Mobile VR, the likes of Google Cardboard and Gear VR, is the red-headed stepchild of VR. Google Cardboard kicked off the mobile VR revolution, but it started as a sort of joke-y afterthought. Today everyone is getting into mobile VR and several standalone VR headsets have been announced that are anything but a joke.

Mobile VR that requires a phone to be slipped into a headset case has come a long way from the early days of Cardboard. Developers are taking this new industry very seriously and the array of apps that make use of VR in some way has grown by leaps and bounds. Picking what VR apps are worth taking a look at from this mountain isn’t easy, and obviously I haven’t tried every app in the world, but all of these fine products are special in some way and will definitely help you get your money’s worth from that new mobile VR case you bought out of curiosity.

The 7 Best Android VR Games


Sisters

Sisters

Sisters is another horror experience on mobile VR that has gathered quite a following. This isn’t really a game so much as a short VR experience. It’s a ghost story that you get to experience in the first person, up close to the creepy characters.

There are now a number of sequels to Sisters which improve on it in many technical ways, but this original game has been updated with some of that eye candy and is still a creepy start to some creepy games. When you start up this app you find yourself seated on a couch. A storm is raging outside and the TV is on. You seem to be alone in this forbidding old house, but from the corner of your eye you spot a small figure. One of two weird little girl dolls. The sisters are here to play and there’s nothing you can do but stay around for the ride.

Sisters was one of the first truly creepy things I tried when I got a Google Cardboard. It’s free now, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t give it a go too.

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InMind VR

InMind VR

I have two movies I really love that deal with shrinking someone down and then having them enter the human body as explorers. These movies are The Fantastic Voyage and, of course, Innerspace. I’ve always wanted to experience some form of that, and this game gives you a little taste of what it might be like inside the human body from a microscopic point of view.

OK, it’s not a realistic 3D rendering, but you get to travel into the brain and follow along the neural pathways until you run into something that shouldn’t be there. Yes, this is a game about making someone’s brain healthy again by zapping the parts that don’t work right until they do.

The same people who made this also made a game called InCell, and I guess you can figure out the premise of that game just from the name.

InMind may just be an on-rails rollercoaster shooter, but it’s a well-made and imaginatively-themed one. So give it a go – it doesn’t cost anything.

Download From Google Playstore


Insidious VR

Insidious VR

I have a lot of faith in VR as a storytelling medium, and products like Insidious VR help keep that faith alive. It’s another scary story, but this time told using a mix of digital and live action media.

Insidious VR is basically a non-interactive VR movie with really good production values. How scary you’ll find it, especially on repeat viewing, is debatable. But half the fun is roping in other people who haven’t tried it and then letting them have a go while you watch.

Insidious is hopefully a sign of things to come, and it shows that VR can be a great storytelling medium in its own right.

Download From Google Playstore


Netflix VR

Netflix VR

Oh, boy. This is one of my absolute favorite VR applications. I’m already quite a Netflix junkie, but this app makes it possible to watch Netflix in style even when you’re on a plane or otherwise away from home. In fact, you might want to use it at home anyway, because my own place certainly isn’t as fancy as the virtual big-city high rise Netflix treats us to.

Unfortunately, this app only works on the Gear VR through the Oculus app, but if you’re lucky enough to have access, this is a must-have piece of software. The first time the lights dim down in the virtual theater is pretty thrilling, and I honestly think this is one of the best VR applications out at the moment.

Download From Google Playstore


Trinus VR

Trinus VR

Trinus VR is one of the smartest VR applications I’ve seen. It takes your mobile VR headset and tries to turn it into a tethered VR HMD. Basically, there’s the app itself and then a client program that goes onto your PC. You can connect the two devices with a USB cable (which works the best) or you can use a WiFi connection, which can be good enough depending your specific network hardware. The software is getting better all the time, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get good result with what you have at the moment. The good news is that the app isn’t that expensive and it also comes with a free demo version that allows you to test it before spending any money.

I really think that anyone who has an Android VR setup owes it to themselves to give Trinus a try. It’s the cheapest way to expand what affordable VR can do. The only glaring issue is the lack of external tracking, but it’s a small price to pay in order to pay such a small price.

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A Chair in a Room

A Chair in a Room

One of the most popular VR genres on mobile is horror. There have been some crude apps in the past that were cute, but only scary in the sense that a high-school haunted house production is scary. You spend more time giggling than anything else.

A Chair in a Room is different. This game is widely acknowledged as one of the first truly scary VR games on mobile and uses the medium to it’s maximum potential. In this game you play a corporate lawyer who is visited by ghosts who try to make you change your ways. The game unfolds as a sinister story told over segments, each an opportunity to scare the pants off you.

This game uses some pretty advanced (for a mobile game) graphics. So only people with a true beast of a phone need apply.

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Dinotrek

Dinotrek

I’m not such a hardcore fan of the Jurassic Park films, but I am married to one. That first scene in the first movie, where the members of the main cast first see the Brachiosaurus, is one that has instilled the fantasy of walking with dinosaurs into a whole generation of people.

Dinotrek lets you do just that. It puts you right there on the ground as various dinosaurs traverse the landscape. Being a mobile VR application, the graphics are hardly photorealistic. But they’re pretty darn compelling and it’s a great kid-friendly yet exciting experience. Think of it as a sort of personal Universal Studios ride.

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