Feb. 17, 2023

App Lab High Five - Five games on App Lab that are worth your time

App Lab High Five - Five games on App Lab that are worth your time

There are so many great games on the App Lab I want to highlight five of them that are totally worth your time.

What is App Lab?

For those of you who might not know what App Lab is, it’s basically an uncurated part of the Meta Quest store that is home to games that might be a bit more experimental, in progress or even fully completed. Here is a great guide on App Lab and how to install games. I like to use the VRDB.app website for easily finding what is new on App Lab as it’s quite hard to navigate using the Meta Quest app because you need to type in the names exactly to get a result.

App Lab Standouts

There are plenty of App Lab games that you probably have already heard of that are destined to make it to the main store such as Swordsman VR, Pavlov Shack and Battle Talent. There are also games that just need a little more publicity, reviews or downloads to give them the final push to be given the green light to be added to the official Meta Quest app store. Games like Bocce Time!, Dead Second and Dragon Fist: VR Kung Fu. In this article, I’ll talk about a few games that are under the radar. Some on this list are full games that have had multiple updates and could easily move to the main store, others might be demos or concepts. In any case, these are the games that might not make most lists you’ll find online. So, here are five games on App Lab that are worth your time.


Hanna in a choppa 3

Hannah in a Choppa 3

Price: Free

Game type: Puzzle

From the developer on their store page: “Take flight in the latest installment of the hugely popular Hanna in a Choppa series of games. This time, in fabulous 3D VR on the Rift and Quest, rather than crappy old 2D Flash. Guide Hanna through 10 bonkers levels, each with hidden secrets and achievements. Train your pet elephant Stompy, steal honey from pesky bees, humiliate upgraded OXOBot at his own game, and of course, The Button makes a spectacular return.”

About the game: Some of you may have heard of Hanna in a Choppa from its Flash origins. I randomly found this game and wondered what it was all about. The price was right (free) and it sounded like a fun puzzler. The main objective of each level is to fly your helicopter from the start to the end without getting hit by obstacles or enemies. But it’s not just a straightforward path, there are traps, switches, puzzles and more to figure out. Along with hidden tasks and trophies to acquire, this game could take a few hours to fully complete, although you could be finished with it inside of an hour if you’re just main-lining it. Every level felt like they added a new enemy or mechanic to figure out or a new puzzle type to figure out. It kept me on my toes and I thoroughly enjoyed its unique gameplay and black and orange aesthetic.


agent simulation

Agent Simulation Demo

Price: Free

Game type: Action

From the developer on their store page: “Agent Simulation is an action, simulation, and strategy game in which each player shows their targeting skills and agility against enemies in a virtual environment. In each level of the ‘Agent Simulation’, you will be evaluated according to your targeting skills. Before the limited time provided ends, you must kill all your enemies.”

About the game: Lots of games are considered John Wick or Matrix style games. Games like Crisis Brigate 2 and Pistol Whip are brought up a lot - and rightfully so, they’re dynamite games.  This game though, Agent Simulation wears its true inspiration of SuperHot VR on its sleeve. It is a short 15-30 minute demo that puts you in the shoes of a Neo-like character from the Matrix in absurd situations that see you needing to kill multiple enemies while dodging their bullets from close range. Sometimes you may be in a blank, white open area, a building office, or even wilder situations that I don’t want to spoil here. This one will get you moving, dodging and absolutely will give you that “just one more try” feeling until you figure out the right moves to get through each stage. A fun game that I hope someday goes beyond just a demo.




Price: $9.99

Game type: Sports

From the developer on their store page: “Play the racket game from the future in your living room today! Are you ready to break a sweat in this ball bouncing, brick smashing madness? Can you destroy every single brick by swinging the rackets, shooting laser guns and detonating explosive balls, all while dodging shrapnel, charging up the piercing ball and collecting power-ups? Compete against your friends on the global leaderboard in 50 different levels or try to get as far as you can in the endless mode (sweat towels are sold separately)! Can you smash them all?”

About the game: You don’t need a lot of room to play this, but it certainly will help as you’ll be swinging your pickleball sized racket around playing a modern take on Arkanoid. The first few levels start out slow, to get you familiar with the physics and different brick types, from there though, the game starts to incorporate new power ups, blocks and scenarios. I played through the entire game in a few hours, but kept coming back to it to better my score and just because it was plain fun.


mash me up

Mash Me Up

Price: Free

Game type: Party/Mini Games

From the developer on their store page: “Do you want to play party games with your friends or meet someone new? All is just one button press away with Mash Me Up. One button, multiple games. Will it be Air Hockey, Pier Pong, Flingball, or… Get ready for a surprise! Press, Play, Enjoy and Go Again!”

About the game: This game has a bunch of mini games - Pier Pong, Snowball fighting, Flingball, Sketchy, Air Hockey and more - 15 and counting as of posting. Half are solid, three are great and one has me hooked - Geo Challenge. This mini game alone could be a standalone game itself. You and a friend are sitting in front of a globe and given a prompt such as “Birthplace of Chris Hemsworth” from there the timer starts and you have to place a pin on the globe to where you think he was born - closest pin to the correct location wins, and the first to five wins take the game. It really is a great time, but despite it being free, my complaints are plentiful. There is a real lack of players, so you really need to bring a friend with you to play. I appreciate the variety of games, but some are just a bit too wonky and not dialed in to be fun. Lastly, the player count. This game - especially Geo Challenge could easily support 4, 6 or 8 people and would be incredible. Right now, all games support two, and the fun could grow exponentially with several games with a larger player count. The last update was two months ago as of February 2023, so development is still active it would seem. I have high hopes for this one, and recommend you and a friend jump in.


sep's diner

Sep’s Diner

Sep’s Diner Demo

Price: $11.99 / Free Demo

Game type: Cooking

From the developer on their store page: “Welcome to Sep's Diner, the new burger restaurant of which YOU are the Chef! Will it really become the best burger in town? It's up to you now!

Level after level, your experience will increase as well as the number of your gourmet customers. They are in a hurry, so make it quick to satisfy them before they leave!

Hungry and impatient, they won't let you make a mistake... Be attentive and precise, to make the best possible profit! Including a brand new UI and weekly challenge!”

About the game: Sep’s Diner was one of the first games I played on my Oculus Quest 2 and it holds a special place in my heart. There is no shortage of cooking games on the store - Lost Recipes, Cook-Out and Counter Fight Ichiran. What Sep’s Diner has is charm, great artwork and a fun game loop. You are an employee in one of three restaurants - burger joint, donut shop or kebab food truck. Customers come up with their order and you need to cook, assemble and give the food to the correct customer within the time limit. Things get quite hectic with the timer running as well. With three different restaurants to choose from and four game modes - including multiplayer, you could be playing this game for quite a while. I found myself hooked on the leaderboards and always looking for friends to play with. I never had the chance to play this with four players, but I imagine it would be chaotic fun. With over 30 different combinations of recipes to fill, customers will keep you on your toes.

Those are the five games on App Lab that I believe are worth your time. Do you have a favorite App Lab game? An obscure game that goes under the radar? Let me know on the Ruff Talk Discord channel. Until then, I hope your next VR experience is a memorable one.

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