If you think Space Pirate Trainer is the only Belgian VR game that can win prizes, you probably haven’t heard about Panoptic yet. Conceived as Panoptes during the IGjam 16 at gamescom by a makeshift team of Belgian game developers, the asymmetrical multiplayer VR experience swept away three awards. As one of the best games of the competition, they were able to show off Panoptes to the big public at the InnoGames stand, where they received nothing but positive feedback.
Panoptic is game of cat and mouse between an HTC Vive player, controlling the mighty Overseer, and a regular pc player that aims to overthrow him. To do so, the pc player has to navigate a map and destroy his orb of power without being seen by the Overseer. The only way to survive is to hide in plain sight among the other citizens. When you get detected by the Overseer, you’d better make a run for it, as his scorching gaze can obliterate you instantly! A game only takes a couple of minutes, but it’s a thrilling experience nonetheless, made all the more fun by the fact your opponent is right next to you in the same room.
One of the main reasons Panoptic (they changed the name to avoid confusion with another game named Panoptes) strikes a chord with so many people is the simplicity of it all. The rules aren’t hard to grasp and pretty much anyone can get into a game within seconds. We were able to experience this first hand when the team paid us a visit during the Belgian Games Café last month.
If you own an HTC Vive, you can check out the demo of the alpha version right now. It’s free to download, but you can show your support to the developers with a donation, which are used to advance development. While the team is currently adding more polish to the demo and is working on a trailer, the plan is to eventually release Panoptic on Steam Early Access. Be sure to follow the team on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with future updates on this very promising title.