by Henry Stockdale
reviewed on PC
King, Where Art Thou?
There’s something quite appealing about Virtual Reality spellcasting, allowing players to become sorcerers with a sense of immersion that standard games cannot replicate. We’ve seen numerous attempts at this concept, WarpFrog’s Blade and Sorcery being the most prominent. Approaching magic from a different angle, Humble Sage Games now brings us Cast VR, featuring a story-based campaign and sandbox mode. It’s a good premise with interesting mechanics but unfortunately, gets let down by poor design.
Playing as a nameless sorcerer, you’ve been summoned by the King (A.K.A. the Brennix) to his castle but upon arrival, discover he’s gone missing. To make matters worse, his father and young daughter have both turned into spirits without explanation. It’s down to you to investigate what happened and as are joined by his daughter. who fills in the story whilst providing advice about puzzles, hints, and new spells.
She brings some much-needed personality to Cast VR but unfortunately, guidance proves to be one of its biggest problems. She’ll teach you spells but offer little guidance on correctly utilizing them. For example, when searching the King’s bedroom you’ll need to piece together a shattered mirror. Cast then teaches you the necessary spell but not how to correctly use it. Coupled with an unkillable enemy, it becomes rather frustrating.
If all you want is some sandbox action, you’re better off sticking to Blade & Sorcery here. Sandbox Mode provides a good introduction to spells but its very lacking, as everything is contained within a singular castle room. There are only a few objects to interact with and repetition quickly sinks in.
Book Of Brennix
Your left hand holds the spellbook, splitting the available choices between four schools of magic: Transmogrification, Marshall, Brennix and Enchanting. Your wand is held within your right hand and to choose a spell, you must tap it within your book. Upon doing so, a rune appears and touching that charges the spell, with right trigger unleashing it and this proves easy enough to use. Movement is based upon teleporting across the castle rooms but sadly, there’s no option for free movement.
Cast certainly has a good premise but unfortunately, there’s a lot of wasted potential here due to its numerous technical issues. Its 3D animation becomes quite jarring and one prominent instance occurs in the dining hall, featuring a flying chest that stutters above you. There’s also problems with the AI, often missing attacks even if they’re directly next to you and don’t move dynamically. Adding to this even further, Sandbox mode contains a game-breaking bug where it doesn’t always spawn the wand, forcing you to restart.
In Need Of A Magical Tuning
Cast VR’s technical issues make it difficult to recommend. With a flawed approach to gameplay, numerous bugs, and animation errors that ruin the immersion, its let down by Humble Sage Games’ execution. There’s no denying that the spellcasting proves quite enjoyable and the premise had me intrigued. On its own though, that’s just not enough and its clear Cast VR would’ve benefitted from further refinement.
Spells feel fun to cast, good premise
Numerous technical issues, janky animation, wish there was an option to just put away the spellbook