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The most amazing things you can do in VR on HTC Vive on Day One

Virtual reality plus room-wandering and motion control equals cool apps. There are tons of fascinating worlds you can access in Vive already, but you should start with these.

Video Games

The HTC Vive offers the most advanced VR hardware currently available, and it's motion controls and full-room-wandering body tracking let it hook into a completely different class of games. Here are the best experiences you can have on day one from a fast-growing library.

Editors' note: As you scroll down this article page on a desktop Web browser, you should see a table of contents pop up on the left. Be sure to check out our other Must-See VR picks there.


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Fantastic Contraption

Northway Games

Fantastic Contraption

Imagine building objects out of sticks, wheels, sticky balls and other day-glo pieces in a full 3D world you can walk around. Your hands grab things, and the contraptions can move and knock down targets. It's science fair meets magic show, and the combination of puzzle-solving, free-play building and bizarre whimsy (hey, I pulled a flower out of mouth!) is jaw-dropping.

Available: Now (bundled with HTC Vive)

Price: $39.99

Link: Steam

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Job Simulator

Owlchemy Labs

Job Simulator

A demented, cartoonish collection of mini-games exploring everyday jobs, as "simulated" by patronizing robots in the distant future. You get to be an office worker, convenience store clerk, and more in colorful play sets you can walk around and complete tasks in. Cruel, funny, and it feels like you're really there flipping burgers into coffee pots.

Available: Now (bundled with HTC Vive)

Price: $39.99

Link: Steam

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The Lab

Valve

The Lab

Valve includes this mini game compilation free with every Vive. It's a great intro to room-scale VR, and the Vive's unique controllers. Consider this the NintendoLand of VR games, and a chance to learn about your hand-body coordination as you shoot arrows at little cartoon Valve figures or throw sticks to a robo-dog.

Available: Now

Price: Free

Link: Steam

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Apollo 11 Experience

David Whelan

Apollo 11 Experience

This is the future of what museums could be. A simulation of the Apollo 11 moon landing, where you get to sit next to your fellow astronauts, hear actual mission audio, and try docking and landing. Tears will flow. At least, they did for us.

Available: Now

Price: $14.99

Link: Steam

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Cloudlands: VR Minigolf

Futuretown

Cloudlands: VR Minigolf

Dozens of miniature golf courses ranging from the normal to the ridiculous, and you get to walk through them and putt like you're on the course for real. A spinning windmill. Looping ramps. Massive castles. All it's missing is the hot dog stand.

Available: Now

Price: $19.99

Link: Steam

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The Gallery Episode 1: Call of the Starseed

Cloudhead Games

The Gallery Episode 1: Call of the Starseed

The first episode of a bizarre storyline that meshes simulation and science fiction, but the cool part is you can move through realistic caves, beaches and tunnels, pick up hidden objects, and explore possessions. Atmospheric and trippy, and somewhat incomprehensible, but a high-end, well-produced vision of what AAA room-scale VR games could feel like.

Available: Now

Price: $29.99

Link: Steam

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SculptVR

Nathan Rowe

SculptrVR

One of two cool art apps for Vive, SculptrVR is like a Minecraft construction kit in 3D, minus the Minecraft game. Lay out blocks and build pixel-type art in all directions, then make yourself grow larger or smaller to see your work at any scale. We spent most of our time making very tall towers.

Available: April 5

Price: $14.99

Link: Steam

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Tilt Brush

Google

Tilt Brush

Google bought Tilt Brush for very good reasons: this VR painting app is fantastic. It's also free. A variety of inks (from normal to, well, glowing fire) can be splattered all around. You can paint (or even, really, sculpt) in three dimensions. And galleries can be saved, and even watched in time-lapse later.

Available: Now (bundled with HTC Vive)

Price: $29.99

Link: Steam

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Space Pirate Trainer

I-Illusions

Space Pirate Trainer

Just you, two guns, and waves of oncoming alien ships. As close to a perfect VR arcade game as you're likely to get. Surviving waves of ships as they blast and you try to duck leads to, hopefully, a spot on the online high-score chart.

Available: Now

Price: $14.99

Link: Steam

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theBlu

Wevr

theBlu

Basically just an aquarium demo in three parts, but hey, what an aquarium demo. Standing on a sunken pirate ship, watching a whale swim by. Walking on a coral reef bed among fish. Or, terrifyingly, stepping in the darkness of the ocean bottom, using a flashlight to discover crabs and glowing anglerfish.

Available: Now

Price: TBD

Link: Steam

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#SelfieTennis

VRUnicorns

#SelfieTennis

Yep, you play tennis with yourself. Imagine Wii Sports Tennis in full motion on a 3D court. Take aim, and smash a hit with the Vive controller. Just make sure you're not near your walls or furniture or your TV, or anyone you love.

Available: Now

Price: $19.99

Link: Steam

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