Squingle is a psychedelic indie puzzle game available now for PC VR and Quest. It’s also the perfect example of a game that probably wouldn’t be allowed in Quest’s “curated” main store, as it’s difficult to understand at a glance, despite being brilliantly creative and highly. Optimized to run at 120Hz on Quest 2. Fortunately, thanks to App Lab, you can get your hands on the game whether or not it fits Oculus’ vision or not.
Squingle is one of those games that you can watch without fully understanding what you are actually seeing. But once you get your hands on the game, it all becomes clear: it’s a smart, trippy, and fun puzzle game that plays on the space forces of virtual reality.
To put it simply, the purpose of Squingle involves guiding a pair of rotating balls through a pipe. Sounds easy enough, right? Like any good puzzle game, Squingle starts out fairly simple but introduces more difficult concepts as you go, like a button that reverses the rotation of the balls or one that changes the axis of the rotation. What about the pipe? It’s actually a bit more like a cosmic gut that ripples with twists, bends, and parallel tunnels.
There is something really satisfying about moving balls through the flexible, bubbly tubes. Without knowing exactly where the edge is (because it has some flex), you heavily lean on to feel (using haptics) – rather than sight alone – to see if you might be penalized for hitting the edge of the track too hard.
Beyond being a creative puzzle game that harnesses the power of virtual reality’s spatial entry, scribble is also quite beautiful in its psychedelic way. Luminescent, trippy visuals are perfectly crisp and brilliant even in the Quest version, not to mention that the game can even be launched up to a smooth 120Hz refresh rate from the options menu.
In all, Squingle is a small but fun and unique title with excellent technical merit. But this is precisely the kind of game that would likely struggle to access Quest’s main store due to Oculus curation.
Fortunately, Oculus App Lab is finally giving developers an official backdoor on the headset, which means games like scribble at least have a way of proving their value to customers. With any luck, maybe a look at the cold, hard data will show Oculus that this obtuse-looking game is, in fact, a gem. And maybe, just maybe, it will give Squingle a real chance to pop into Quest’s main store.