Table of Contents
- Success in Numbers – 1.5 Million users by the end of 2021
- Humble Beginnings – A small indie developer creates a massive success
- Gorilla Tag Gameplay – Unique locomotion controls are hilarious and addictive
- Gorilla Mods – Skins, weather, new maps and more!
- Current State & Price – Is it really free?
- Overall – Is it as good as I’ve heard it is?
Gorilla Tag VR has taken the virtual reality community by storm! Everyone in the family plays Gorilla Tag VR. Why? Well, that’s simple. Every once in a while, we get a new game that captures people’s attention with its creativity and addictive gameplay. When really successful, the whole world gets caught up in the game’s bubble for a finite amount of time. Great examples of this in the past are PvP shooters like PUBG and Fortnite or puzzler/strategic games like Among Us.
The idea has to be fresh and it has to grab people’s attention quickly. Gorilla Tag VR does that in spades. Not only is the gameplay and motion control unique and creative but the gameplay too is highly addictive. When you’re online and messing with your buddies, the game is nearly impossible to put down. That ‘just one more game’ mentality seeps in and takes control in the best possible way. So before sharing overall impressions, let’s jump in and explore just what makes Gorilla Tag VR so special. Let’s get into it!
Success in Numbers – 1.5 Million users by the end of 2021
A clear mark of any game’s success is how many people are playing it. To put it simply, the numbers don’t lie. With paid-for titles, it’s easy to see how many units have been sold but with a free-to-play game like Gorilla Tag VR, it’s more about concurrent players than downloads. The reason for this is that anyone may choose to download a free title and then simply never play it. This download number might look good on paper but if nobody is actually playing the game then it becomes very difficult to praise the game as a success. For all we know, it could be terrible. That is why the player base is a much more accurate measure of success when viewing free-to-play titles like Gorilla Tag VR.
We’re not interested in downloads. We want to know exactly how many people are playing and enjoying a game before we invest our time into playing it too. Well, in the case of Gorilla Tag VR, the player base had surpassed 1.5 million by the end of 2021. This proves without a shadow of a doubt that this game is successful. The sheer volume of players proves that not only is the game a popular hit but also that people keep coming back for more. The numbers have grown since 2021 and the player count is getting higher and higher.
Humble Beginnings – A small indie developer creates a massive success
Gorilla Tag VR is now such a massive hit that it’s hard to believe it was created by just one guy! Small indie developer Kerestell Smith cut his teeth on this game. It was his first indie project and shows the staggering dedication and not to mention hard work he’s put in to make Gorilla Tag VR the success it is today. Considering the game is currently still in early access, it goes to show that big things can be grown from small ideas.
Kerestell Smith is a 32-year-old software developer. Gorilla Tag VR is his first solo project but he has worked on Echo Arena and is said to have been inspired by the methods for traversal in that game. VR locomotion is one key pillar for gameplay in Gorilla Tag VR, so it’s quite apparent that Kerestell honed his craft before implementing it in his game.
The overnight success of Gorilla Tag VR was definitely unexpected even for its creator. Smith was hoping it would be a longer more drawn-out process that would allow him the time to add content and tweaks at a slow and steady pace. “I didn’t expect this reception at all, I figured I’d have time to work on more of the basics […], but I’m starting to feel pretty dumb for not having any way for people to give me money at all.”
Having no real business model or payment plan in place makes it difficult for fans to support Gorilla Tag VR. Simply put, if a game is successful and fans want more, then there needs to be a way to pay the developer to add more content. Smith is currently working on some paid-for downloadable content that will address this issue. In his own words: “I’m just working on fleshing out some of the more core features like making it easier for people to play with their friends in public rooms, making a queue for players who want to play a little harder, making more game modes and maps, and working on technical stuff like reducing the networking traffic and adding lag compensation and more server locations.”
Gorilla Tag Gameplay – Unique locomotion controls are hilarious and addictive
So we’ve taken a peek at the man behind the game but what about the game itself? Well, apologies if you’re wondering what the hell Gorilla Tag VR is all about. Let me try to put into words the amazing experience that awaits you. Gorilla Tag VR is an online manic multiplayer game of cat and mouse and it’s insanely fun to experience! It’s basically the game ‘tag’ from your childhood but it’s so ridiculously addictive. It’s multiplayer online where you all play in a wooded playground area and yes … you are Gorillas. One person is ‘It’ and once they touch someone, they also become ‘It’ the more players touched, the harder it becomes for the untagged players to escape being caught within the time limit. So simple and yet so much fun!
The real genius behind the game is how the movement is controlled. Frantic swinging of your arms can lead to true moments of hilarity but once you get used to traversal, you’ll be shimmying up trees like your Ezio from Assassins Creed and taking huge leaps from branch to the platform to the ground just to escape your pursuers. It’s the online element too that will keep you coming back for more.
When asked about the use of locomotion in Gorilla Tag VR, Kerestell said the following: “When you’re doing something like stick locomotion or teleportation, you’re more or less giving orders to a virtual entity. It doesn’t fully feel like you’re present. Like with stick locomotion it feels a lot more like you’re kind of sliding and ice skating around. It doesn’t feel like you’re moving through an environment,” Smith says.
“When you have to walk with your hands [as in Gorilla Tag], every movement is dependent on how you’re actually moving [in the real world]. You’re using your arms like you would be using your feet, so it feels a lot more like you’re actually walking around.” When it comes down to the gameplay, Kerestell Smith remarked that the simple game of tag is “a really primal thing,” which makes for an easy and addictive multiplayer experience.
While working on his vision for the game he wanted it stripped back down to basics. For any body parts that weren’t directly controlled by the player in-game, he simply removed them. You don’t use your legs. so they’re gone! Simple! As Smith himself says: “I tried to focus the design as much as possible was on making it feel as grounded as possible,” he says. “You don’t have foot controls in VR, so I took out the legs. You don’t have ring and pinky fingers in most controllers, so I took those out. I didn’t put in any floating menus or UI, everything is grounded in the world.”
Chatting with your friends as you’re being chased is just smile-inducing and online lobbies are always active so even if you’re mates aren’t online … you have no trouble finding a game. Graphics are very basic but that is irrelevant as this is all about the gameplay. Good crazy frantic fun!
Gorilla Mods – Skins, weather, new maps and more!
A true sign of a game’s success is when the community takes the time to create their own content for it. Gorilla Tag VR is no exception to this. The modding community has lots of crazy things you can add to your game to enhance your experience. Whether it’s quality of life, crazy skins for fun or just content to add longevity, the community at ‘GorillaTag Modding’ have got you covered.
Join their group and browse all they have to offer at your leisure or even get involved in some of the interesting discussions on the forum. Here is a cherry-picked list of some of the mods available to give you some idea of the work going on within the community and specifically the constant improvements being made by the developer. Check it out:
Patrick’s Day Hat
Variable Weather effects
Blooming Cherry blossoms
New city obstacle course
New mountain map
New audio for caves
Snow a little darker4
New valentine’s day cosmetics
Fix for being able to mute different areas independently
Updated mechanics for how slippery surfaces work
The list above speaks for itself and the titles are descriptive enough that it’s easy to see how these tweaks, additions, and improvements can add more value to Gorilla Tag VR. It also shows the amount of love and support behind this crazy indie title that is refreshing to see within the gaming industry.
Current State & Price – Is it really free?
Gorilla Tag VR is still in early access. For Pc VR users, you can download it for free on Steam. For our Quest or Quest 2 lovers, you need to sideload the game. It is currently in AppLabs awaiting approval to transition to the main Oculus Store. Good news for us though as this means it will remain free to play for the time being. If you really enjoy the game play and want to offer support to the developer, then you can visit his website and pick up the supporter pack DLC for a small fee. The DLC includes three new maps and a banana hat! I mean, that’s worth paying for alone for sure! Check out the official Gorilla Tag VR website for more information.
If you are a Quest owner and need a guide on how to sideload games and apps from AppLabs, then please check out How to Sideload Oculus Quest 2.
Overall – Is it as good as I’ve heard it is?
Gorilla Tag VR is an excellent free experience and deserves all the success and attention it’s been receiving. The beauty is in the simplicity of it all. It’s not particularly polished or pretty to look at but that is inconsequential when compared to the gameplay. The locomotion controls are fun to try out and difficult to master which makes it addictive. Timing your movements and parkouring the map in style is very satisfying. Throw in the manic panic of multiplayer chasing and you’re on to a winner!
Gorilla Tag VR is best played with friends. The banter and fast-paced gameplay lead to some hilarious gameplay moments and you’ll struggle to turn your headset off once you get hooked. That ‘just one more go’ philosophy is strong here. Easy to pick up, hard to put down is the best compliment I can give to Gorilla Tag VR. It’s simple, and it’s fun! The fact that it is still currently free to play makes this one a no-brainer. You owe it to yourself and your inner primate to try this one out!