To dream is to use Daydream.
I know what I'm planning to do on Christmas Day: Get my family believing in the dream that is Google's Daydream.
I've been having tons of fun exploring the different virtual reality apps offered in the Play Store and there are a surprising number of ready-to-go games and movies available. If you're like me and you're planning to evangelize wonder of virtual reality at the holiday dinner time, here are five apps to load up on your smartphone before you start the showcase.
If you're going to convince someone of the worthiness of a virtual reality headset, the first thing you have to do is help them ease into it. I'm of the belief that it's a bad idea to jump into a game or anything overly immersive. Instead, start off with a short film that uses virtual reality's mechanics but doesn't send your pal into a tailspin.
Within is a particularly great starter app because it's one of the least jarring. Its interface is easy to navigate with just the Daydream controller, and you can pick from a variety of independently-made movies and documentaries, the bulk of which have received accolades from film festivals around the world. My favorite is The Click Effect, which takes you underwater to understand the language of dolphins and whales. Be sure to use a pair of headphones or earbuds for the full 3D spatial VR experience.
Evil Robot Traffic Jam
Evil robots love to start traffic jams around the world — what a bunch of jerks. Fight them off and help keep your town's infrastructure in line in this tower defense game called Evil Robot Traffic Jam. With your Daydream controller, you can place defenses around your city to keep these evil dudes from wreaking havoc.
Evil Robot Traffic Jam plays much like Plants vs. Zombies. You've got to set up weapons stations along the main road to get the cars from causing a jam. Each car you smack down gives you coins, which helps you pay for upgrades. At the end of each level, there is a "boss" of sorts that can only be defeated if there are enough battle stations to take it down.
The Turning Forest
Anyone who says virtual reality isn't creative expression is out of touch. BBC's The Turning Forest is visually and audibly stunning. It originally premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and it follows the young child's journey on a half-elephant, half-camel's back. To get the most out of this app, grab a pair of headphones, put yourself in a comfortable swivel chair, and use the controller to make music with the monster's teeth, the birds, the fish, and the icicles. The Turning Forest is truly a work of art.
The "up in space" simulation of Daydream VR is phenomenal, made even more so with the aid of an impressive pair of headphones. Equip yourself with your favorite pair and hang tight in Hello Mars, a realistic space simulation which takes you through the Mars vehicle landing procedure. The experience was recreated using NASA's public data and Hello Mars exists as a dedication to those who work on aerospace science & technologies.
If you're looking for something particularly kid-friendly, Wonderglade teleports you to theme park where you can enjoy a bevy of classic carnival games. They're easy to play with the Daydream controller and the app's host, Alba, will help guide you through the mechanics of each individual game, including Magic Mayhem, which requires you smash as many flying ice crystals as possible, and Tiny Tee Gold, which takes you through nine virtual reality mini-golf holes. Best of all, you don't need to leave the house to play any of this!
Did your first Daydream app not make the list? Share your first Daydream experiences with us in the comments!