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I had not seen or experienced anything so beautiful in recent memory. It was almost a transcendental experience, where I had left this plane of existence entirely.
The demo is available now on the Meta store, and several options are available for the full experience: $5.99 per month, $29.99 per year, or a one-time payment of $60.
Tripp is available on Meta Quest/Quest 2, HTC Vive Flow, Rift/Rift S, and PlayStation VR.
Tripp, from the company Tripp, Inc., bills itself as a new way to meditate. Meditation apps are nothing new in the technology landscape, but this one aims for a more sensory experience.
Tripp starts in the middle of an ocean under a dark sky. Bright technicolor bulbs of light ascend into the air.
The soundtrack consists of lo-fi synth music designed to put players in a calming state.
Preceding gameplay, players are asked to fill out a short survey of their mood — from one to ten — and a description of their mental state based on a provided set of options.
After the player is done with a short breathing exercise, they are introduced to a mini-game, where they must use the motion of the VR headset to guide a kite towards a series of coins that approach the player.
This game soon introduces dark blocks that must be avoided while collecting coins. If the kite touches the block, an audio buzz will pop up, and the objects will slow down briefly, allowing players a moment of breathing room. The annoying buzz brings flashbacks to nerve-wracking games of Operation, which undercuts the goal of Tripp.
The controls for this section work precisely as they should, although it was somewhat difficult to gauge the distance of the coins and whether the kite and the coin lined up. Eventually, the game provided a guideline that would connect to the kite in an attempt to address the several bumps I experienced.
The final phase of the demo involves ascending over a giant, bulbous plant in what appears to be a wet, subterranean cavern. The plant blooms into gorgeous, bright flowers.
All through the experience, a voice maintains a calming presence, putting one at ease during the cosmic journey, kind of like Siri, but minus the spying.
When the time came to retake the quizzes from the start of the demo, my mood had gone from 6 to 7, and I went from feeling stressed to inspired.
Tripp is just one example of the artistic sensory experiences that are possible through VR technology.
Terrence J. Smith is MetaStellar's assistant fiction editor. He has contributed his writing to nonprofits and both print and digital publications. He enjoys all things technology, but remembers to meditate and appreciate the outside world.