games / Previews

Buddy Adventures: Attack of the Wompas Preview

June 1, 2018 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Buddy Adventures

Recently, the staff at the virtual reality entertainment studio, Rocket Worldwide, invited me to their LA offices to check out their new VR game, Buddy Adventures: Attack of the Wompas. This is a new virtual reality based game that offers an interactive family gaming experience that looks to be an interesting gateway platform for young gamers and also a game that families can play with their kids together.

The game features a heroic dog named Buddy, and players assume the role of a friend of Buddy to protect him from being captured by nefarious, mischievous creatures called Wompas. The Wompas are basically like rock creatures or rock trolls, and they are trying to capture Buddy to make him the pet for the Wompa King. So, the player has to grab a variety of Wompas to free Buddy and stop the Wompas.

The demo I got to play for Buddy Adventures was an early alpha build for the VIVE headset. So, it was still clearly a work-in-progress. But the demo did have some charm to it. Buddy Adventures is basically like an open-world platform adventure game. The look and style is a little reminiscent of classic platformers for the N64, such as Banjo-Kazooie and Mario 64.

The world map in the gameplay demo, while not super-detailed, was pretty wide open and had a lot of space to explore and move around in to get the lay of the land. At the start of the demo, Buddy and the player have to escape by ziplining in VR, which kids will more than likely enjoy. However, Buddy is soon captured and imprisoned on a totem. The player then has to gather his weapons, evade the Wompa troops, battle them and then duel it out with a cargo train.

The main objective of the demo was to disable the cargo train. Early on, the player is able to get a crossbow weapon. However, there is only a finite amount of ammo. Exploration is necessary to discover and find more ammo, of which there are varying types. You can even launch watermelons. There is also a traditional bow and arrow that can be found, which requires a bit more simulated movement to fire. Players will essentially pantomime notching, then raising and loosing the bow and arrow.

The challenge here is that the Wompas can be quite formidable. They can be shot to pieces, but then they reassemble themselves and continue to attack the player. They will relentlessly pursue the player throughout the gameplay map and the fortress-like structures.

Buddy Adventures is clearly a game built for younger audiences. It looks to be a fairly simple premise and setup, but the game also looks like a good way to help usher in younger children into gaming. Buddy Adventures looks appropriate for most ages, and it will likely be a type of game experience parents can enjoy with their children. Additionally, Buddy looks like a fun gaming mascot character who kids will like to have fun adventures with.

The demo did have some moments that were rough around the edges, but as an early build, my hope is that the final product will be more polished. For example, the players will have access to a sword and other melee weapons for the final build. Some melee tools will likely help with the combat when the Wompas swarming the player in crowds.

Buddy Adventures: Attack of the Wompas from Rocket Worldwide will be playable on Oculus, Vive and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. It’s currently shooting for a summer 2018 release. More details on the official launch will be revealed later on.