Kill time in VR with this interactive 3D overlay.
How many times have you found yourself patiently waiting for friends in the lobby of your favorite VR game? Or looking to kill time during a lengthy load screen? It’s for these types of moments, and many others, that Bar Shift Games created Portable Farms, a simple—but intriguing 3D idle farming game that allows players to tend virtual crops and upgrade a digital farm while playing their favorite games.
What makes the game so unique is that it can be played over existing VR titles as a SteamVR overlay. After downloading and installing the add-on, you can then hop into any SteamVR title and perform a unique hand gesture to trigger a 2D portal. Inside you’ll find a miniature 3D farming experience complete with monthly seasonal changes, various virtual crops, and a fully-stocked shop in which to purchase additional tools and supplies.
As previously stated, Portable Farm is an idle farming experience. You plant crops, feed them water, and step away to let nature take its course. You’re then free to go about your business in VR before having to return later to check on your progress. While the game itself is extremely simple, it’s the perfect example of unique “companion experiences” made possible by the SteamVR overlay.
Here is a full breakdown of the games key features as provided by Bar Shift Games:
- Reposition and resize the portal to any location for maximum convenience, as well as options for fine-tuning comfort.
- Simple interaction with all elements using one configurable grip button.
- Upgrades that make farming easier and more profitable.
- Decorations to customize your farm however you like.
- Seasons change at the start of each month, changing how land looks.
- Seasonal crops provide a large variety of choices in what to plant.
- Passive growing of the plants allows crops to grow while users are away.
- Fertilize your ground, or plant some clover, to help you plants grow faster, and prevent the soil from drying out quickly.
- Bring the farm into any VR game using a unique gesture to open and close the portal, allowing users to not have to worry about the controls interfering with their main VR game.
According to the developer, Portable Farm can sometimes become bottlenecked by the CPU on lower to mid-range PC’s due to the game running at the same time as other VR content. As a result, Bar shift Games is offering a free demo of their app for users to try before they buy.
“I knew it would be important to let users try it out without risking paying for something that may not work perfectly on their VR rig, and I try to make that clear in the description of the game on steam,” stated Wyatt Boyle of Bar Shift Games in a message to VRScout.