Operation Warcade VR Review

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Operation Warcade VR is a genius idea that actually works! It harkens back to the glory days of arcade gaming. The days where you pump machines full of quarters and feel like a badass virtual Rambo. It is this emotional pull that captures its player base. It is not often that you get to rekindle some of your favorite childhood memories!

Therefore, this is a shooter that draws inspiration from the arcade war games of the 1980’s. Ivanovich Games believe that this is a compelling idea for a modern audience. I definitely agree with them. They’ve been able to create something modern from nostalgia. This isn’t an easy task.

Operation Warcade

In Operation Warcade Variety is King

There are not many games that shine utilizing both side-scrolling and first-person sequences. Generally, games are at their best when they decide to stick in one lane. Fortunately, it is advantageous here. This is because it creates a genuine sense of variety as it mixes up the action frequently.

The side-scrolling play makes me remember Operation Wolf. This is a game I played for countless hours as a child. It is a clear inspiration for the game. Therefore, as a fan of the original, this impresses me. I also love the first-person cockpit view with it again making me remember countless space and flight sims. Consequently, it is fair to suggest that this is the perfect title for the younger gamer version of me!

Use the Environment to Your Advantage

One of the highlights in games like Just Cause 3 is the environment. Gamers love environments that are either destructible or usable. In this game, players can control the environment via the gravity gun. Players can use most objects in the environment and use them as weapons. Therefore even the environment creates further variety in the gameplay. As a result, the amount of replayability within the game is substantially increased.

However, do note that before you consider a replay, there are a whopping 108 levels across 36 levels and a lot of unlockables to earn.

Simplistic Graphics

A common critique of the game appears to be that the game features simple graphics. I agree. However, I would point out that this constitutes some of what makes it charming. This is because the game is built as a homage to the great arcade games of the 1980’s. It would then be out of place if the graphics were designed to replicate a modern standard. In my opinion, the graphics achieve their goal.

Operation Warcade

Choose The Way You Play

One of the best features of the game is the fact that you can play the way you want to. This is because there are two game modes. The first mode is immersive mode. In this mode, the player is presented with missions with objectives. The other mode is arcade mode. In arcade mode, you play without having to complete specific objectives. Essentially, arcade mode is free-play mode.

Further, as an added bonus the developer created the opportunity to play immersive mode without paying attention to the missions. There is an option to press the Q, Z, P, and M keys at the same time to unlock all missions.

As a result, I believe that Ivanovich Games have considered as many audiences as possible in developing the game. Therefore it offers something for all types of action arcade fans.

Operation Warcade

Extrinsic Value

Ivanovich games have established a set of 20 achievements to unlock. Furthermore, the game also has a set of Steam trading cards.

Personally, I would like to see Ivanovich Games develop Operation Warcade into something larger. That doesn’t necessarily involve future DLC. However, they’re onto a winning formula with the arcade games.


My Opinion on Steam VR

Although Steam, on the whole, has an issue with too many poor games being released it is more glaring with VR. Given that this is such a relatively new medium for developers this is expected. Unfortunately, VR has seen more than its share of cash grabs. By cash grab, I mean games that are of an obviously poor or demo standard being sold on the store. Developers are pushing out games to meet the demands of a player base that invested in the technology before a library of quality games are available.

However, there is good news in the bad. For example, developers who are passionate about VR, such as Ivanovich Games, are able to get a foothold and build a positive reputation. Operation Warcade is their third pure VR release. The Barcelona based developer-publisher also have Final Soccer VR and Lander 8009 VR available for purchase. The former also enjoys positive reviews while the latter is yet to garner the same level of attention.

Operation Warcade

A Recommendation to Ivanovich Games

If I were Ivanovich Games I would create a large VR arcade with their games serving as the actual games in the arcade. The arcade would be a free to play title. You would be able to walk through the arcade from game to game and play the games you own. As the developers utilize demos they could make them a part of the arcade download. This would enable players to trial all of their games. When a player finds a game that they like they can purchase through Steam.

Furthermore, I believe this could prove to be lucrative. This is because Ivanovich Games could partner with other developers. They could charge developers a set fee to have their own VR games added to their arcade. Of course, the demos to those games would be available.

If possible I would create this to be community focused. Each player creates an avatar and can interact with others. There have been systems and games created like this before. I understand that it wouldn’t be an entirely new thing. However, it would serve a fundamental purpose of bringing VR players together.

I believe that this could be an exceptional vetting system for VR on Steam. This is because the developer would be veto any games they deem as not being good enough. Therefore, players would understand that the games they demo and subsequently purchase aren’t blatant cash grabs. Ultimately, this benefits both developer (financially) and VR owners (they won’t be playing garbage).

Operation Warcade

Final Verdict

Ultimately, it is not surprising to see Ivanovich Games release a VR hit. Operation Warcade is everything many VR fans have been clamoring for. If this game were in a real arcade it would be a crowd favorite. Therefore, I argue that you will not see an easier recommendation for a VR game this year.

If you’re still uncertain whether you will like the game or not, play the free demo!


  • Outstanding VR representation
  • Fun fun fun
  • Multiple ways to play


  • Some players don't appreciate the graphics


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