Released today, Towards a Perilous Journey by Sparkly Games is taking flight as a VR shoot em up game or “shmup” that will throw you into bullet hell quicker than you can blink. I tend to play team FPS games for PC and fast-paced VR rhythm games like Beat Saber It in my free time. I’d say that giving Towards a Perilous Journey a play was an interesting ride.

Towards a Perilous Journey

In Towards a Perilous Journey (TPJ) you’re given two ships that can also merge into one. In the game’s selection room there’s primary and secondary weaponry and defenses. At first, I didn’t know how much in-game currency I was given to start off with so I made some blind selections that increased power, reduced energy drain, and gave me a shield.

TPJ has two modes of gameplay — Chronicle or Journey mode. I selected Chronicle mode first because I wanted to see how long I’d last in the first go around. Well, I trekked along for a bit using my ships to blast into attacking blue and black enemies and then got swarmed by bigger orange and black spotted enemies.

The orange spheres sprayed firey bullets and hit me in rapid succession. Equipped with 3 lives, I died over and over again many times. Finally, I realized that I could use one ship to shoot ahead of me and use the other to shoot at the little buggers flying around.

All the while, I maneuvered the ships with my arms so they could fly through the orange particles sideways and apart from each other. Sometimes I even stacked them behind one another to get through the blasts and to build up my ships energy by not getting hit.

The music during the first Chronicle map was “Vengabus” by Pierlo which kept my momentum up for the first handful of attempts. After being defeated numerous times I grew a tad weary of the level’s music. With so many songs in the game, I wished more of them would cycle through, kind of like how To the Top switches up theirs.

After regrouping and going back for more (with a vengeance), I eventually learned how to shoot strategically as both hands did wildly different maneuvers. Thank goodness for all the Beat Saber-ing I’ve done.

The next Chronicle had a song “Night Owl” by Broke For Free that I really vibed with. I didn’t pass this level of the game but it did have the same enemies as the first level and it did get much harder. Gamers that live for bullet hell will find that Towards a Perilous Journey is right up their alley. Much respect if you can shmup with the best of them on their leaderboard.

The Leaderboard

With 24 levels of gameplay in TPJ, there are hours of Chronicles to conquer and Journey’s to go on. Gamers that want to climb the leaderboard will want to take part in Sparkly Games “Towards a Perilous Journey Launch Odyssey” (#TPJLO).

Sparkly Games says that Oculus Rift and Steam players “will compete to secure top scoring spots in each leaderboard from 25th of January (12h UTC+0) to 1st February (12h UTC+0). Top leaders on each level (arcade mode) and Journey mode will be granted with a unique spaceship skin.”

It’s also available on Viveport for Oculus Rift, Vive Pro and HTC Vive and is compatible with Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus and Vive on Steam for $11.99.