine Ride & Shootin’ Gallery can be seen as a vision for VR Games to come.
Starting out in a quiet room with little explanation, players discover they can walk around using a walking button that moves the play-space “forward” in the direction the gamer is facing. A robotic westerner greets players and despite a lingering gloom / creepy feeling – our cart ride, gallery shooter experience seems to be kosher. The dark secret of this place is not immediately obvious – but may begin to set into precognition soon.
There’s a shooting gallery that players can stand in front of and practice their aim at. Everything with a red dot is a target to score on. In addition to the gallery, players can ride in the cart during a moving gallery shooter scene similar to a “haunted house” kid’s ride but with a six shooter in your hand and red dot targets presented again.
In addition to the targets labeled with red dots ranging from beer bottles to interactive environment elements, players will also see robot miners who seem to be part of the ride. Ten minutes in, things take a turn for the more sinister! What is this place? The kosher or even silly experience gamers might have expected is instead swiftly replaced with a fast-paced intense shooter game that challenges players to survive a hopeless gun fight against an onslaught of robotic miners perhaps inhabited by the spirits of ghosts from an unknown historic past.
As the game’s inhabitants turn on you, the player, an eerie sort of meta game vibe is evoked when the player realizes they are no longer worried about the gallery targets and instead have to avoid being murdered by what seemed like harmless decorations and actually are some sort of terrible enemy. Switching between cart rides, river rafts, a roller-coaster style segment, and on foot scenes, Ghost Town Mine Ride & Shootin’ Gallery gives you the right feeling at the right time and manages to encompass all of the touch a full game could expect to provide.
The developers claim the title is at least 25 minutes of gameplay, but most gamers will end up somewhere around 30 – 40 minutes in accounting for deaths and a small bit of exploration during walking scenes. The consensus among family I enjoyed sharing this title with was that riding in the cart felt the best and while the walking parts were not bad for an interlude, sometimes could’ve been a bit shorter. It is also true that optimization of the game needs a little work. In some areas there can be a bit of stuttering, even on high-end machines. GTX 1080 was used with an Intel i7 during the course of our review and while not game-breaking it is certainly a point of interest to note while considering a sequel.
Lots of attention to detail made it possible for this short but powerful experience to inspire the demand for more titles like this from the developer and we surely hope they are able to present their full ideas in the near future. As it stands, a bonus level has been added earlier this year and for a low price gamers can experience the heart racing, robot / zombie / ghost killing mayhem for themselves today and we highly recommend it.
HTC Vive is required to play this Steam VR Game. CPU: i5-4590 or Better. GPU: GTX 970 or Better.
Rating: 9 / 10
RGN Rating: Gold Game
Developer: Spectral Illusions
Publisher: Spectral Illusions
Available On: SteamVR