Kingspray is the way to go for an authentic graffiti experience - but does it justify its $15 price point?
Having previously had a strong passion for art during the earlier years of my life, the creative implications of virtual reality have always intrigued me. From purpose-built titles such as Tilt Brush to games that allow us to witness previously unobtainable experiences – the way virtual reality can remove creative boundaries still amazes me to this day.
Kingspray is one of those titles that captured my attention from the outset, being a tool for creative expression rather than a linear virtual reality experience. Aiming to offer an accurate simulation as a graffiti artist, the game allows players to experiment with spray paint, without the dangers or responsibilities of the real world.
Although the idea behind the game is attractively simple at first, Kingspray's developer has built up this single idea with surrounding content and functionality. With hundreds of shades of paint, various nibs, and other settings to tweak your experience, the game solely focuses on creating a detailed graffiti simulator without compromising on its functionality. The game also throws social features into the mix, with four-player collaborative online play available for those larger projects.
One of the most appealing aspects of its premise is the use of virtual reality, giving players the opportunity to work in a VR space. Though I've previously criticized titles for simply adding VR integration to expand their feature set, Kingspray fully utilizes motion controls and room-scale technology to its full potential.
While Kingspray initially launched on the Oculus Rift alongside the launch of Oculus Touch, we've spent a majority of our time with the HTC Vive version. Supporting full room-scale and the one-to-one motion tracking of the HTC Vive controllers, Kingspray couldn't be better suited to the platform. From spray intensity controlled by the trigger to paint drips when oversaturating your canvas – the accuracy behind Kingspray emerges to be one of its biggest strengths.
The ability to work in a three-dimensional space with such freedom is a large part of the Kingspray's charm, similarly to other titles on the market such as Tilt Brush, Medium, and Quill.
However, unlike the aforementioned creative tools, Kingspray's interesting premise is also a major setback. While other artistic virtual reality games place a huge focus on creations in a 3D space, Kingspray is simply restricted to its two-dimensional canvases. While fun at first, its limitations can soon be a burden on an otherwise perfectly suited concept.
When adding that all three of the previously mentioned programs have also been offered for free through various methods, it's hard to justify the $15 price tag attached to Kingspray. The game's developer, Infectious Ape, has promised future updates - but a lack of variety leaves a lot down to the player's imagination.
Overall, Kingspray is a great creative VR tool – an amazing one at that. With a well-suited concept that's been built up with some much-welcome depth, the game is an experience that's hard not the recommend for any artistic VR user.
However, with little content offered to keep players coming back, Kingspray simply doesn't have the staying power of other more innovative creative titles. Nevertheless, if you're looking for an accurate and enjoyable graffiti experience for the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, Kingspray is simply unmatched among today's VR offerings.
- Great execution of its ideas
- Accurate spray painting mechanics
- Flexibility in painting tools
- Less value for money compared to other artistic titles
This review was conducted using an HTC Vive with a copy purchased by the reviewer.