Next Move is a VR platformer that I’ve been playing since its launch on 30th November 2023. With its simple, stylized graphics, interesting gameplay mechanics, controls that match your real-life movements, and level design that keeps the game feeling fresh, I think this game is a hidden gem. I’ve spent about 20 hours playing Next Move on Quest 3 so far and I’ve loved every minute of it.
Next Move is a first-person 3D platformer at heart, and the main goal is to run and jump your way across a series of maps, avoiding a variety of pitfalls and traps, using a combination of logic and skill. The graphics are simplistic but the art style is appealing and easy on the eye. The controls are mapped to your real-life movements, which feel natural and intuitive, and after a quick tutorial that only lasts a few minutes, you’ll be able to run and jump your way around each level.
New gameplay mechanics are introduced at a nice pace, with something new being introduced just as you start to master the previous skill. Each level mixes up gameplay mechanics to ensure things always feel interesting, and the non-linear level design keeps you guessing about what’s coming next.
To run, you just press the grip buttons on your controllers and make a running motion with your hands to move forward. Pressing the A button while doing this results in you moving backward. The faster you move your hands, the faster you’ll move within the game. You jump by lifting your arms in the air and letting go of the grip buttons.
This is obviously a game that has been designed for VR from the very start, and the control system makes the platforming gameplay feel fresh and interesting. It’s great to see a game make such good use of the unique advantages of virtual reality to produce a control system that feels intuitive.
Next Move Video Review
In addition to this article, I’ve also made a video review that shares all my thoughts about the positives and negatives of Next Move. I show off all the gameplay and features that you’ll need to check out to help you decide if this is a game for you.
Next Move VR Gameplay
Whilst the tutorial helps you master the basics, you’ll start to encounter a variety of challenges as you work your way through the early levels. You’ll need to avoid spikes that appear from the ground and stand on pressure plates to make platforms move to help you complete the early levels.
As you continue, you’ll learn climbing mechanics, use zip lines, navigate timed sections, dodge cannon shots, jump on virtual trampolines, and have to fend off formidable killer birds with a gun that you can pull from behind your head. Each level has a different aesthetic and challenges, so that each one feels fresh, avoiding any sense of repetition.
Whilst the first few levels are fairly straightforward, the difficulty ramps up quickly, so you will have to try some sections multiple times to get past them successfully. Thankfully, there is a time reversal mechanic that you can use when you make a mistake. You need to collect hourglass icons that you can use to rewind the gameplay to just before things went wrong, but you will need to use them reasonably carefully, as there isn’t an unlimited supply.
In addition, there are regular checkpoints to ensure that each failure isn’t punished excessively, and knowing that failure has few consequences really encouraged me to keep trying again and again until I was successful.
There are several secrets to collect in each level, which adds to the interest and challenge, and a level timer opens the door wide open to doing speed runs of each level and trying to improve your best time. This is an activity that has always really appealed to me and it increases the replayability massively.
I think Typico Games has made some really intelligent game design decisions with Next Move, stripping the game back to the essential gameplay that makes the game fun. As we see so often with games of all descriptions, it’s the gameplay design and implementation that determines how enjoyable and replayable a game is, rather than the graphics or any other gimmicks.
What I like About Next Move VR
Next Move focuses on creating satisfying gameplay using control mechanics that utilize the strengths of VR. The basic gameplay loop of navigating increasingly difficult obstacles and avoiding numerous pitfalls feels really satisfying. All of the gameplay is boiled down to its simplest form, meaning that you can learn the basics of what to do and how to do it extremely quickly. I found it to be quite a challenging game, but the escalation in the difficulty level feels about right The low consequences of failure and the ability to undo your mistakes eliminate any apprehension I feel about trying a tricky section of a level.
Overcoming a section of a level that has beaten me multiple times feels amazing, and the continual introduction of new challenges, creative level design, and varying level aesthetics kept me interested and motivated throughout my time playing the game.
The climbing mechanics are some of the most satisfying and seamless I have used in a VR game thanks to the intuitive controls. Simply reach for a handhold and press the grip button to grab it. You can maneuver along ledges, around cliffs, and up walls with ease. There is also a really effective mechanic for transitioning from climbing to walking again that feels as good as anything I’ve ever tried.
One aspect of the game that I really appreciated was the music and sound effects, which create a wonderful, chilled vibe as you navigate this challenging platformer. The music fits really well with the art style and gameplay, somehow making you feel relaxed while playing, even though you’re never far away from failure at any moment.
What Needs To Be Improved With Next Move VR
Despite all the things Next Move does really well, there is still room for improvement. Firstly, I think the locomotion system still needs a little tweaking, as it sometimes feels like you are sliding around the floor, rather than running, and it’s very easy to overshoot where you want to go, resulting in falling off platforms a little more often than I’d like.
Changing direction while running also feels like you’re moving on ice, as you tend to drift a little too far in your previous direction when you turn, and this has resulted in me falling off platforms as I go around corners. Whilst this is something I can learn to adapt to, and increases the challenge of the game, it is less intuitive than the other excellent gameplay mechanics.
One of the downsides of Next Move is that it isn’t without bugs. Certainly nothing game-breaking, but I encountered quite a few during my time playing the game. The most common one I saw was that I would occasionally respawn in mid-air after dying, rather than on a platform at a checkpoint. Thankfully, I would usually respawn in the correct location on the second attempt, although very occasionally, I had to use the option within the settings menu to respawn at a checkpoint.
I believe that Next Move is the first game by Typico Games, and I am hugely impressed by what they have produced. I honestly think this game is an undiscovered gem and I really hope it gets the recognition it deserves. Next Move is available on the Quest store for Meta Quest 3, Quest 2, and Quest Pro, and on Steam for any VR headset that is able to play Steam VR games. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the game, I haven’t been incentivized in any other way to write this article and I have no affiliation with Typico Games.