Crystal Rift is a Grid-Based VR Dungeon-Crawler

Posted April 18, 2015 by in All

Developer: Jon Hibbins and Nic Pittom
Release Date: 20-04-2015
Game Type: Dungeon Crawler
Platform: PC, Mac, Gear VR
HMD: Gear VR, Oculus DK2
Control Schemes: Controller, Keyboard and Mouse
Download: Click Here
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Best Part:

Good control scheme, Level Editor included to build your own game.

Worst Part:

A bit repetitive at time, Enemies way to easy to defeat on normal difficultly.
Bottom Line

Overall I would say that Crystal Rift is enjoyable if a bit easy on normal difficultly. The game runs butterly smooth in VR and looks pretty but I do hope that the second half of the game introduces some new enemies and environments to mix things up a bit.






Comfort Level


Total Score

3/ 5

by David
Full Article

Crystal Rift is a Grid-Based Dungeon-Crawler from developers Jon Hibbins and Nic Pittom.

It’s due for early access release on Monday but Jon was kind enough to send us his latest build to try out before its official release.

crystal rift vr 2First off Crystal Rift should appeal to those of an older generation who grew up with classic 2D games such as Dungeon Master and Eye of the Beholder. Its grid based movement feels very retro as you push forward or sideways on your thumb pad to move one grid at a time.  Turning around is handled by the shoulder buttons as pushing right or left on your thumb pad will only make you side step in that direction.

Adding to the retro feel are the graphics which look like a darker more sinister version of Minecrafts block system. The textures used look cartoony and from time to time you will come across shadows or spirits that have glowing red eyes and are designed to spook you but for the most part they don’t look threatening with the exception of the wiry human figure that walks the halls from time to time.

The first thing that will hit you if you’re playing this on your Gear VR or DK2 is the scale of the rooms and corridors. They feel very small or you feel very large. The ceiling throughout the game feels as if it’s just inches from your head as you walk around the game environment. This gives you a sense of what it must be like to be a Rat in a maze as you try figure your way out.

crystal rift vr 3The gameplay itself is pretty simple. You navigate your way through this maze of corridors finding keys or crystals to unlock doors and pull leavers or activate switches to navigate traversal obstacles. In later levels you will come across some enemies that are locked to certain path ways but they don’t cause much of a challenge on Normal mode which is what I was playing Crystal Rift on. The enemies I encountered were a Green Glob, a Floating Star and a Lump of Lava that spits fireballs at you. They don’t do much but if they touch you or if a fireball hits you then you will lose a life as its instant death and this returns you to the beginning of the level. Thankfully the levels are not too long so you never need to backtrack much and thankfully there is a game save option at the beginning of each level.

As you explore deeper into the dungeons you will collect scrolls that have a story narrative about prisoners that are being experimented on. As you descend the messages become more and more cryptic and it becomes clear that either the prisoners are crazy or the dead are rising from the grave tormenting the inhabitants of Crystal Rift.

This early access release includes the first 10 levels of the game which we were able to get through in a couple of hours. Included in this release is a level editor which will allow you to create your own levels and share them. This is a welcome addition and the level editor is very intuitive to use in VR and you can build quite an extensive dungeon crawler within a few hours.

crystal rift vr 1My only real complaint with Crystal Rift is that there is not much variety from level to level. Opening doors and finding keys and gems can get a bit repetitive after a time. On some occasions you can get lost and walk in circles as some locations look very similar and it can be hard to memorize pathways if they all look the same. This issue was also present in dungeon crawlers of the 80s so at least Crystal Rift is staying true to its roots.

Overall I would say that Crystal Rift is enjoyable if a bit easy on normal difficultly. The game runs butterly smooth in VR and looks pretty but I do hope that the second half of the game introduces some new enemies and environments to mix things up a bit. Having the level editor really helps with the overall value of the game and it should appeal to those who enjoy world building in MineCraft.

Crystal Rift goes on sale Monday and is certainly worth your time and money if you’re into retro dungeon crawlers.  We will put a link in the description below.

Download Game Click Here



About the Author


David Whelan a professional web developer has been a serial early adopter of the latest technology. From an early age playing on a C64 he always dreamt of entering virtual worlds and exploring the endless possibilities that could be offered up by the platform.

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