The Dagger of Time is a 2-4 player virtual reality escape game created by Ubisoft. The game requires players to make use of the tools found inside the virtual world, interact with the objects and solve the puzzles.
I enjoyed this game a lot because the puzzle design are very intuitive, and the game attempted to design the tools in a way where it’s usage is not achivable in reality (such as stopping and going back in time).
Why is it engaging?
Escaping from an open space
Escaping in the virtual world is a total different experience compared to doing it in reality. In the physical world, players are usually given a realistic story, brought to an enclosed space and escape by exploring around a few rooms. However, VR allows the game designers to be imaginative so that the players are now able to explore an open space, which is a lot more spacial. Players can also use their controllers to grab onto things and do actions such as climbing and swinging, which can be extremely fun and engaging, especially for first timers.
Creative usage of tools
In the game, each player gets a different special tool that gives them distinct abilities, so that every individual can be useful in some part of the game. When I played the game, I got the dagger of time, which allows me to control the time in the game. My friend got a sword which allows her to break things and explore more. Here, communication and collaboration becomes extremely important as players will not be able to progress without one another.
Easy to learn
The game controls are designed in a way such that first timers are able to learn it without reading much text and introduction, which might affect their experience in VR games. This game made use of a one-button control system, so that players can interact with objects and do actions just by pressing one single button on their controller. By doing this, players are able to understand how to play in five minutes, and explore the world without needing too much actions (in reality).
Although the gameplay experience is interesting and enjoyable, I personally felt that there are still space for improvement. In The Dagger of Time, players will only be able to walk to a very near distance with their feet. If they want to travel to a location that is further away, they will need to use their controller to ‘teleport’ themselves to that place. This feature gave me a less immersive experience since I always tend to walk to any specific place (by habit), and will need to be constantly reminded by the VR shop staff that I am physically walking out of range. I believe the game could provide a even better experience if it supports equipments that allows players to travel ‘inifinitely’, such as the KAT-VR Omini-Directional Treadmill.
Ubisoft have published escape games that have similar gameplay with connected background stories, which could attract players to look forward to explore more about the virtual world that they are escaping in. The fact that VR allows the design of escape games to be more creative amazes me.