The Spice and Wolf VR games that I recently covered were neat, if short, VR experiences based on the anime of the same name. Whilst they lacked a certain degree of interactivity, you couldn’t deny how good they looked and how charming the characters were. Having played both, I was eager for some more despite the high price tag.

Unfortunately, there are no more than two of those games on the Nintendo Switch. On the bright side, the publisher Gemdrops also created another couple of VR anime experiences on the Switch based on the Laid-Back Camp anime (also known as Yuru Camp). Whilst I have zero familiarity with this either, I was still keen to strap on that cardboard for some more anime action.

Many thanks to Gemdrops for the review code.

Screenshot

Lake Motosu tells the story of two girls going on a camping trip to the titular lake in order to see the iconic Mt Fuji and spend some quality time together. You play as Nadeshiko, a chirpy pink-haired girl with a love for the mountain and all things natural – much to the dismay of her far more sedate companion, Rin.

Much like the Spice and Wolf VR games, you find yourself rooted to the spot throughout the duration of the game. It feels far more natural here though, as both girls are sat by the lake and “winter sunbathing” as they pass the time together. Instead of feeling like your character is superglued to their seat as everyone wanders around them, this situation seems far more believable.

The flip side of this is that there isn’t a story going on around you like in those games; in fact, there’s not really a story here at all. Your character is here to relax, and the game consists of you interacting with objects by looking at them and usually chatting to Rin about them. It feels far more immersive as a result, especially as you’re actually able to do things like take photos and even make some minor dialogue choices on the rare occasion. It’s not a lot, but it’s far more satisfying than sitting down listening to things going on around you.

It helps that the presentation of the game is top notch, with the visuals being especially gorgeous. The anime characters don’t feel all that out of place in the more realistic setting, making the location feel quite believable as a result. The dialogue and voice acting too is great, and I really felt drawn towards the two characters and their differing personalities.

It’s still quite a short title, with playthroughs being dependant on how quickly you progress to the next stage of the day. In theory you could probably blast through the whole thing in about ten minutes, but spending more time to interact with everything around you will probably stretch that to closer to forty. Not exactly lengthy by any means, especially as the game lacks any real replay value or additional modes, but it still feels like a nice compact VR experience. 

Image

After enjoying the Spice and Wolf VR titles, I was glad to find out that the publisher had more similar titles available. Lake Motosu is a far superior title, however, as it offers a far more interactive and immersive experience. It may still be short and quite pricey, but owners of Labo VR may want to look at picking this up.