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Shores of Loci debuts today on the Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headset as a different kind of game aimed at making you feel calm.
It’s a single-player narrative puzzle game from the women-led production studio MikeTeevee, and it aims to transport players to other dimensions to create visions larger than life, all for the sake of wellness. The $15 game is available on the Meta Quest Store today.
The game has beautiful 4K VR imagery with giants and villagers. Something has disrupted their homes and they need help rebuilding them. As the player, you go through five chapters in different dimensions and meet five different giants.
The game can only be played in VR, as you need three dimensions to move the pieces to the correct positions, said Ellen Utrecht, executive producer and founder of MikeTeevee, in an interview with GamesBeat.
Shores of Loci is deliberately not violent and it was designed for people who approach VR from a different perspective. It encourages peaceful exploration without combat or enemies. The game is made up of five distinct, magical environments, 12 compelling puzzles, and a cast of lovable and memorable characters.
Utrecht said it takes about 2.5 hours to five hours to play, depending on how long it takes to solve puzzles or whether you want to linger. It features tranquil music and serene sound effects designed for spatial audio. Shores of Loci calms, soothes, and clears players’ minds in an immersive and meditative puzzle experience, Utrecht said.
“Creating this first title has been one of the most enjoyable and satisfying projects I have
worked on in my career. The incredible team that we put together has really put all their hearts
and soul into it, and I think the result is beyond our expectations,” said Utrecht.
Developed during the pandemic and designed entirely in the Quest 2 headset, the beautiful and vastly differing environments in Shores of Loci give players an escape from their homes into magical worlds with new elements and weather patterns. As an accessible and inclusive experience, Shores of Loci is for puzzle lovers and anyone who wants to immerse themselves in new worlds. It is playable for first-time VR users of all ages.
It’s hard to believe the game was built by a team of only five, split between Los Angeles and Amsterdam. MikeTeeVee hopes to continue developing and releasing similar puzzle games that positively impacts its players.
While we already have puzzle games and meditation apps in VR, we usually don’t find both of these together. Shores of Loci was created in the midst of the pandemic with mental health and wellness in mind. The developers wanted to create something that had the opposite effect of shooter games, a meditative puzzle game that players could get lost in and clear their minds.
Each chapter in Shores of Loci is a different mystical realm that can transport players to unknown and immersive worlds and locations. The game was created for people of all ages; it is kid friendly and it is also accessible since it can be played while sitting.
Shores of Loci was also made with women in mind. The developers at MikeTeevee wanted to create an experience that would resonate with female players and encourage more women to get into VR.
“I find it very important to work with women,” said Utrecht. “It always has been, it’s important for us to give the opportunity. And I feel that it results in an absolutely a different way of looking at games.”
MikeTeevee (named after a character in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) was founded in 2011 by Utrecht and Rosanne Surie, who have together more than 30 years of experience in film and advertising. Utrecht said that the team has been working on the title for about two years. The company is self-funded and the team has a passion for entertainment and harnessing the power of emergent digital platforms to create truly unforgettable content experiences.
“About six years ago, I actually started with creating what I thought was a VR game, or film, but really it just turned out to be a 360 degree film. But it did very well, and it was just utilizing the 360 space,” Utrecht said. “Then about three years ago, I met up with a friend who was had been in VR for quite a long time. She’d been there for about seven years. And she said you should see what we’re doing with the Oculus, and the Oculus just changed my perception entirely.”
So she decided to go headlong into VR.
“When I was looking at content in the VR space, there was much in the calming and meditative category.
“We started this during COVID when you really notice that people were using their headsets and tey were maybe relaxing with them,” Utrecht said. “So we looked for something in that space.”
The game is aimed at all ages. One of the inspirations was the non-VR game Monument Valley, where you had to solve puzzles from different perspectives.
“When we first started looking into the creation of this game, we noticed that there are not that many games that are really completely for all ages,” Utrecht said. “It is created by women for women as well.”
The company is already working on a sixth chapter for the game. That chapter is going to be underwater.