Streaming behemoth Netflix first got involved in virtual reality (VR) years ago with its own dedicated app for watching its shows. While that app is sorely in need of an update or two, it has come to light this week that Netflix has very quietly released a videogame over on Oculus Quest’s App Lab, Eden Unearthed, a tie-in to anime series Eden. While it’s great that Netflix is showing a continued interest in VR – maybe thanks to Oculus veteran Mike Verdu joining the company – the launch is an unusual one due to the content and multiple app instances.
Eden launched back in May on the streaming service as a four-part series. Set in a future where mankind no longer walks the planet, instead, robots are the dominant lifeform, maintaining a lush green world whilst harvesting bio-fuel via apple orchards. However, a human girl named Sara appears and several robots take it upon themselves to raise her. Naturally, there are dark secrets to uncover in this idyllic utopia.
If you like anime then it’s well worth a watch but you may want to hold off playing Eden Unearthed. This is definitely one of those titles that’s more of an experience rather than a fully-fledged videogame. Sat on a bike, you can ride along pre-set routes collecting apples littered on the ground for fuel whilst occasionally coming across information points. These points fill in some of the backstory with actual clips but they also contain spoilers to the Netflix show, so it really depends on how bothered you are about this.
Once you’ve hit all those info points – it’ll probably take around five minutes to do so – there’s nothing else to do apart from riding around collecting apples. Not exactly much depth. Eden Unearthed feels more like an experiment, probably why it’s on App Lab. As you’d expect from Netflix the actual production qualities are excellent, the art style matches the show and the bike handles really well – you can easily adjust the handle placement for maximum comfort before heading off.
Just to add to the bizarre nature of the release, there are two versions on App Lab, both free, one seemingly released months ago. There’s Eden Unearthed App Lab which seems to have gained the most media attention, this notes a release date of 20th April 2021, a month before Eden actually arrived. Or then there’s Eden Unearthed which was released on 3rd August. They are two different versions v0.7 and v0.8 respectively but there doesn’t look to be any noticeable difference between the two. What those versions do suggest is the Eden Unearthed is still in development with the possibility of expansion.
In any case, both are freely available to download for your Oculus Quest. For further updates on Netflix’s VR plans, keep reading VRFocus.