Panoptic is an asymmetrical local multiplayer VR game. Two players play the game, one with the Vive headset controls the Overseer, while the second non-VR PC player as a tiny citizen revolting against the Overseer's oppressive domination and needs to avoid its burning gaze by hiding among other citizens and reach the orb of power.

Panoptic First Impressions

Panoptic VR game screenshot

Panoptic is one of the most interesting and a game with one of the most unique gameplay mechanics I've come across in recent years, seriously. It's an asymmetrical local multiplayer game. The game was designed to be played by two people who play against each other. One person, the one with the HTC Vive headset plays as the Overseer who opposes its oppressive domination on the local citizens.  The second person it playing on the PC without a headset.

The PC non-VR player needs to reach a location on the map where the orb of power is located while avoiding beeing detected and burned by the Overseer's gaze. The HTC Vive player's mission is to locate the rebelling citizen, the non-VR player, and shoot him down.

The great thing about the game is that the Overseer can determine which players is the rebelling citizen among the other citizens because of all of the look the same. The only way to detect him is by other shooting nearby citizens and scare him so he moves in a different movement pattern than the other citizens. The other citizens have constant moving behavior, so if the rebelling citizen moves out of the norm, it's easy to detect him. 

The game was designed as a local multiplayer game, at least in its current state, and according to the developer, they are also working on implementing an online play and rules modifiers to increase replayability. It's really fun to see how people react to you hunting them down or being hunted by a fellow player that plays right next to them. 

Panoptic requires at least 2m x 1.5 m play area and one player playing with the HTC Vive headset - it's a VR game after all, at least for the dominant Overseer player.

As I mentioned, it's one of the most interesting gameplay mechanics I've seen in recent years.  The game demo is available for early access via Steam. Help the developer makes it an even better game by playing the game and submitting your feedback. I'm really impressed with what I've seen so far, and I'm sure that the final release would be even better.

Awarded for an Impressive VR Game

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