Angry Beard, a VR gesture-based spell-casting tower defense game by Charles Wang, Mohamad Moneimne, and Rachel Hwang.
Angry Beard is a room scale VR game designed to combine the satisfying qualities of a dance game with the tactical elements of a tower defense game, all in the context of an exciting, over the top, heavy-metal-themed 360 environment.
In Angry Beard, a player takes on the role of wizard defending his tower from waves of incoming monsters by casting spells. The player casts spells using a sequence of dance-like gestures made with two hands. As the game goes on, players learn to cast these spells at higher and higher speeds as enemies spawn more frequently. Angry beard encourages players to take full advantage of their virtual space as enemies will spawn in 360 all around the player’s tower. This requires players to not only master the physical motions associated the arsenal of spells they command, but also to move around their tower and keep on guard against attacks coming from all sides.
In addition to mastering spell casting, Angry Beard requires tactical playing. Different spell types have different-sized areas of effect, but also different mana costs, meaning that players will have to strategically choose which spells they want to cast, and when based on the distribution of enemies. This adds strategic depth to the game and creates a multi-dimensional challenge for players.
With a colorful, larger-than-life, heavy-metal-inspired fantasy aesthetic, Angry Beard also has obvious appeal for fans of high fantasy and loud music. The game includes a lot of fun gameplay rewards in the form of exciting audio and flashy FX when spells are correctly cast or enemies are eliminated. For example, a guitar riff plays as the player refills their mana. The game is action-packed from beginning to end, thanks to the persistent waves of enemies and heavily-stylized base gameplay mechanics.
Overall, Angry Beard is a novel VR that takes full advantage of the platform and creates a memorable, cross-genre gameplay experience by incorporating the fun of dance gestures into an heart-pounding, yet tactical action game.