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If you're the proud owner of a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 or 1070 and a HTC Vive then there's a treat in store for you on Steam. NVIDIA VR Funhouse is a brand new VR experience from NVIDIA that's designed to show off just what VR can do with a high-end GPU, Unreal Engine 4 and NVIDIA's GameWorks and VRWorks technologies.
It's built to deliver a new level of interactive gameplay and immersion while showcasing NVIDIA effects such as PhysX, FleX and Flow, and it’s available now for free here. Not only that, it will eventually be an open-source project. The idea is that not only will you be amazed by the stunning immersive effects they offer, developers will be able to learn from VR Funhouse's cutting edge tricks and adopt its techniques for their own projects.
So what's on show in the VR Funhouse? There are seven mini games to enjoy, each one drawing on the power of 10-series GPUs and making great use of the Vive's motion controllers and its ability to deliver a room-scale experience. Perhaps the most impressive one of the lot is the Fire Archer game, which uses Flow tech to simulate flaming arrows that you don't simply fire at targets; rather you have to pull out an arrow, notch it, light it on fire, then draw back and fire, with haptic feedback on both controllers ramping up the realism.
There's plenty more shooting in VR Funhouse. Skeet Cannon has you shooting down flying crockery and brings PhysX destruction to the fore as teapots and dinner plates get smashed to pieces in mid-air. If you prefer something a little easier to hit then head instead to the Shooting Gallery where items are lined up on shelves for you to fire at against the clock (and if your system can deliver medium quality or better you can even shoot down the shelves). Or you can instead arm yourself with a squirt gun in Clown Painter and fire FleX-enhanced green goo into the mouths of clowns in order to burst balloons.
Of course if guns aren't your thing, how about swords? In Balloon Knight you're tooled up with a pair of swords, which you'll need to burst balloons as soon as they appear. You can stab them, slash them or just flail at them madly – making the confetti that bursts out of them swirl in the air using Flow. You’ll actually need to perform a quick slashing motion to pop the balloons as a light touch will only nudge them.
And even NVIDIA HairWorks makes an appearance in not one, but two attractions. Both Whack A Mole and Mole Boxing call on you to inflict violence on subterranean critters, either smashing them with mallets or putting on boxing gloves and giving them a good battering. Each of the furry little devils is adorned with its own crazy hairstyle that behaves just like real hair. If the violence gets too much for you then you can always muss up their hairdos instead.
It all looks amazing on a basic VR setup, but if you’re packing heftier hardware then things get even better. If you have two GPUs then VRWorks' VR SLI can assign a separate GPU to each eye for greater image quality. And should you have a third then that can take care of the PhysX side of things, VRWorks' Multi-Res Shading improves VR Funhouse's performance by intelligently rendering full detail only where your eyes can see it.
VR Funhouse is available to download right now on Steam for free.