Vacation Simulator Review

Breaking away from the real world is one of the main draws of VR gaming. Run away to a new world that is better than the gloomy weather outside. Taking a vacation is another alternative, but those can be expensive. Why not take a VR vacation? Vacation simulator is here to satisfy all of your needs. Vacation Simulator is a game that allows you to travel to three distinct locations to have some fun and make some memories. The locations include a forest, a snowy mountain and of course, a beach.

simulator regions

So what exactly is the game about? Well, it’s about making memories…in game collectable memories that is. A memory in this game is simply a “gold star” that you get for completing an activity. For example, win a game of volleyball, get the high score on the ski jump or mountain climbing. There is no real push to collect them all unless you want to get the trophies/achievements but they are how the game records your completion progress. Each of the three vacation destinations is controlled by a team of robots that look like floating CRT monitors. They are running experiments to see what humans enjoy and are trying to build the ultimate vacation destination. They have prepared a series of activities for you to take part in and they will measure the success based on the amount of memories you obtain from it. As you progress through the game, they will come and give you updates. For fancy robots, they are fairly clueless as to how humans work and this is part of the fun. The interactions with the robots is quite silly and lighthearted. I don’t know why I found this so cool, but if you look at a robot and wave, it will begin talking to you. Gone are the days of going up and pressing a button. This was a really cool system and quite surprisingly, it worked very well. It never glitched out and it was always very easy to get a robots attention. Most of the activities you engage in are good fun and will keep you busy for 15 mins or so. While there are many things to do, across the three destinations, you will begin to see a pattern of repetition. At the beach you will need to stack blocks of sand to match a castle pattern and need to cook BBQ food to match a recipe. In the snowy mountains you need to stack ice blocks to match a pattern and prepare hot pies and hot drinks to match a recipe. There are a few distinct activities in each area, but not enough to make them feel different. It ends up feeling like the exact same place, with a different coat of paint.

ice sculpting

You will find yourself feeling a little disappointed when you go to a new area and find the same mini games just a different color. It’s not that the mini games are not fun, but you will end up playing these mini games for a while and stop when you want to try something else. You go to the next area to try something new and find the same games. It doesn’t make the game bad, but it makes the game much smaller than it initially seems, particularly when the repeated puzzles are the primary things to do in each area. Once you complete five activities, collecting five memories in the process, you will be able to progress to the “big” activity for each region. These are themed around the region you are in. These are the most enjoyable part of the game as they offer some really fun things to do. I spent quite a lot of time with the rock climbing mini game as it was so damn addictive!

There are quite a lot of memories to collect throughout the three regions. Once you build the first round of sand castles, there is another set to build, this time more difficult to construct. The challenge is fun the first time around, but you will have no interest in doing the same thing all over again for the ice castles. The cooking is the same, it is fun with the BBQ, but it quickly becomes boring when you need to do the exact same thing in the other areas.

The visual side of this game is probably one of the most appealing parts of it. Each of the destinations are very colorful and vibrant. The level design is very clean and easy to navigate but at the same time, is well populated and doesn’t seem empty. Everywhere you go, there is something small you can interact with. It shows great attention to detail and gives you a reason to investigate every corner of the map.

THE VERDICT

7/10
Vacation simulator does a great job as a sandbox that shows all of the cool little things you can do with VR. If you have just bought a VR headset and are looking for games to play, this one is well worth picking up. Much like the narrative, this game feels like more of an experiment than an actual game. You won’t sink a lot of hours into it, but in the 5 or 6 hours you spend playing it, you will encounter a huge amount of the cool gameplay elements that make up VR games.
Pros
  • Colorful visual style
  • Makes great use of VR controls
Cons
  • Puzzles are reused