CrossSide: The Prison VR Game Review For HTC Vive

CrossSide: The Prison VR Review – Setting a new standard for Escape the Room games

CrossSide: The Prison is a new “Escape the Room” style game from ARVI LLC that is very impressive. I’m normally not a fan of these types of games – I find that they force difficulty by adding in puzzles that can’t be solved except through excessive trial and error, overly complex puzzles that are fairly unsatisfying, and they cause a sense of frustration that makes me want to “escape the room” by clicking Exit Game. CrossSide: The Prison is a new breed, however. It combines Escape the Room style gameplay with intuitive puzzles that make you think but don’t leave you ripping your hair out. It has a narrative that is fairly simple, yet compelling. It has great graphics without sacrificing too much performance. Altogether it reminds me of a classic gaming experience reminiscent of classic games from decades ago – except modern and in Virtual Reality.

What Can You Do in Crosside The Prison VR?

Here in the tutorial area is a great showcase of what the game can do graphically. This is on all maxed out settings. The performance was great in this part of the game, although I did hit some performance snags in the second chapter (the dev is working to resolve this at time of writing.) You can see the world is very dense with objects and doesn’t seem bogged down by that like many other VR games I’ve played. Detail is great, the text is legible in VR which is an amazing feat in-and-of itself.

Another thing this .gif shows, which is a really great feature, is the color-coded system for objects. Objects that can be picked up are one color – objects that can be dragged around are another. Clues are a special color (so you can seek them, or avoid them for more of a challenge,) and “important” items needed to progress are another color entirely. I like how this part is designed, it really helps to keep gameplay going, but gives you an option to ignore anything you see is “clue colored” so you can make the game more challenging if you’d like. I like challenges, but I also don’t like to just sit around scratching my head, so I use all the clues.

How Interactive is the Game?

Here in this .gif, we see a good representation of the number of items, and the density, in which the game is able to handle on screen. I was not expecting the glass bottles to break quite frankly. Nor was I expecting to be able to turn that fan on and off. Everything reacts very nicely, and there are no issues grabbing objects or having to reach super far. The grab distance is nice, without having things flying across the room to zoom to your hand as you summoned it with the Force.

Gameplay wise, this ability to put a lot of objects in one area well really lends itself to the atmosphere and overall gameplay. One part, which you’ll see in a later .gif, has you almost wading through trash in a disused part of the prison. While that seems odd in text, it is extremely immersive in practice. Sure, you could walk right through it in the real world, but your character gets movement blocked. Trying to teleport or arm swing through it (The game supports both simultaneously,) however, leaves you feeling like you’re blocked by trash. I found myself moving trash out of my way to try to proceed, which was actually really cool. The conditions were cramped, dirty, and felt like I was trying to escape a prison through mainly disused service access areas.

Also, for some reason, you can actually wear hats in the game, which is what you see above my screen. I do my capture by capturing a single eye’s display, so the image you see regarding the hat is a bit misleading. It actually looks really good in the game, it looks like you’re wearing a normal hat. I couldn’t say if this has any particular gameplay effect or not yet, but the feature is there and it works without being obtrusive.

What Are The Graphics Like?

So here in Chapter 1, we get a really great example of the lighting effects of this game. I know I’ve gone on about the graphics, but the lighting is honestly more spectacular. When you put the purple light in that first switch was a bit mind blowing, as I didn’t really pay attention to the lighting until it changed so drastically. You can even see me look around when I was just kind of shocked by how dark it suddenly got. I’ve never seen a VR game with such dynamic lighting – things are usually always dark for scary games or particularly bright for everything else.

What is the Gameplay Like?

This also gives a great showcase of how the game progresses. Each part of the puzzle you solve thrusts you into the next bit, and more importantly – you keep moving. The first time you’re in this room it can take a little bit to figure it out and get out – but as soon as you get moving you don’t stop. It’s a game of constant feelings of “what do I do next…?” and then “Aha!” as you figure it out. Again, it doesn’t leave you scratching your head in frustration due to overly complex puzzles, but it isn’t so easy that you don’t have to think about anything either. So in this case, you can see that once you figure out the light bulb situation, the game naturally directs you to the next part – and all of this fits within the narrative that slowly unfolds as you play.

How does the In-Game Immersion Feel?

This .gif here is the one I mentioned earlier with the tight, confined space full of clutter. This part was particularly immersive for me because I really felt I needed to get all that junk out of the way. Once I realized I was wrong, then I really had to move all the junk again because it was now definitely in my way.

Another interesting point about the narrative of the story is how many ways its presented to you. It starts in the tutorial even, although I didn’t quite realize until it played it out for me. The character gives off a narrative from the first person, while the newspapers and other items in the game give you perspective on the story from another view. As far as the story goes… I find myself conflicted. The main character presents it in one way, but if the storytelling holds, I suspect as I get even further in the game these newspaper articles are going to reveal more and more about the story. So now I find myself wondering… “Is my character telling himself, or rather me, the truth? Is his perspective warped? What’s going on?”

My Final Thoughts on Crosside: The Prison

Now I’ve thrown these two .gifs together as a bit of a finale because not long into the game I was taken out of an “escape the room” style game, and thrust straight into a stealth game, and that was not something I was expecting. It’s not too easy to see in the .gif, (that amazing lighting!) but in the first one, I nearly get spotted by the guard. I had a sense of dread at that moment – was he going to spot me? What’s he going to do? Shoot? Do I have to fight him? Well, without anything to fight with, I had to sneak past. I’m not honestly sure if you can fight them – I’d guess not, they probably have guns. As you can see, I felt inclined to grab the knife just in case. This part of the game was an intense moment and was proceeded by another intense moment, and the game doesn’t stop there.

All in all, I owe this game a ton of praise. It’s hard to find a fault with it. The only thing I could think of is the voice acting, which sounds like they’re doing it themselves, and they still do a great job – especially considering they’re doing English voice over’s and don’t sound like native speakers. While it’s not the highest quality VO’s, it also adds a sense of gritty realism that I can’t deny has a charm. I had a bit of a performance issue in Chapter 2, which the dev is already working on.

The game is interesting and immersive, and the narrative really drives you through the game wondering what’s next, what you’ll see and what you’ll have to do to escape. I haven’t finished it just yet, but I’m looking forward to it. For “Escape the Room” style game fans, I’d say this is a must own. For those skeptical, the price is definitely right at $12.99 US, and I think for those who haven’t enjoyed Escape the Room style games in the past, this title shows exactly how good this style of game can be when someone with talent puts good effort into it. To me, it sets a new standard for the style of game. At this point, I can fairly say they’ve set a new standard for Escape the Room style games, and any games following are going to have to at least meet that bar to be worth the time.

CrossSide: The Prison on Steam


Thank you to ARVI LLC for the game! You can find more from me, crimsonBZD at crimsonBZD,, and on Instagram! Please Share this article if you liked it to help get the word out.

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Duck Season VR Game Review on HTC Vive

FTC: This article contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Duck Season VR: SNES’s Classic game with a modern twist.

When I logged in to Duck Season on the HTC Vive, I felt a familiar nostalgia. While I wasn’t alive in the late 70’s, early 80’s – being a kid sitting down to a brand new rental is a mostly universal feeling.

Our story here starts with our young protagonist getting a one-rental of “Duck Season,” the hottest new game. While the world outside is full of adult problems such as murders and kidnappings, our character isn’t worried about all of that. He’s just a kid, enjoying his time, eating bananas and hanging out while his mom works.

(All those games on the floor are actually playable, as are the movies.)

Despite being much higher resolution than the original, real-world game, the “duck hunt” part of *Duck Season is much like you’d expect. As for most VR games, the reloading is a more complicated process than “pressing R” or anything of the sort. You have to put both hands on the shotgun, and there is some skill to it. It’s overall pretty mindless and fun.

(As you can see, it’s pretty smooth.)

Here comes the hard part for me. Let’s just say that… if that’s all the game Duck Season VR was, would my review be any longer? No, it wouldn’t, would it? It doesn’t take too, too long of playing the game to realize that there may be more going on. Much like from a real child’s perspective, it can get easy to get lost in the game itself and forget to notice little details… important details.

(I don’t think he should be smoking, should he? This is a kid’s game!)

And if stuff like that isn’t weird enough, sometimes it can be very important to turn around and see what you might be missing.

I wish I could say more. I really, really do. I haven’t even seen it all yet, but suffice to say two things about this game: It’s an amazingly smooth, engaging, fun and thrilling VR experience. The other thing? Never let a kid play this game. Ever. It might look like it’s suitable for kids, but you’ll quickly find out its not.

Ultimately, I highly recommend this game for anyone playing Virtual Reality. It’s a highly memorable experience that will compel you to play it again and again to see the various endings. Again, don’t traumatize any children with it – it’s NOT a kid’s game!


Thanks for reading! If you want to see more, you can find my Twitch stream at: – I play virtual reality, and a wide variety of games. Fun and friends are more important than playing like a pro.

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This article is just a glimpse of what I and VR have to offer. I plan on making more virtual reality videos and articles for you to enjoy.
Thanks to my girlfriend @ChelzBZD for editing this thanks ya’ll!


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