Tower Tag, a multiplayer PVP first person shooter from VR-Nerds that was designed from the ground up to be enjoyed as a group experience, continues to flourish in the VR esports scene.
Featuring futuristic-style laser battles atop virtual towers, Tower Tag has a gameplay mode similar to Capture the Flag. Players on each team (3v3) try to take out their opponents while also capturing towers throughout the map.
“The core value of Tower Tag is the same as all great video games going all the way back to Pong and Super Mario Brothers,” states Nima Zeighami, Regional Manager (America) for VR Nerds.
Zeighami says the game is easy to pick up, but nearly impossible to master.
“That latter point is the reason it has flourished in the VR esports scene. The skill ceiling is very high, and the best players shatter what we thought was possible once or twice a year.”
VR Nerds consists of a group of VR enthusiasts who also develop software, produce mixed reality content, and help companies with training and VR events. The Hamburg, Germany-based company created Tower Tag exclusively for arcades and amusement parks.
Awards and Events
Since the game became available to the public in February 2018, it has continued to develop a following and gain attention in the industry, particularly among European and Asian markets.
CA Sega became an official distributor for the location-based game when Tower Tag was introduced to the Tokyo Joypolis amusement park in 2018. It was the first competitive VR game at the Tokyo location. CA Sega Joypolis is a subsidiary of China Animations Character Co., a Chinese company that controls amusement parks such as Joypolis.
Then, at the German Computer Game Awards 2019 in Berlin earlier this year, Tower Tag received the award for Best Game Design. This was a particular honor considering the fact that the game prevailed over games for all systems, not just VR games. The 32-member jury chose VR Nerd’s Tower Tag out of 272 submissions.
More recently Tower Tag was featured at the 11th Annual China Animation Expo as part of the “5G+VR Esports” exhibition with Shenzhen Media Group. The game was selected to demonstrate competitive VR gaming as well as the enhanced sensory experience possible through virtual reality.
During the VR tournament at the Animation Expo in Shenzhen, the top 16 teams competed for cash prizes of 100,000 Chinese Yuan (approximately 13,000 Euros / 14,000 USD). Of course winning teams also received fame and honor as well as awards such as “The Best Dressed Team” and “The Best Team Spirit Team.” Prior to the competition, teams were able to visit training locations in Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen to prepare for the event.
Training is essential for the competitive VR esports teams, whether they’re playing in location-based environments or online events. Competitive VR games are similar to traditional sports that require teamwork, endurance, skill, and knowledge of the intricacies in a game.
“Physical endurance and speed are core elements to the experience, whether it’s due to dodging laser bolts flying at you, pulling yourself between towers to improve your tactical situation, or getting into better position to surround your opponents,” explains Zeighami.
As the technology continues to advance and we’re able to combine the physical aspects of sport with the immersive environments of virtual reality, it will be fascinating to discover what other ways players can shatter skill ceilings or even perceived limitations about competitive v-sports.
Although Tower Tag is currently offered in only a few locations throughout North America, the game continues to develop a following and more arcades are offering the experience to customers.
VR Nerds will continue to look for partnerships so that they can announce bigger Tower Tag tournaments as the world of VR esports continues to grow.
According to Zeighami, the goal is “always to raise the bar.”
To find a location near you that features Tower Tag, visit the website. Arcade owners can also reach out for information about bringing the game into their arcade. For the latest information about upcoming Tower Tag events and tournaments, stay tuned to VR Fitness Insider. We’ll continue to post articles about this game and events will be featured on our calendar.