It’s sort-of impossible to be sad while playing Vacation Simulator.
This fun-loving VR title filled with minigames and stuff to mess around with will, however, likely feel a thousand miles away from an actual vacation. After all, you’re surrounded by floating robots and, as hilarious as they all are, they don’t exactly set the scene for “dream holiday”. What they do make for, though, is an excellent virtual reality jaunt, and perhaps a great title to start off with if you’re pretty new to having a VR headset on your noggin.
Vacation Simulator starts off by introducing you to your human headquarters. You’ve got a bathroom – where we took a bubble bath, just because we could – a kitchen area, a workstation and a bedroom; everything you need to have a relaxing vay-cay. Just beyond your quarters lies your vacation experience: three paths leading to three distinct areas, all waiting for you to explore. There’s Vacation Beach, Vacation Forest and Vacation Mountain, covering just about any type of holiday you could want.
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The game recommends you start with the beach, but it’s your choice ultimately. And what you do when you get there is up to you, too. Vacation Simulator‘s areas are best described as sandboxes of fun, each littered with robot NPCs who’ll guide an activity with you and various other things to mess with. On the beach, for example, you can engage in various ball games, go hunting for butterflies and build sandcastles. Head to the forest, and you can roast marshmallows around a campfire, do a spot of painting and grow some plants.
Each activity that you complete will earn you ‘memories’, the currency to unlock more fun stuff in Vacation Simulator. Certain activities, like diving at the beach, require you to have earned so many memories before you can jump in. Outside of those that are locked out, though, you can jump into whatever activity you want, flitting between them as you wish. It’s your vacation, after all.
This is a fantastic-looking game inside PSVR 2. The new hardware’s impressive capabilities allow Vacation Simulator‘s fun-loving, colourful art style to really shine, and it’s easier than ever to be immersed in its wonderful world. Its easy controls make it perfect for newcomers too: grabbing items and pushing and pulling requires just one button. And you talk to NPCs by waving at them, which we love. Even if you aren’t engaging in Vacation Simulator‘s minigames, you’ll be inclined to mess around with its world, picking up crabs from the water, throwing beach balls, sticking forks in marshmallows and splashing around in a hot tub.
You can play Vacation Simulator either stood up or sat down, and every surface you interact with can easily be height-adjusted to ensure it’s perfectly situated. Simply grab a handle and push it down or lift it up. It’s that sort of quality-of-life touch that makes Vacation Simulator stand out: it’s clear developer Owlchemy Labs has thought about what matters in making its game as fun and easy to play as possible. It’s such a simple thing but makes a huge amount of difference.
It’s not as good as a real holiday, but don’t let that put you off: Vacation Simulator is a lot of fun, and it’ll have you smiling from ear to ear as you interact with its cast of robots. It’s one that we’ll be going back to regularly in PSVR 2, that’s for sure.