The slingshot pulled back and released, and suddenly I was flying through the air right behind my little red Angry Bird.
Thankfully, my goal was not to slam headfirst into a fortress to exact revenge on some green pigs.
I tried out the Angry Birds virtual reality demonstration Thursday at the grand opening of Bespoke, a new coworking, demo and events space at the Westfield Mall in San Francisco.
Rovio, the studio behind Angry Birds, is giving short demos of the virtual reality version to the public over the next two weekends. VIP members of the Rock in Rio conference in Las Vegas got a sneak preview of the VR version in May. There’s no timeline either for when, or if, the game will hit the market.
I signed a waiver form for motion sickness before the demo team helped me put on the Samsung Gear VR goggles. Then they tapped the program to start, and I watched the slingshot launch the bird into the game.
The weird thing about virtual reality gaming is the actual range of action is pretty limited. The experience of the game is left up to the visuals within it.
My goal was to fly the bird, with my head, through the rings. I nudged my head one way or the other, tilting it up to keep the angry bird afloat or looking to my left when I needed it to turn. There’s probably a future of VR-related neck injuries.
Most of the head-controlled motions I could have done by tilting a phone with my hands — after all, it’s literally a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge strapped into the Gear VR headset.
One of the things I’ve enjoyed about virtual reality is the 360-degree experience, but I couldn’t turn my head too much without going off course and missing points in the game. I felt disoriented in the short preview a few times when I lost track of the course because of it and had to find my way back.
A minute and a half later, I found my way to the end of the course where a giant red ring greeted me. I guided my angry bird through it, and it accelerated into the castle wall (although my point of view didn’t) to reveal the green pigs.
I got three stars and a collectible tin of Angry Bird Pez candies for my effort.