Chill out with free roam mode, or race for the best times (and get a workout)
Kayaking is awesome — it’s such a rewarding way to spend time outdoors and see a part of nature that many of us don’t get to on a regular basis. That said, loading up a kayak with all your gear, driving to a good (not-too-busy) destination, hauling it out, and knowing you have to do it all again once you’re done? It can be too much of a hassle sometimes.
While a simulation game isn’t going to replicate the real thing, a newly-released PC VR game called Kayak VR: Mirage captures the scenic beauty and chill vibes of kayaking.
The visual fidelity really sells this kayak sim experience, and I appreciate the range of locales with tropical, chilly, and even stormy scenarios; you can take trips to Costa Rica, Antarctica, Norway, and Australia. There’s wildlife, too. Don’t sweat the killer whales.
It’s a chill-out game if you want it to be — or, as the trailer shows, you can also go HAM with competitive time trials. The game has asynchronous multiplayer, including global leaderboards, so if you’re looking for more of a rapid-fire workout, the race is on.
To make it even more immersive, the developers recommend attaching controllers “to a stick or mount” to create a makeshift paddle; here’s one example of a controller-holding stick that Quest players typically use for Beat Saber. You might have to get crafty.
Kayak VR: Mirage is out on Steam with support for Valve Index, HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, and Oculus Rift VR headsets. It’s normally $22.99, but currently costs $19.54.
The team at Better Than Life has bigger plans for Kayak VR: Mirage, though I imagine the frequency and scope of future content updates will come down to how well the game sells. There’s a public roadmap with potential ideas like a stand up paddle board, fishing, whitewater, and trash collecting. There’s already a strong base to build upon.