Bootstrap Island is an upcoming virtual reality survival game that strands players on a lush but deserted tropical island. Developed exclusively for VR headsets, Bootstrap Island aims to provide an immersive Robinson Crusoe simulator using the power of Unreal Engine and virtual reality.
When starting the game, players find their characters washed up on the shore of an island paradise. With nothing but the clothes on your back, the core gameplay loop involves exploring the island and gathering resources to craft the tools, weapons, shelter and other items needed to survive for as long as possible.
In Bootstrap Island, the appeal comes from testing your survival skills in a roguelike environment. Each time you die, you unlock new equipment, better equipping you to face the island’s deadly threats for longer periods.
I was fortunate enough to playtest the game, and even though it’s still in the early stages, I was highly impressed. Maru VR Productions has achieved remarkable attention to detail, not just visually, but also in terms of interaction with the environment. For example, there are coconuts on the ground which you need to open up to drink and eat. To do this, you have to bang each one on a rock, pull off the outer husk with your hands, and finally crack it open to get to the goodness inside. They really nailed the feeling of weight in this game. You have to put a certain amount of force into everything, which feels great.
You have to use rocks to break open locks on randomly generated chests, lay down wood and tinder on the ground, then strike two rocks together producing sparks to light the fire. Everything works exactly as you would expect it to and it already feels very polished. I decided to wander into the sea with my flintlock gun in hand. When I tried to fire it, the bullet simply dropped out of the barrel. The gun became useless because I had gotten it wet.
The developers, based in Estonia, are not new to VR. They have years of experience creating games for VR arcades. Now, they’ve decided it’s time to develop a fully-fledged VR game. They are going all-in and plan to focus on launching for PC VR, as they found the Quest platform too limiting. Maybe PC VR isn’t dead after all.
There isn’t a release date yet, but you can wishlist the game on steam here.
To keep up to date with Bootstrap Island and the many other upcoming VR releases, make sure to stay tuned to the XR Update.