Remember that Flappy Bird game? The one-hit wonder that sent people into a manic craze? I remember it because it was a bore to play. I snatched my employee’s phone from her hands, gave the game 10 seconds of my time, then confiscated the phone because my employee shouldn’t have had it on the shop floor. Don’t worry, she got it back at the end of the day… I’m not completely evil.
My point is that Leave the Nest is basically the same game, though with a few of its own twists, but in VR. You play the game from a first-person perspective, though if you look downwards you’ll actually see your little bird’s head. Confusing? Just a little. As expected, it’s an endless runner-style game, though you don’t run. Obviously.
Now, the real hook with Leave the Nest is that you need to actually move your arms a fair bit to get flying. Bear with me and I’ll explain. Using two PS Move wands in tandam, you’ll need to flap your arms like a bird. Doing so gives your little critter some height, while stopping will cause it to fall downwards. See where this is going? You need to become the bird, man!
To be fair, this was a silly bit of fun. Stood in my living room with just my underwear (I was hot) and the PSVR headset over my head, I must have looked a right fool while flapping my arms wildly, shouting whilst I did so. By the time I died (in-game, not real life…) I was sweating like hell and my shoulders were absolutely aching. Is that a good thing? Yeah, I’m guessing it is. I exercised… On a side note: You don’t have to use the PS Move wands to play Leave the Nest; you can just use the DualShock 4 controller. However, I found it much more fun to be stood up flapping away like a goon rather than sitting down tapping a button. That’s just me.
As you can imagine, the game has you flying forwards along an endless pre-determined track. Your job is to stay aloft as long as possible while avoiding the dangers and collecting them sweet, sweet coins. It also helps that you’re constantly being given challenges in order to get a reward, though sometimes the challenges felt either too easy or far too hard. Think of them like Jetpack Joyride’s challenges and you’ll get the picture.
The gameplay itself can be a little hit-or-miss, too. Instead of the game it’s aping, Leave the Nest has three lanes that you need to switch between. A simply tap of a button and you’ll find yourself in the corresponding lane. Simple enough, though sometimes the game still fails you. I swear I had numerous times where I was 99.99% sure I had moved lanes in time, only for the game to inform me I’ve lost and must start over. A little annoying, but not the end of the world.
I can’t see Leave the Nest being the next big thing and it definitely won’t be your go-to game when you’re hankering for a PSVR fix, but it’s a fun enough game to throw out with a few mates. Challenging some friends in a pass-the-headset multiplayer fashion is simple enough, but it’s watching that person go from gracefully flapping their arms to going mental trying to stay up in the air. It’s silly, it’s simple. It’s not a graphical showcase for the PSVR as a platform, but the graphics are nice enough with a decent variety of levels based upon different themes (Christmas, Halloween, etc, etc).
It won’t be a mainstay and I doubt you’d get more than a couple of hours out of it if you’re playing alone, but with a few mates round I can see this being some goofy fun for those that invest.
Leave the Nest PS4/PSVR Review
Leave the Nest is basically Flappy Bird re-imagined as a 3D VR game. That's not a bad thing, mind, as it does what it sets out to do. On the other hand, it doesn't have a very long shelf life, but I reckon it's one the crack out when you've got a few people around.
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*Reviewed using a PS4 Slim.