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Bocce Time! VR Review

Bocce Time (BT) VR throwing skill game that can be played solo vs AI or against other human players. Bocce Ball is played by throwing a starting ball called a pallino, and then attempting to throw four larger balls close to the pallino. The game is scored based on balls being within a closer radius than the opponent’s closest ball. BT features several courts that are like a regulation court, backyard BBQ court, and exotic style courts like a ski-ball ramp court with tables.

BT has several options, including selecting the left or right hand for throwing. There are the usual sound options, a few video option, and also some control option which have an impact on the gameplay. For example, the throwing power can be adjusted downward, which may be necessary if the feel is too strong. There are difficulty options when playing against the AI, although the weakest AI is pretty good most of the time.

After selecting a playing field, either the player or the opponent will be randomly selected to throw the pallino. After the pallino is set the same player will throw a ball to set the radius by attempting to get as close as possible to the pallino. The opponent will then attempt to get closer, and if successful, play will revert where the other player will then have to get even closer. Things can change if balls are knocked around during play, including the pallino itself. Scoring occurs at the end of a round; it is possible to score from 1 to 4 points. The game is complete after one side or the other passes 11 points and has the highest ending score.

The game play in BT is pretty good, however it isn’t without fault. It’s possible to game the AI by trapping the pallino into a corner on some fields. The AI will not try to run a rail into the corner as a real player would, instead the AI helplessly lobs balls, sometimes way out of the court. The friction when a ball lands from a throw doesn’t feel correct. A steeply tossed ball in a high arc should not end up with the kind of forward momentum displayed in the game. Putting spin on the ball is difficult and the controllers sometimes misfires sending balls at crazy angles. That said, Bocce Time is a solid VR game, and recommended as an addition to any VR library.

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