It’s hot in Africa, you can get all sweaty, tropical diseases are rampant and not to mention you could get mauled by a lion. Yeah, best stay home. Step in Virry, the virtual safari. Why would you spend thousands on a real African safari when you can do it from the comfort of your own home?
So Virry isn’t technically a game. It is one of those virtual reality experiences that is designed to throw you into a real life scenario, this one being a sort of safari brought to you by the way of a 360° video. It is definitely designed to be an educational tool for younger children and with me being a big kid, why not jump in headfirst and give it a go?
Virry immerses you into three different areas, all located on the Lewa Downs Wildlife Reserve in Northern Kenya. You have a Woodland region, Savannah region and also a location next to a river. The Woodland and Savannah settings offer unique interactions with a variety of different wildlife whilst trying to inform you about conservation and protection of the animals and also giving you a little snippet of information about each of them. This is done through a narrator and a question that she asks about the life of the specific animal you are viewing.
You can view a total of eight different species of African wildlife, all enjoying some tasty treats that you yourself can place down in front of them by shaking the controller. You can watch an elephant strip leaves off of a branch, a lion that has been tempted over by a chunk of meat, a pair of delightful vervet monkeys that eat a slice of watermelon and even watch a rhino have a mud bath all just inches away from your face. This can all be done through the Woodland and Savannah regions, the River region has no wildlife is designed as a relaxing area, to take some stress away by listening to the babbling river.
All of this sounds delightful enough, if you have had enough of the more intense offerings available for the Playstation VR. It was quite relaxing to just sit and watch the animals do their own thing for a bit. Where I have a problem with Virry though, is that the interactions are way too short. They only last for around a minute or two at the most. I also found the background to be very blurred. When the animals are up close to the camera you can really pick up the detail in the animals faces, but as soon as they start stepping away, or when you are trying to view the elephants off in the distance, it all just becomes a big blurry mess.
Virry also does offer three livestreams to watch however, I couldn’t seem to connect to them.
Virry is an educational tool designed to teach younger children about the conservation of animals and some of the dangers that they face. I could definitely see children being delighted and amazed with Virry. However, with the interactions not being long enough, a lack of real content and the often blurred backgrounds, I really can’t say it is worth £7.99. Sadly, if you really want that Safari experience, you’re going to have to fork out the money, run the risk of getting mauled by a lion and travel to Africa.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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