Windlands (2016), one of the founding pioneers of modern VR gaming, has made the quiet leap to Oculus Quest this past week where it lives on to finally serve up its dizzying heights and grappling hook-based movement scheme to the standalone headset.
Initially released by indie developer duo Ilja Kivikangas and Simo Sainio as an Oculus Rift DK1 tech demo way back in 2014, Windlands (then called Guardians of the Winds) was one of the first games to introduce the grappling hook locomotion scheme.
After successfully competing an Indiegogo campaign in fall of 2014, the team went on to join Psytec Games to further developer the project into a full-fledged title that offered early VR users their first taste of large, open-ended exploration which challenges the player to navigate up impossible heights hanging in mid-air.
Despite its age, Windlands still proves to be one of the best implementations of grappling hook movement out there, and its lovably low poly aesthetic and cleverly-built environments still manage to feel fresh.
Unlike Windlands 2 (2018), the first in the series doesn’t include combat or bespoke missions outside of making it to the top of the level, so it proves to be less frantic and much more about hitting your stride as you swing from tree to tree. There are plenty of collectibles throughout too, which will have you clambering up some of the most difficult bits of the game for hours.
You can now find Windlands over on both Quest’s native App Lab for $15, which hosts games that haven’t yet made it through Oculus’ review process. It’s also available on PC VR via Steam, the Oculus PC Store, and Viveport, and on PSVR.