Let me start by saying, that without any doubt, Hot Dogs, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades is the best virtual reality sandbox shooters I've ever seen. Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades or H3VR for short, is a room-scale sandbox shooter video game for HTC Vive that was designed to take a full use of HTC Vive motion controller to bring you a one-of-a-kind room scale VR experience.
You can't just describe this game in a few words because it has so many things that this game does differently than a conventional shooter. For example, you can check out the shooting range and blow things up with a large variety of guns, pistols, grenades, explosives and what not. Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades features both historical weapons alongside some modern and crazy futuristic weapons.
The great thing about H3VR is how you interact with all the objects available in front of you. H3VR features really unique but intuitive controls using the Vive motion controllers. The Vive motion controllers are rendered as colorful lines that show you the positioning of the Vive controllers and its buttons in the virtual scene, but at the same time don't obscure your vision or interfere with the innovative weapon's operational mechanics in VR.
Along the many interactions, there are two main interactions that describe how you hold the weapons, one for long term holding and one for the short term. So for example, you can pick up a gun and continue holding it by pressing the rear button on the controller, the gun will be bound to your virtual hand until you release it by pressing the side button. Alternatively, you can pick up a magazine by pressing and holding the trigger button, upon releasing the button, the magazine will drop. The same intuitive interaction works with all the other objects in the game, like throwing grenades, lighting dynamites with a lighter or matches and throwing them at a target, putting a shell into a shotgun and flipping it shut and fire it, then you can just take the ammo shells out from the gun by just pulling them out. You can even rotate the weapon back so the shells fall out of it. As you can see in the video, you can even duplicate ammo, which is useful if you intend to do a lot of shooting with a shotgun for example, but you can't duplicate guns due to performance reasons (lots of polygons there after all).
H3VR features a very large variety of weapons, some of them have different handling mechanics. For example, with a revolver, you first need to open the cylinder and load ammo into it (make sure you duplicate some rounds first), make a snap movement to close it, press down on the touchpad to lock the hammer down, and press the trigger to shoot. This is one of the great things about the game, each gun operates in a slightly different way, and it mimics the operation of the gun as in the real world, making shooting with the weapons much more fun and immersive - probably one of the most realistic weapon handling in a game you have ever experienced. Some gamers might see it in a negative way because it's not a simple grab-and-shoot mechanics. If that's what you are looking for, maybe this game isn't for you (but please continue reading).
Even the menu system, it's very intuitive and supports various commands depend on the mode you are playing. For example, if you are in the shooting range, you can use the teleport command to teleport to a specific place, retrieve far-away objects, reset the scene, etc. You can also attach various types of attachments and scopes.
There are multiple shooting and demolition ranges, some are more realistic, others, well, aren't. Of course, this game is mostly about shooting and blowing things up into pieces, and H3VR does that superbly well. Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades is the closest that you can get to shooting lots of different guns at a shooting range, and above that it adds a lot of crazy weird stuff that makes the whole shooting experience just more fun overall. It also features Hot-seat multiplayer classic lawn games, but at its main focus is being a room-scale shooter simulation game.
In my opinion, H3VR is just the perfect game to pick up to play with your new HTC Vive headsets with its motion controllers. It is a game, but a sandbox game, which obviously differentiate itself from other room-scale shooters like Hover Junkers, Arizona Sunshine, The Brookhaven Experiment, Space Pirate Trainer and others. It shows, more than any other game in my opinion, how room-scale VR can change the way we play games, and how immersive these games can be when done right. I think that Space Pirate Trainer was among the first games that really show off how amazing and fun Vive room-scale games can be.
H3VR isn't a room-scale arcade shooter, but it doesn't pretend to be. It was developed for those who like to be given a freedom to do whatever they want and just get crazy with all the gameplay mechanics being offered to them. If you are searching for a conventional game per se, there are other titles that will satisfy that need. But even so, if you bought the HTC Vive and even if you aren't a fan of Sandbox games and shooting simulators, you certainly shouldn't skip this game. You can really sense how it feels to properly handle a gun and then go completely crazy with them without doing any real damage.
I'm pretty sure that if the game had more missions and goals that players can strive to complete, it could have appealed to a larger audience. Some players just don't enjoy toying around in sandbox games and need more defined objectives. The mini-games are really fun, but I'm sure that if the game will be updated with some co-op missions and some sort of defined objectives, it would skyrocket..nah.. It's going to be very popular nevertheless :)
Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades is by far the best showcase of room-scale virtual reality technology and I have a good feeling that we haven't seen the best of it yet.
Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades is a room-scale sandbox box taken place in your friend's house. His house is full of guns and toys, where you can try out lots of guns and firearms in the shooting range, make yourself a hot dog while taking a break and compete in various challenges with global leaderboards. You operate everything using the tracked motion controllers, so all experience is much more immersive and surprisingly entertaining. I highly recommend that you watch the gameplay videos below, just to get a hook what this game is all about.
As of the time of writing, the game is available in Early Access via Steam. Keep in mind that it requires a 2m x 1.5m play area and HTC Vive headset and controllers to play. Also keep in mind that as of the time of writing, the game is still under development, so things might added or change.