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From horror fests to shoot-’em-ups, here are the 20 best Oculus Rift games

The Oculus Rift had a tough go of it out of the gate. Delayed shipments and a sparse library of games made its first six months on the market rocky, to say the least. Then, in late 2016, the delayed Oculus Touch controllers arrived, upping the impressiveness of most games by giving players full motion control with each hand.

Now, well into its second year of life, the Oculus Rift continues to impress with a steady stream of solid experiences. From first-person shooters to frightful psychological horror games to quirky puzzlers to co-op games, the platform has something for everyone. We’ve combed through its library to compile the best Oculus Rift games available on the VR headset today.

Lone Echo

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Numerous VR experiences have attempted to capture the feeling of floating in space, but the Oculus exclusive title Lone Echo is the only one to do it in a way that feels accurate.

In reality, most of your actions involve simple maintenance fixes to a space station, but through the excellent Oculus Touch controllers, all of your movements have an immersion to them that few VR games have been able to replicate thus far. With a strong sci-fi story and a wonderfully realized space setting, Lone Echo‘s several hours of play are the best way to visit space from your living room. Amazon

Wilson’s Heart

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One of the more ambitious Oculus Rift games to date, Wilson’s Heart serves up psychological horror through the immersive experience of VR.

Set in the 1940s, the game follows hospital patient Robert Wilson, who wakes up only to realize that his heart has been replaced by a perplexing device. You play as Wilson, but you’re not the only one with disturbing woes. As you make your way down spooky, tight corridors, you’ll meet an eccentric cast of characters, all of whom want to find out how and why they have been poked and prodded by the dastardly hospital staff.

Full of jump scares and eerie realizations, Wilson’s Heart makes great use of the Touch controllers to get you into the thick of its mind-altering horrors. Amazon

Superhot VR

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Conceived as an alternate expression of experimental first-person shooter Superhot, Superhot VR adapts the stop-motion mechanic to your arms as you wield Oculus Touch controllers. When you move your hands around, the bullets rain in from enemies, but if you stop to consider your next move, you’ll receive a welcome bullet remission.

The goal remains the same — to advance to the exit in each room — but in VR, the intensity is amplified. Dismembering foes in VR will get your blood pumping. You must move your hands methodically to succeed, but Superhot VR‘s ingenious design makes it a constant delight.

Amazon

Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives

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A testament to how VR excels at turning menial tasks into engaging, even sometimes transformative experiences, Owlchemy Labs’ Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives pretty much plays as advertised. Yet, the mundane becomes fascinating in VR. Who would have thought?

The year is 2050, and humans have automated every job. To spice up your unburdened human life, you can now use a VR headset to simulate what “honest work” was all about. You can ring up chips and drinks as a convenience store clerk, fix cars as a mechanic, man the griddle as a short-order cook, or process paperwork as a run-of-the-mill 9-to-5 office worker.

Of course, this is what robots thought work was like, so it may be different and much funnier than you remember. Amazon

The Unspoken

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This is the closest you can get to being a wizard at home. Oculus exclusive The Unspoken from heralded developer Insomniac Games does an exceedingly impressive job of making you feel like you’re doing a lot of wizarding work without demanding much of you. The Unspoken is an urban fantasy filled with customizable wizards and spell casters, and you just happen to be one of them.

The wide array of spells deployed via Oculus Touch controllers almost feel as if they are truly being guided from your fingertips. There’s some exploration here and a dreary game world, but the meat of the experience comes from the duels that help you advance through the ranks of a wizard fight club. Unlike the fight club you’re thinking of, it’s okay to talk about this one.

We recommend you play it, too. Amazon

Star Trek: Bridge Crew

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Quite possibly the best multiplayer VR experience to date, Star Trek: Bridge Crew lets users play out their childhood fantasies of joining the likes of James T. Kirk, Montgomery Scott, Hikaru Sulu, and Pavel Chekov as a member of a Starfleet crew.

Players work in teams of four, with each person in one of four roles — pilot, engineer, tactician, or captain. Each job — best acted out with an Oculus Touch controller, but playable with an Xbox One controller — asks players to tinker with a computer panel. Bridge Crew excels as a cooperative game due to the need to work together to find success. It really does feel like you’re living inside an episode of Star Trek.

Simply put, if you have a group to play with, Bridge Crew should be at the top of your wish list. Amazon

Robo Recall

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Originally designed as a pack-in game for the Oculus Touch controllers, Robo Recall is a frantic shoot-em-up designed to make it easy for you to look cool while blowing robots to bits. You play as Agent 34 of the robot manufacturing company RoboReady.

Your job at the company is to remove defective units from the production line, but a virus has turned the robots against their creators, and now you must take them out. While Robo Recall boils down to a series of timed shooting galleries, it’s much more interesting than your average on rails FPS. You can pick up enemies and fling them into other robots with a swipe of your hand, and you can even catch bullets in the air and whirl them back to turn the infected robots into nothing more than a pile of parts. Robo Recall shows off the brilliance of the Oculus Touch controllers.

Best of all, it’s free-to-play. Oculus

Arizona Sunshine

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One of the only full-fledged first person shooters available in VR, Arizona Sunshine drops you into the smoldering heat of an American Southwest that is currently littered with zombies. Using the Oculus Touch, you can aim, shoot, and reload dozens of weapons.

More open than other shooters in VR, Arizona Sunshine has a campaign mode that lets players explore the deserts and caves in search of an escape. After the campaign is finished, there are both single- and multiplayer horde modes, which force you to fight off hordes of the undead. Arizona Sunshine is a fast-paced gore-fest filled with bloodied, hungry zombies. It’s slick and demonstrates how the Oculus Rift can deliver complete packages with multiple game modes.

Amazon

Chronos

For people used to playing traditional video games and looking to ease into the world of VR, Chronos is a great option. An easy comparison is Dark Souls. It’s a game full of pitched sword duels in which you have to carefully land blows and defend against the attacks of your foes to stay alive. Chronos eschews the usual VR approach of the first-person viewpoint — in which you see the game through the eyes of the character you’re playing as — in favor of the third-person view, where you watch and control the action from a separate perspective, much like a camera recording an event. Oculus

Edge of Nowhere

Insomniac Games took a stab at doing horror in virtual reality in a way that’s different from nearly every other game of that genre on the platform.

Rather than go the usual route, using a first-person perspective that has you playing as if you’re in the shoes (and seeing through the eyes) of the protagonist, it puts the camera behind the main character, just like in Chronos.

The result is a more psychological, stealthy take on horror. Edge of Nowhere is another of those VR games that feels like it could easily exist as a more traditional game, but it does some experimentation with the platform to find new ways to scare players.

Oculus

The new Wyze Cam v2 is still only $20

CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page.

Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!

New model, same price: £20. What!

Wyze Labs

There are good deals, and then there are stupid-good deals. No-brainer deals.

How-can-that-possibly-be-so-cheap? deals. Today’s deal is all of the above. Remember the WyzeCam?

I named it one of my favorite tech deals of 2017, though with the lurking suspicion that it must be too good to be true. Sure, they’ll get us hooked on this cheap model, then hike up the price on the next one. Or start charging for cloud storage.

Or secretly sell footage to “America’s Funniest Home Security Videos.” Nope, nope and (as far as I know) nope. The Wyze Cam v2 is here — or at least available for preorder, with delivery expected by the end of this month — and although it has a few notable improvements and a new space in its name, the price hasn’t changed.

It’s still, impossibly, £19.99. Shipping adds £6, but gets a little cheaper if you buy more than one unit.

Same form-factor, better innards

Like the original, the Wyze Cam v2 is a cute little white cube (now with a glare-reducing matte finish) with a built-in adjustable stand. Wyze supplies adhesive metal and magnetic plates so you can mount it just about anywhere, no screws required.

You also get a 6-foot Micro-SB© USB power cord and AC adapter. (Particularly cool: You can daisy-chain up to three cameras off the same power supply, allowing for close to 360-degree monitoring if you arrange them in a circle.) The v2’s 110-degree wide-angle lens can capture 1080p (HD) video, though you can also toggle into SD mode if need be. That lens is powered by a “powerful new CMOS sensor,” one that promises better image quality in both daytime and nighttime video.

Also new: motion-tagging, which “detects and highlights motion” in both live-streaming and playback modes. In other words, now you can zero in much more quickly on any movement in your videos — helpful for viewing on small screens. Speaking of which, your phone or tablet can snap a photo or record video, but if you want continuous or time-lapse recording, you’ll need to pop a microSD card into the camera’s slot.

And the camera still requires an app for viewing, recording, setup and the like — you can’t yet access your video feed via a browser. Because it supports night vision (thanks to four infrared LEDs), you could set one up in, say, a front or back window for 24-hour home-security purposes. The app can alert you when the camera detects motion or sound, and it will automatically cloud-save 14 days’ worth of detection-alert videos — at no extra charge.

Finally, the Wyze Cam v2 incorporates both a speaker and a microphone, meaning you can use it as an intercom. A new audio chip promises to “significantly [reduce] TDD interference and EMI,” whatever those are.

OK, so what doesn’t £20 buy you?

I haven’t had the chance to test-drive a v2 yet, but I do have some experience with the first-gen. It’s an amazing little camera, one that works more or less as advertised — though, like the v2, it’s limited to 10 frames per second (fps), which means you don’t get silky-smooth video even under optimal circumstances.

It’s good enough, just not stellar. What’s more, the camera can’t pan or tilt, and its zoom capabilities are strictly digital (up to 8x). It’s not waterproof, either, so I wouldn’t recommend rigging one up on your porch.

The truly remarkable thing is that Wyze Labs managed to make small but useful improvements to the camera without raising the price a single penny. Needless to say, it’s already on the short list for Best Tech Deals of 2018. Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: Have you seen “Black Panther” yet?

Neither have I, but it’s at the top of my list. Assuming you’re not already seeing it for “free” via MoviePass or Sinemia, here’s your chance to get a ticket on the cheap. For a limited time, you can get any movie ticket for £5 when you install the Atom Tickets app and use code FEBMOVIES at checkout.

This is for new users only, and it’s good for just one ticket per user. (There may be other limitations and restrictions as well.

And as with any such app, be sure to check the company’s privacy and data-use policies.)

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' arrives in March on Blu-ray, digital

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is coming to your TV in March.

Disney/Lucasfilm

The Rebellion is reborn! The latest chapter in the Star Wars saga is coming to your living room next month, so get ready to pore over every detail and have all those arguments all over again. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” arrives March 13 in digital stores like iTunes (in HD and 4K Ultra HD) and via Disney’s Movies Anywhere service.

Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and cable on-demand editions will arrive on March 27, Disney announced on Tuesday. These home video versions of “The Last Jedi” include bonus features such as “The Director and the Jedi,” a journey into the creation of the movie with writer-director Rian Johnson, as well as audio commentary and tons more. Here’s the full list of bonus features, which may vary from version to version, direct from the Star Wars website:

  • The Director and the Jedi: Go deep behind the scenes with writer-director Rian Johnson on an intimate and personal journey through the production of the movie — and experience what it’s like to helm a global franchise and cultural phenomenon.
  • Balance of the Force: Explore the mythology of the Force and why Rian Johnson chose to interpret its role in such a unique way.
  • Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle: Get a close-up look at the epic space battle, from the sounds that help propel the action, through the practical and visual effects, to the characters who bring it all to life.
  • Snoke and Mirrors: Motion capture and Star Wars collide as the filmmakers take us through the detailed process of creating the movie’s malevolent master villain.
  • Showdown on Crait: Break down everything that went into creating the stunning world seen in the movie’s final confrontation, including the interplay between real-word locations and visual effects, reimagining the walkers, designing the crystal foxes, and much more.
  • Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only): Writer-director Rian Johnson presents two exclusive sequences from the movie featuring Andy Serkis’ riveting, raw on-set performance before his digital makeover into Snoke.
  • Deleted scenes: With an introduction and optional commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.
  • Audio commentary: View the movie with in-depth feature audio commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.

Here’s a trailer:

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” packages include the multiscreen edition (Blu-ray and a digital copy), the 4K Ultra HD Collector’s Edition (4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and a digital copy) as well as Best Buy and Target retailer exclusives.

The 4K Ultra HD version features Dolby Vision HDR paired with Dolby Atmos audio.

How to take a screenshot on a Galaxy S8, S7, Note, or any other Android device

Taking a snapshot of your Android phone’s screen is easy, and there are all sorts of situations where a screenshot could come in handy, whether you want to share your home screen with friends or obtain pictorial proof of your latest high score. This guide covers the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, S7, S7 Edge, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 2, and Galaxy Note as examples. We also included a guide to taking a screenshot on any other device using Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean (4.1, 4.2, 4.3), KitKat (4.4), Android 5.0 Lollipop, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Android 7.0 Nougat, and Android 8.0 Oreo (that’s most of them).

How to take a screenshot on a Galaxy device by swiping the screen

Taking a screenshot on the Galaxy S8 — or almost any other Galaxy phone — with a swipe of your hand is easy.

  1. Set your hand vertically on either side of the screen, and shape it like you are karate-chopping the phone.
  2. Horizontally swipe across the screen like your hand is a photo scanner.
  3. You should hear the camera shutter, see a screenshot move across the screen, and receive a notification that a picture has been saved to the gallery.
  4. It may take a few tries.

This technique works with the following devices, as well as most Samsung phones that came out after 2013.

The Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy Note 4, and Galaxy Note 3.

How to check if “Palm swipe to capture” is enabled on your Galaxy

If you can’t get it to work, you may have to enable the swipe feature in Settings.

  1. Open Settings > Advanced features. On some older phones it will be Settings > Motions and gestures (in the Motion category).
  2. Tick the Palm swipe to capture box.
  3. Close the menu and find the screen you want to capture.
  4. Enjoy!

How to take a screenshot using a button shortcut

Not everyone is a fan of gesture controls. Thankfully, most Android phones offer a more tactile method for capturing a screenshot.

  1. Press the Power and Home buttons at the same time.
  2. Hold both buttons for a second, until you hear a shutter sound or see a visual indicating a picture has been taken.
  3. This can be awkward to get right.

    You need to hold the Power button slightly before pressing the Home button, then hold them both down.

This technique works with the following devices, along with pretty much any Samsung phone that has a Home button. The Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Zoom, Galaxy S4 Active, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Mega 6.3, Galaxy Tab 3 Pro, Galaxy S4 Mini, and Galaxy S3. If you have a Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, or S8 Plus, which don’t have a physical Home button, then the key combination is a little different:

  1. Press and hold the Power and Volume down buttons at the same time.
  2. Hold both buttons for a second, until you hear a shutter sound or see a visual indicating a picture has been taken.
  3. You need to hold the Power button slightly before pressing the Volume down button, then hold them both down.

How to take a screenshot on a Note using the S Pen

This technique is available on the Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note 3, and other Samsung devices with an S Pen.

To take a screenshot this way you have to open the Air Command menu, which you can do by pulling out the S Pen stylus, or by hovering the pen over the screen and clicking the button on it.

  1. Select Screen Write from the Air Command options to take a screenshot.
  2. You can then write notes on top of the image. There are options in the top toolbar to change your pen color and size if you want to get creative. You can also erase or undo strokes and there is a Crop option at the bottom.
  3. When you’re finished, tap Share or Save at the bottom.

How to take a screenshot on any other Android device

Taking a screenshot on any other Android phone or tablet — as in, one that is not a Samsung device — is also pretty easy.

The method varies slightly from one model to the next, however, the following method should work on all non-Samsung Android phones running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or later.

  1. Press the Power button and Volume down key at the same time.
  2. Hold them down until you hear an audible click or a screenshot sound.

    You should also see a small capture animation.

  3. You will get a notification that your screenshot was captured, and that you can share or delete it.
  4. By default, your screenshots are saved in your Photos or Gallery app in a separate Screenshots folder.

For ancient Android phones, such as those running 2.3 Gingerbread, you need to head over to the Google Play Store, where there are several apps that will capture a screenshot on your behalf. Screenshot Easy and Screenshot ER are popular choices, but may require you to root your phone.

You can also take a look at No Root Screenshot It, if you don’t want to root your device.

Editors’ Recommendations

Watch a drone lose control and crash onto Apple Park’s solar roof

[embedded content] Drone flyovers have been offering us a look at the steady development of Apple Park — Apple’s striking new headquarters — ever since construction workers broke ground on the project a couple of years ago.

Monthly updates from the site in Cupertino, California, came from a number of drone pilots, among them Matthew Roberts, whose most recent outing revealed that Apple has pretty much completed work on its so-called “spaceship” campus, save for a bit of landscaping. This week Roberts posted a flyover video that’s a little different to his usual work, as it tells the story of another pilot who recently lost his quadcopter while trying to capture footage of Apple Park. The unnamed operator told Roberts that his machine suddenly fell from the sky during a flight, and asked if he could help him to locate it.

Roberts obliged, taking his own drone on a flight over the campus, this time on the hunt for another quadcopter rather than dramatic footage of the remarkable donut-shaped building that forms the centerpiece of Apple’s new headquarters. Roberts’ video includes the actual crash footage (above), a cached version pulled from the pilot’s mobile device. It shows POV footage of the drone flying over the campus before suddenly and inexplicably falling from the sky and landing on Apple’s solar roof.

Next, we see footage from Roberts’ drone as he goes in search of the precise location of the crashed machine. We discover it apparently intact and seemingly lodged in between some of the panels. No attempt is made to recover the damaged drone, though we’ve seen it done before — some efforts more successful than others — using tethers and hooks.

During the construction phase of Apple Park, there were obviously far fewer people on site and many of the flyovers were made during quiet times of the week.

Now with thousands of Apple employees wandering about the campus, the company may not be so happy to have drones flying overhead, with this latest episode highlighting how things can sometimes go badly wrong in the air.

You never know, if any more drones come down on the campus, we might start hearing reports of even more Apple employees walking into glass walls as they look skyward for the malfunctioning flying machines.

Editors’ Recommendations

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