When there is so much on your plate, a serving of escapism can be just what you need. Being able to get away for a while, in a healthy and conscious manner, is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. It’s why the video game industry is worth billions of dollars. It’s why Dungeons & Dragons is making a mainstream comeback. An argument could be made for any hobby. Having the time to smell the roses might be a luxury, but it’s clear people prioritize the need. Of course, no one ever said those roses had to be real. Enter Perfect. While virtual reality is starting to be known for its therapeutic uses, nDream’s game shows how the medium continues to be a source of stress relief.
nDream bills Perfect as an experience game. From the demonstration video seen above, one can assume that means a game without a plot or conflict. This is what makes it different from similar games like Dear Esther, in which the player explores a beach while listening to an unfolding narrative. This isn’t to say that Perfect doesn’t have gameplay, but what is there is minimal. The player is able to interact with the game world. They can throw rocks into a lake, or knock coconuts down from a tree. While there is no story to tell, the developers did promise Easter eggs for the player to find.
There are three environments a player can escape to. A tropical beach, a lakeside mountain cabin, and a winter scene complete with snowballs to throw around. A player can’t explore by walking to a location. Instead, they teleport between established waypoints. The stylized graphics are suitably gorgeous as well, as they should be in an immersive experience. In fact, an additional feature the game offers is being able to play a user’s Spotify playlists in-game. nDream calls Perfect “accessible” and “captivating,” and it seems to deliver on those adjectives. It doesn’t promise a sweeping plot or hard-won victories. It is what it is: somewhere a player can disappear to for a little while.
Perfect Isn’t Perfect
Perfect shows the potential of future VR experiences that could be used as a source of stress relief. This is a welcome feature. While the game as a whole is a simple experience, there are a number of ways that the game can be improved in order to keep up with its competition.
For one, being able to actually explore the environs, instead of porting from one standstill to another, would create for a more immersive experience.