Viveport Review: Stonehenge VR Sandbox
An incredible field trip to Stonehenge already enjoyed by thousands of students and families, this learning experience finally leaves the museum and comes home to take you to the iconic monument.
By Desmond Madison, Greenlit Content
Initially debuting in 2016 as a museum installation by startup studio Voyager VR, the educational and historical application Stonehenge VR was once only available in limited locations around the world. One of the first room scale VR exhibits in museums like the Pacific Science Center in Seattle and the Museum at Prairiefire in Overland Park, Kansas, this groundbreaking tour of the prehistoric monument in Wilshire, England finally goes global with additional features in the all-new, fully updated, Stonehenge VR Sandbox.
First time visitors to Stonehenge will want to load up the experience in Museum Mode. There, they’ll get a tutorial on how the controls work, as it’s also carefully been designed to accommodate users who have likely never used a Vive before, let alone virtual reality. Users will hear a calm and carefully narrated voice over as they are given a deeply detailed lesson in the history of this Neolithic monument, all being rendered in glorious detail using the Unreal 4 Engine. Both the Winter and Summer Solstices can be seen throughout different points across the ages, and users can watch the sun rise and fall beyond the gorgeous horizon.
In the application’s latest home release for Viveport, Sandbox mode has been added to go beyond the educational museum experience. Sandbox mode allows users to build, paint, fly through, and design their own versions of the monument that can even be knocked down ‘Jenga’ style in virtual reality. If that’s not enough, you can also save and share your creations online over social media, even allowing for export of 3D videos straight to the web. It’s an impressive suite of additional features that take things out of the purely observational museum experience, and really allow the user to get their hands on all the tools they need to create works of art with a level of ease that Stonehenge’s Neolithic creators could never have imagined. You can even load up the music player to adjust the Stonehenge VR soundtrack, or listen to your own custom music files when poking around the monument.
Stonehenge VR Sandbox offers such a richly detailed tour of the famed circle of stones that users familiar with the monument have even reported feeling as if they were really there again, while others with terminal sickness and limited mobility have been overjoyed to visit this historic site without having to travel all the way to England.
There’s a lot to love about this experience, and whether you’re in Museum mode or Sandbox mode, this makes for a wonderful introduction to VR and Vive while providing an educational and creative platform that almost anyone can approach. People of all ages will appreciate what Stonehenge VR has to offer, and just as it continues to be used in museums across the world today, it will definitely inspire a sense of wonder even in those who never thought that VR would be for them. Don’t take our word for it, give Stonehenge VR Sandbox a try and be sure to bring the whole family!
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