Bonfire is a quaint virtual reality interactive experience starring Ali Wong and developed by Emmy-winning VR/AR producer Baobab Studios. Each person may react to this differently, but with Quest currently still awaiting a lot of its best content – many gamers may be eyeing up this virtual experience as well. Gamers like value-buys, and likely want to know if it’s worth the asking price.
One thing Bonfire nails right away is presence. In VR the ultimate goal of the technology surrounding you in all forms – is to make you feel somewhere. Subtle motions with the environment and player view make for a cinematic vibe. At times it is even thrilling how the direction has focused a player’s attention away for something to happen behind their back unexpectedly. In terms of emotional depth, players really get a sense of comradery as you bond with beings from another planet you’ve been sent to scout. Some choices may lead to an anti-climactic ending though, leaving us feeling that the development team was really leaning hard on a particular sequence of choices being made.
The way you interpret the story is up to you. Most of us chose to treat the experience as a lighthearted tech demo, although it really tries to play with your emotions. Though, some could say there are underlying tones regarding how humans might treat each other, space life, etc. (no spoilers)! It’s best to find out the rest for yourself, as we would really be spoiling the content of the game.
If nothing less, Bonfire serves as a perfect example of the storytelling capable through interactive VR experiences. Comedian / Voice Actress Ali Wong is ahead of the curve by embracing this new format and helping to give legitimacy to the experimental art form. Early adopters of VR and film fans as well will appreciate this demonstration of what the future holds for cinematography. For those willing to pay the price to sample these fruits of multiple industries worth of labor, this is another micro-experience.
Bonfire is very short, and for your average gamer – just not worth the price. It lacks replay ability and the extensive content offered by other software on the device which costs just a fraction more than Bonfire. That being said, as a short film we found it to be a great display of what could be possible using even higher budgets.
RGN Rating: 6 / 10
Developer / Publisher: Baobab Studios
Played On: Oculus Quest 128GB
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewZ by the publisher for the purpose of this review.