My journey into VR has felt like a bit of a wild one over the past few years. Starting with Nintendo Labo VR, which I now consider to be akin to a gateway drug, I was sucked in by the surprising level of immersion the platform offers and found myself longing for more. That soon led me to the PSVR for some more fully fledged titles, and now finally to the Meta Quest 3m which is the latest in wireless, pc-less, VR headsets. 

Which is why The Elite Institute is now making VR, specifically the Meta Quest 3, one of the key pillars for the site moving forward. The others will still receive plenty of support, but now we have one more platform to add into the mix.

So, without further ado, we’re pleased to introduce our first review for the Meta Quest 3: Sky Climb.

Many thanks to VR Monkey for the review code.

FLYING HIGH
Despite what the title says, Sky Climb isn’t so much focused on climbing as it is flinging. Taking control of what is effectively a monitor with hands, you need to grab onto the squishy blocks floating around the world and use them to launch yourself to another until you can slap the evil out of the guardian waiting for you at the stage’s goal.

It’s a simple premise and, whilst there is some narrative included about restoring balance, it’s almost completely inconsequential. There are eight worlds for you to traverse, each with their own thematically appropriate boss for you to take out, but you won’t really care as to why. It all looks sharp and colourful, and that’s all you really need as you try and fling yourself to the end as fast as possible. 

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That may sound simple on paper, but there’s a surprising amount of depth to the mechanics here. The squishy block can be pulled down to and used to propel yourself forwards, with the game detecting your positioning and sends you flying with an impressive amount of accuracy. Once you’re up, you can use your arms to soar through the air by holding your arms apart, flapping them for brief flight, and diving rapidly by bringing them together. It works quite well, and can be quite physically exhausting – although that could just be down to my low level of fitness! Stringing these al together is what will help you get to the end, although you do have to be careful not to stay airborne too long or your arms will pop and force you to restart from the last checkpoint.

And you will need to restart a lot since this game is incredibly tough. With enemies to avoid, as well as your flight, getting to the end gets surprisingly pretty tough. There are 74 stages to get through, which should be manageable with persistence, but earning the highest rating by beating them fast can be incredibly hard and seem borderline unfair.

But that is because the game is training you to be a better flinger, and wants you to learn how to get through the levels fast. That’s because the real enjoyment in Sky Climb lies in the multiplayer mode, which attempts to recreate a Fall Guys style experience by pitting you against a couple of dozen opponents in a race to the finish. It’s manic, it’s tough, but it’s also a hell of a lot of fun. Finding matches with enough people can prove tough at times, but VR Monkey’s decision to include bots helps to ensure that you’re likely to be able to find at least something.

In addition to the main game modes, I was pleased to find out that the game also has a pretty straightforward level creator for you to mess around with. Using your controllers, you can select objects to place in a 3D grid and place appropriately in order to design your own platforming challenge. With the various world themes at your disposal, and even a mixed reality mode that will help you to relax as you design stages in the comfort of your own surroundings, it’s a great bonus addition. Whilst the game has so much content that I’ll be unlikely to make my own creations, it’s nice to see it included nevertheless.

Of course, you can also customise your own climber in order to stand out from all the other online players, and there’s a nice assortment of colours, heads, and faces on offer for you to both unlock and use to help vary up your character. My personal favourite looked a little bit like the computer from Job Simulator, but there’s a decent selection here for you to create something for your own tastes.

VERDICT
Sky Climb is a really charming, but tough, aerial platformer that will keep you occupied for hours as you work through the game’s many colourful levels. With the real fun being in the multiplayer, this meaty campaign really is just the training grounds for a more manic race to the finish against others. With an affordable price tag, it’s definitely worth adding to your catalogue if you’re after some Fall Guys style fun in VR.