Family-Oriented VR Experience Alcove Arrives on Oculus Quest
Another virtual hangout has launched on Oculus Quest this week. Alcove is a relaxed virtual hangout space that oozes a more relaxed vibe. You can make it a family affair.
Alcove immerses you into a virtual home that has some light customization elements as well as various activities. It offers you a calmer virtual hangout atmosphere. You can invite your friends or family over into Alcove and they will appear as their Oculus avatars and can partake of the many activities such as playing checkers, going on virtual tours via 360-degree media and even uploading their own images and videos which they can share on the virtual frames as well as virtual screens.
Alcove #VR launches today on #OculusQuest! Invite your friends and family to join you for games, travel, wellness exercises and so much more in your own customizable virtual home. Download it today: https://t.co/wQkeCRfZ9N pic.twitter.com/qWZ8imKzw8
— Alcove VR (@AlcoveVR) August 20, 2020
Alcove offers you a well-kept and pleasant social VR experience with plenty of ideas to make this virtual space as interesting as possible. The Alcove experience is not for your typical tech-savvy audience. It targets a different kind of audience. The screenshots and trailers that had been released earlier show elderly people using the Alcove space with their family members and even depicts an appreciated hand-tracking support addition that removes the clutter of controllers from the experience. It also the follow/lead system that allows you take the other users on a tour without they having to use their controllers, thereby further eliminating the clutter that might be impede the enjoyment of the Alcove experience.
Alcove has a great relaxed vibe and has some really cool experiences but there are only a few compelling ones. While it targets families, it doesn’t offer the depth and scope of immersive experiences that would convince families to spend their time in this virtual space, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic when there are other more compelling VR experiences on Quest such as Rec Room with its user-created environments where you can even play table tennis.
There is even the Health and Wellness Room in Alcove which includes various activities that help promote your wellbeing. However, many of these simply summon various third-party meditation videos or even workout videos that you shouldn’t even try out while wearing a VR headset. Overall, it is not a virtual family space that delivers a convincing and immersive virtual reality environment that you can relax in.
On the positive side, Alcove has a number of multiplayer games that you can try out with others, even though only two of these currently support more than a single player. While Alcove has plenty of content, it relies on outside sources that were not developed for the virtual platform and it would be great if the platform would improve on this by offering unique content that is created for virtual reality.
As of now, Alcove still offers too little and the likes of Rec Room still deliver a superior social VR product and experience.