Game Centered: Virtual Reality on iOS Has Arrived. The Top 5 VR Apps for iPhone.

Now that use of Google's Cardboard VR app is supported on the iPhone, I couldn't wait to order the Cardboard for my iPhone 6 Plus and see what it had to offer. Never having browsed the App Store for Virtual Reality apps that were not previously supported, I was surprised at the breadth of iOS apps that are already available—including many great free offerings. In this week's Game Centered, we'll take a look at a some of the best early entries into the world of VR app on iOS.

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Virtual Reality games have been dominating the gaming headlines of late, and with many of the big name console developers debuting their own versions of VR gear and accompanying games at this week's E3 2015 gaming convention, the topic has never been hotter.

The following are five of the sleekest, most awe-inspiring VR apps currently available in the iOS App Store. It's a new and emerging category, especially on iOS; but now that it's here, I expect to see great strides made in a relatively short period of time as top iOS game developers jump on board. Check back periodically here at iPhone Life to see how this list changes with time, as I am sure it certainly will.

1: Zombie Shooter VR (Free)

Game Centered: Virtual Reality on iOS Has Arrived. The Top 5 VR Apps for iPhone.

Yikes! This game's graphics are great; not console caliber perhaps, but definitely modern and high-def. And what about the content? Zombie Shooter is an on-rails/endless runner, set in a post-apocalyptic subway, where you are trying to stay alive for as long as you can against an ever thickening horde of the undead. As you progress you can improve your weapons and thereby your chances of making it just a little bit further. Aiming and shooting is done by looking at your target, which is where it really gets surreal. Since you have to turn your head and body to see what's creeping up behind you, it becomes an extremely visceral and rather terrifying experience as the zombies attack in greater and greater numbers and with more ferocity with each passing wave. It gets pretty frenetic and the fact that it's so fast-paced and immersive makes it an excellent early entry into the world of VR gaming on iOS

2: Jaunt VR (Free)

Game Centered: Virtual Reality on iOS Has Arrived. The Top 5 VR Apps for iPhone.

I watched a mind-blowing video on the Jaunt VR app; a North Face video of some extreme climbing. Jaunt gave me a 360° spectator's view of the insanity, as climbers scaled sheer mountain walls and hung like monkeys from cliff ledges. It was pretty awe inpiring to say the least! Jaunt's video catalog also boasts a 360° virtual tour of classic rock hit, "Live and Let Die," performed live in concert by former Beatle Paul McCartney, among other content.

As more and more content continues to be created, Jaunt will serve as your portal into the virtual world of 360° stereoscopic video presentations.

3: Solar Realms Rising ($1.99)

Game Centered: Virtual Reality on iOS Has Arrived. The Top 5 VR Apps for iPhone.

In this action game you are adrift in space. That right there is pretty darn cool from a VR perspective. Throughout this game, your tasks change, but gameplay remains fairly consistent throughout (isn't this true with most iOS games though?). In Solar Realms Rising, you start out with an unobstrocted 360° view of space, and you must capture various piece of debris floating nearby in order to repair and then jump through a nearby Stargate portal. Capturing debris is done by positioning yourself just right in 3D space, and then targeting your gaze on the object once you are close enough. While the gameplay mechanics continue in a similar fashion after you've successfully made the Stargate teleport, the scenes changes are enough to make this space-based VR shooter/point-and-click a great way to get your feet wet with VR gaming

 

4: VRSE (Free)

Game Centered: Virtual Reality on iOS Has Arrived. The Top 5 VR Apps for iPhone.

VRSE blew me away with its demo and its potential, even though it doesn't have a huge amount of content on it at the moment. The Evolution video is one of the coolest examples of a VR guided adventure you will find on iOS. You start out suspended above a beautiful and serene lake. You can look all around you, up, down, left, right, and then you hear the train. When you do hear that train, look for it, because it's about to run right over you! Then follow that train as it moves through you and watch as it turns into a flock of birds, then fish, then bats, then ribbons. It is a brief but gripping excursion through the virtual world now at our disposal.

VRSE does have other content, with even more coming soon; but for me, none was as stunning as the Evolution experience. It was so stunning that it put VRSE on this short list!

 

5: Subway Surfing VR ($0.99)

Game Centered: Virtual Reality on iOS Has Arrived. The Top 5 VR Apps for iPhone.

Being a fan of the Subway Surfing genre, my 17-year-old babygirl was eager to try out the first Subway Surfing game in VR. She loved it! It was the kind of game that really had her body moving, as it put the iPhone's gyroscope to good use. To stay on your board as the city subways flood you have to not only look in the direction you want to go, you also have to tilt your head in order to lean forward or backward in your efforts to stay afloat. This is the ultimate casual and light-hearted VR endless runner, and one that anyone who has enjoyed the hugely popular surfing games already available on iOS will likely appreciate. Subway Surfing VR also conveniently allows you to play on your iPhone or iPad in standard touchscreen mode, for those times when you don't have, or don't want to use your Cardboard gear.

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Dig Om's picture

As Senior Gear Editor at iPhone Life, Dig reports on the latest and greatest accessories built for the iOS ecosystem. From rugged gear and Bluetooth speakers, to headphones, unique iDevice cases, and iOS remote controlled vehicles, Dig's articles cover a wide range of great gear for the iPhone and iPad. A core gamer for over three decades, Dig also writes iPhone Life's Game Centered column, which focuses on the best iOS games and game related news. Additionally, Dig's company, iDoc Tech Support, offers web design and administration services as well as iPhone and iPad repairs. When not at his work desk, Dig loves spending time with family and enjoying the wonders of nature. You can follow him on Twitter @idoctech