Boomerang Fu

What is Boomerang Fu: A small and fun local multiplayer game with various foods (like pink-frosted sprinkled donuts) fighting each other to the death with a one-hit-kill boomerang. It is something to play with buddies to have a good time.

Elemental tetrad

Mechanics: The game has rounds where in each round every player fights to the death. In each round, the players are placed on a small map that spans the entire screen. This game has very simple controls, only three buttons. You can dash, melee, and throw your boomerang. Additionally, thrown boomerangs will eventually fly back into your hands. Anything the boomerang touches is immediately killed.

Story: There is no story in this game at all, the gameplay is what drives interest.  

Gameplay: While the controls/rules of the game are very simple. The design of each possible action creates a lot of interesting dynamics and depth. For example, throwing the boomerang leaves you weaponless. So while it may seem like a good idea to go for easy kills, the defenseless you could be very killed quickly. The game constantly places you in situations where you must make split-second decisions on when is a good time to go for kills. Another mechanic is that boomerangs also ricochet off walls, so you can Physics your way to victory and feel very 300IQ.

Additionally, there a numerous powerups (which are definitely not balanced) that add to the core gameplay: For example, the teleport powerup allows you to teleport to your boomerang on command. You could leave your boomerang on the floor amidst the chaos and teleport to kill inattentive friends.

Aesthetics: Overall I like it. It is adorable, simple cartoonish 3D, and communicates what the game is about. Fun! While initially, I thought that it had the slight commercial cash grabby render quality that really unique, overall it is not that important.  

The sound fits the gameplay well, the BGMs make you feel laid back but slightly energetic. This mood fits the party game vibes. In addition, the slash and parrying sounds are quite satisfying to hear.

Technology: I feel it’s best played with a controller on the couch watching tv instead of using a mouse and keyboard. Runs even on potato PCs.

The Five lenses


This is one of the games that I feel is built from a prototype with one central mechanic, the boomerang. Everything else in the game feels in service of this one mechanic. Boomerang Fu does this well because there is a lot of depth in the boomerang. For example, you could parry boomerangs midair or move your character in a way that would slice the enemies as the boomerang returns midair. It feels like a fun toy to play with.


In this game, the most skilled player will likely win overall unless everyone else decides to gang up on him. Generally, experts will destroy novices in this game. One of the reasons is that our only weapon in the game (the boomerang ), demands precise aim, timing, and control. Another reason is that strong game sense is required to be aware of the limits of each interaction between the different powerups.

The game however does try to help you. It nudges your shots closer to the enemy subtly. But not too much, so most kills still feel intentional. This makes you feel skilled when you make plays. In addition, the game gives shields to underdogs which prevents one-hit KOs. Still, you feel like most deaths are avoidable, this makes the game feel fair and rewarding. You can see a pathway to getting better.

One of the important design decisions in the game was to make sure everyone had different power-ups. It is very unlikely that two people will have the same set. Additionally, powerups can combine together. For example, if you got the exploding boomerangs and the multi boomerangs power up. You essentially become an AOE nuke that covers 20% of the maps in one throw. This introduced the biggest luck factor which is who was getting overpowered power-ups first. But as a casual game, I believe this was not a bad decision because it is more fun and creates “how is this allowed” moments. For more serious people the gameplay is customizable in the settings, you can ban some power-ups.

The lens of time(27) The total game lasts 10-15 minutes with each round lasting under a minute. Because of the short rounds, there is no real commitment to completing the game. We can leave halfway and not care who the overall winner is. I think this is suitable for a party game. Sometimes a power box could cause a kill zone to close in like in Fortnite. However, I felt this mechanic should be something that automatically happens if a round was lasting for too long.

The lens of Moments(68)

The game is most intense when there are only two people left and everyone else is watching to see who would win. The game tries to amplify this moment by adding a slow-mo to the final kill and then replaying it as the next round loads. I would have liked more late-game options other than the zone closing in. Maybe it could have moving zones and longer maps like in Fortnite?

Conclusion: Try it out!

Tentacular and Wanderer VR

What is Tentacular?

Tentacular is a VR game released by Devolver Digital where you are a giant tentacle kaiju monster. Raised alongside the humans the story begins on your 16th birthday. You become an official citizen of the island of La Kalma and have to do adult things like getting applying for jobs. Hopefully, you will be to prove to yourself that you can be an outstanding adult.

Why is Tentacular engaging?

First of all the premise and aesthetics is quite silly, childish, and playful which is something look for when I am taking a break from studying. This is what initially hooked me into the game.

The game’s main loop is puzzles/minigames are heavily physics-based. Mini-games include things like projectile motion and angry birds style that happen when buildings and ships get thrown around. This is fun for me to watch because of the randomness that happens when two physical objects interact. While fun to watch, physics also makes you feel more immersed in this world. It feels like objects have a sense of weight when you can interact with them. Additionally, the tentacles wiggle which makes you feel like a tentacle monster.

In this game, there is some freedom to do what you want. Unlike what it seems at first glance, you are supposed to be the gentle giant in the town, but you as a player have a choice to wreak havoc and destroy things you aren’t supposed to. The game doesn’t feel too restrictive and at the end, you have this sandbox mode where you can do what you want.

Specific features I liked / What can be improved?

This game has a fair bit of dialogue. I liked how we initiate interactions with characters by tapping the top of their head with our tentacle. It makes it feels more immersive despite the cartoonish graphics because we feel like we are getting a direct response to our actions (vs pointing in their general direction and then tapping a button. This was also possible because the tentacles extend from your controller past your actual hands, there was no need to “teleport” the object towards your in-game hands/tentacles.

I also like how a speech bubble appears that seems to be attached to the person talking. The sentences are also purposefully made extremely short with big clear text, usually under 6-8 words at any given time to ensure readability. Additionally, you can tap them again to speed up/ mute their text in case you get bored like me.

One downside to this system was that you have to be looking at the bubble to understand what the NPC is saying since there was no true voice acting. The “voice acting” was random gibberish sounds like the Wii characters. There are parts of the game where someone is talking to you while you have to look somewhere else to complete the current timed task. This can be frustrating if you are someone who doesn’t want to miss dialogues.

One interesting thing I got when reading an interview with the developer was that having giant monsters’ main characters were tricky [1] . If the monster was too big, it would translate to you as the monster mostly looking down at the floor which will be annoying for your neck muscles. They had chosen the tentacle monster because the partial submerging into the water made it more comfortable to play as the city is at chest level. This height is also adjustable in the settings.

What is Wanderer VR?

Wanderer is a time-traveling puzzle Adventure in a post-apocalyptic world you find yourself at your grandfather’s apartment. You find a talking time-traveling watch that will guide you throughout history to prevent the collapse of society. The game mostly features escape room-like puzzles with the occasional action sequences sprinkled in. To progress, you would have to transport items between periods to solve many puzzles

Why is Wanderer VR engaging?

Initially clicked on this game because it looked realistic from the youtube thumbnail. The background in some scenes in the post-apocalyptic settings is relatively high fidelity which adds to the immersion. As someone who hasn’t owned VR yet, it looks like it would be very immersive.

As this is a puzzle game, I liked that most reviews say that the challenge level is appropriate. The puzzles themselves look interesting because you have a limited inventory. There are more items than you can hold onto in every location, so when you time travel between periods, you have to plan for what to take with you. In addition, you have to make mental notes of what you could use for future problems. This is an upgrade from the real-life escape rooms that I have experienced.  

The game is also heavily physicalized. You can move all the items that you can put in your inventory. And also they are random items around the game that you can grab and throw. If you throw books at windows they will shatter and break. This helps with the immersion of us feeling like we are really in that world vs in most flat-screen games that I play, where I have the general assumption that most things in the environment can be grabbed unless they are outlined green/overlayed with yellow/ has a [Press E to interact] message.

There is no HUD in this game, all the UI is found glued onto your smart time traveling watch. This helps to make a more immersive experience by minimizing distractions.

This game also has a great sound design. The spatial design of sound helps to add to the immersion because you can hear the directions most sounds come from and leaning over to NPCs can make the voice lines louder.

One feature I liked is that it has a menu for “comfort settings” where you can adjust things that would make you motion sick in VR. For example, Smooth-turn off and teleport moving. There is also distance grabbing which means you don’t have to touch an object to grab it, making it a more convenient experience even though it is not 100% realistic.

What can be improved?

When distance grabbing is turned on, players sometimes accidentally grab random faraway objects when the hands close around the index controller. This could be improved by maybe having needed to press the trigger button to initiate a grab.

The character/NPC animations could also be improved. Given the fidelity of the environment design, it betrayed expectations when the quality of the NPCs did not match.


[1]I. SESSION, “Interview with Firepunchd: Info on Tentacular for PSVR2!!,” YouTube. Jan. 13, 2023. Accessed: Jan. 19, 2023. [YouTube Video]. Available: