Category Archives: Game Review

Reviews by our GameTrader.SG editors.

Immersive 4D VR is now available in Singapore

Last Friday, our team at GameTrader was invited to the media preview of the new Sandbox VR at Orchard Central for an out of this world VR experience. We screamed, laughed and thoroughly enjoyed ourself as we battle zombies and ghouls on a tattered pirate ship. It was truly a different kind of VR experience at a new level of realism.

By now most of you would have experienced Virtual Reality (VR) in some form or another. From the simple Google Cardboard that uses your mobile phone as a VR screen to  the PlayStation VR, VR was proliferated rather quickly to the masses in recent years.

If you have a mobile phone, which you would most likely have, you can get easily buy a VR headset and jump into VR. Some of these headsets cost only SGD10. If you wish to have a better VR experience, you can also spend a few hundred dollars on higher-end VR sets like the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive.

Google Cupboard – The low-cost VR headset

The current state of VR

Unfortunately, the much excitement surrounding VR has mostly been subsided in the last two years or so. It’s seems that VR is going down the same path as 3D television, in which the latter is declared a failure by the TV industry.

Farpoint VR game on PlayStation VR

The major complain that I have with VR is the giddiness that I will usually get after being in VR for even just 5 minutes. Having tried the recent Farpoint VR game on the Sony PlayStation VR, I felt nauseating after less than 5 minutes of play. The main problem of that VR game was that the player uses the analog stick to move in a fairly big open space. My brain simply cannot reconcile with the fact that I’m moving in VR but stationary in the real word. What I see simply doesn’t match with what my body experience. This remains the main reason why I think VR gaming will not take off in the near future unless this issue is fixed.

Sandbox VR immersive VR

Sandbox VR opened their first store in Hong Kong in June 2017. The booking for the Hong Kong store is usually full. Customers have to make booking weeks in advance. Their success have attracted Alibaba to invest $3 million in the company. They also produced their own proprietary games such as Deadwood Mansion and Curse of Davy Jones.

What makes Sandbox VR different

Your tactical vest and weapons

Unlike other VR, Sandbox VR combined motion tracking together with latest VR hardware technology to bring about an wholistic full-dive VR experience. Other that the Oculus Rift VR headset, players would have to don on a backpack, motion tracking devices on their arms and leg as well as a tactical vest which provides mechanical feedback. If you get injured or shot, you will get vibration on the vest adding to the realism.

Staff explaining how to wear the motion tracker

The combination of all hardwares together with the high fidelity graphic of the game, will literally teleport you into another world. In the virtual world, your avatar move as you move yourself physically within the room. You can also see your friends, albeit in their chosen avatar, in the same gameplay. Everything felt realistic from the sight, the sound and even the physical surrounding. I shall not spoil the game for you but the fans shown below are not to keep you cool.

Fans not design to keep you cool

Game Play

Soldier from the future

Players can choose between the two games that are currently available. They are Deadwood Mansion and The Curse of Davy Jones.

The game is social unlike most VR game. Each room can accommodate 2-6 players together in the same game play. The games are design to be cooperative in nature. For example, if your party member is down, you would need to hold on to their shoulders to recover them, much like Left 4 Dead. At one point when all three of us were swamped by pirate zombies, we were literally cuddling up together at a corner of the room in true bromance fashion. Needless to say, there were lots of laughter and screaming at that point in the game.

The game that we tried, The Curse of Davy Jones, was quite unlike other VR games we have played before. It is fairly challenging. At the beginning, pirate zombies just rush to you in a haphazard manner. But towards the end, flying ghosts will dash in your direction like a homing missiles. That is when the game really get serious.

Shoot all zombies!

Unlike the typical escape room, we experienced a total of four different ‘room’ throughout our 30 minutes in the game. Besides the zombie horde that you have to shoot to kill throughout each level, there are also a total of three to four bosses to battle. Each has their own vulnerability that you have to figure out yourself. The game requires brawl and brain as well. To advance to next level there are also puzzles that you and your friends have to solve.

GameTrader.SG Tips for Players

Wear your contact lenses if you have.

No glasses are allowed to prevent scratches of the Oculus Rift lenses. Hence if you have your own contact lenses, do wear them. However if you don’t have, Sandbox VR does have some prescriptive lenses at various degree. They are available in limited quantity so you might not get the exact same degree as your spectacles.

Make full use of your body

Remember that this is not your typical VR game. Move your body around to avoid the enemy. Dodge the projectile like how you will in real life. Don’t be shy and move that body.

Use that torch

The team leader will be given a torch. That is actually a rather useful piece of equipment. While you are busy shooting the enemies, do not forget that your torch can help you and your team mate as well.

Teamwork is important

The zombies are going to come at all directions. Shout out to your team mate if the enemies are coming from your direction. Strategize beforehand. Assign team mates to cover certain angle so that there will be no crossfire and all angles are covered. See that zombie creeping up your friend? Shout to them or shoot them for him. When your teammate is low in health, be sure to rush to them and heal them.

Experiencing Sandbox VR

Sandbox VR is located at Orchard Central level 5 unit #5-31. Their official opening hours and pricing are as such (as of 31st March 2018) :

Sandbox VR storefront

Official Store Launch: Friday, 30 March 2018 Pricing

● Monday – Friday from 11.30am – 6.00pm: $38/pax

● Monday – Thursday from 6.00pm – 10pm: $48/pax

● Friday from 6.00pm – 11:30pm: $48/pax

● Saturday – Sunday from 11.30am – 11pm: $48/pax

An entire session is about an hour with 15 minutes briefing and preparation of gears followed by 30 minutes of gameplay. Finally you will be debriefed and will get to see videos of your team in action which will last about another 15 minutes. At the end of the session, you will also get your gameplay video which they will upload to their Facebook page as well.

You can start booking at their home page with this link. Walk-in are also welcome.

Debriefing of your VR adventure

Cuphead Review – Frustratingly Fun

Cuphead is the latest indie game that has caught the attention of many. Up to two players can play this run and shoot game which some will draw similarities with Metal Slug. However, Cuphead’s gameplay and artistic styles makes it a truly unique game on its own.

1930s cartoonist style

Straight after booting up the game, you will feel as if you have step into a time portal and transported to the 1930s. The slight static noise visible on the screen is not a sign of your TV breaking down but added on purpose as a nostalgic touch.

The characters in the game will feel familiar to you but at the same time refreshing. The developers had taken reference from animators in the 1930 such as Disney. The surrealistic nature of the bosses (a flower firing carrot missile etc.) was inspired by cartoonist of that time.

The presentation, art style and also music blends together perfectly, making it one of the most aesthetically pleasing game we have played so far. No fancy 3D graphics but just hand drawn animation that looked so good.

Tough game to beat but satisfying

As a run and shoot title, you control the main protagonist, Cuphead, shooting your way through over 30 bosses. A second player can also join the game controlling Mugman, brother of Cuphead. Kind of like Mario and Luigi.

Cuphead has infinite lives. So you can’t game over technically. But if you think this is an easy game, think again. This is one of the HARDEST game by far we have ever played in the last five years! Each boss fights or run-through level requires multiple rounds of playing before you can actually master and beat them.

Generally games require two things for you to beat them. One being luck and the other being skill (we are disregarding the pay-to-win model some games employed today). And Cuphead is one that is heavy on the skill side.

After umpteen attempts at beating a level or boss, at the moment when you finally beats it, joy and satisfaction will definitely overwhelm you.

Comparison with other shoot and run games

Cuphead has been likened to the Metal Slug series for obvious reasons. However, we actually found it to be more similar to the Megaman (aka Rockman) series.

In the Megaman, you beats of a series of boss to gain power of that boss. While that did not happen in Cuphead, the level of difficulty of the bosses in both games are equitable in our opinion. The dashing mechanism is also familiar to those who have played the more recent Megaman.

Need help with the Game? Our Tips!

This game is tough. Let us share with you some tips.

  1. Get the more HP charm – Although this will reduce your damage slightly, the extra health will be much needed especially in later bosses where it becomes almost impossible to loss 3 lives before beating them.
  2. Dash – Dashing is a great way to escape. Set your keyboard/game pad such that this button is easily reached. Getting the smoke bomb charm earlier in the game is also recommended.
  3. Play with controllers – If you are playing on the PC version and not the Xbox version like us, use a controller. It is easier to play with a controller than keyboard. Also your Playstation 4 controller will work nicely with the game.
  4. Learn the pattern – Most of the moves by the bosses are predictable to a certain extent. There are times when there will be some randomness in the move the boss makes. But by mastering the ways to avoid taking damages from the various moves, you will be on your way to beat the game.
  5. Super Arts – Don’t forget to use them. When you are fully charged, these Super Arts are a great way to end the level dealing lethal damage.

If you think games these days are to easy and want more challenge, this is the game you should try. You can get the game for Xbox One or on Steam right now.

Best Buddy Award for Metal Gear Solid 5 Phantom Pain

GameTrader.SG Best buddy Award For MGS 5 TPP

One of the cool feature of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is the buddy system. Unlike previous MGS in the series where you are to fight out on the battlefield alone, MGS5 TPP allows you to bring in one of your buddy to the field. To find out the best buddy for fellow GameTraders, we played over 60 hours of gameplay using a mix of different buddies and equipments to evaluate each buddy’s abilities.


In the beginning, your only buddy is D-Horse, which acts as a transportation tool more than anything else. While D-Horse is definitely useful in the earlier part of the game to travel across the vast land of Afghanistan, it does very little with respect to combat. Yes sure, you can get it to poo and it’s dropping will cause enemy vehicle to skid. However, that will require good timing and placing of the dropping. So far, I did not manage to do it even once. Either the dropping is placed off course or no vehicle is going through after D-Horse empty his bowel.

Once you start to use other buddy and not D-Horse, you may miss it especially when you need to run another 1000m to your next mission or checkpoint.


This little puppy that you have ‘fulton-ed’ earlier on in the game, grows up to be a ferocious dog (or wolf). D-Dog has many abilities that can be unlock with R&D. It can kill, stun, bark and even fulton enemy for you without expending your fulton. Also D-Dog can sniff out enemies, wild lives and plants and mark it conveniently on your map.

Personally, I don’t really find the bark ability useful in the field. Many times, D-Dog stays close to your side. If you command it to bark, it will only attract unnecessary attention to your hiding spot. You can ask D-Dog to wait first at your spot then move on to a new spot before asking it to bark. However, it is too tedious for me to manage a buddy like that.

Also, at any one sortie, D-Dog can only be equip with a single ability from the selection of kill, stun and fulton. So if you want the unlimited fulton ability of D-Dog, it cannot kill or stun enemy.


D-Walker has tons of R&D that you can buy to upgrade this machine. While it is rather costly, with enough investment D-Walker can be quite a killer machine to bring out for mission. We don’t suggest using D-Walker for stealth mission, but it maybe useful for missions where firepower is needed. Do note that in the earlier stage when you first get D-Walker, it is not advisable to bring it out to field just yet. You will need a number of upgrades before it is deem combat ready.

The good things about D-Walker is that no bonding is needed. Also, it can be used as a sentry gun with its intercept mode. In the video above, we see how this player uses D-Walker well using its intercept mode.


For some people, you may never get Quiet to be on your team. In main ops 11, after defeating Quiet, you can choose to kill her or to capture her. Killing her will mean that she will not appear any more in the later part of the game.

Quiet has two modes of operation, the scout mode and the attack mode. Both can be access from the iDroid. In scout mode, Quiet will infiltrate an outpost that you specify on the map and marked out enemies for you. Quiet will then move into attack mode once all enemies have been marked. She will not fire unless you give her command to.

Quiet’s bonding takes time to build. Initially, with low bonding, she will not listen to you at all and that can be hard for your mission. But after your bond has max out or reach 50%, she will be a very valuable asset to you. To bond with her, you can visit her frequently on the medical platform other than bringing her out to the field.

For me, I would usually sent quiet out to scout out an outpost of base I am heading too. Her super human speed makes sure that she is always ahead of me. So before even reaching my destination, all the enemies are marked out nicely for me. Once you unlock the tranquilliser sniper rifle, you can essentially command her to take out the whole base of enemy while you fulton them away happily.

Quiet can get injured and will be place in the sick bay if her health has reduced to zero. To prevent that, whenever her sniping spot is compromised (you will know this when the enemy starts shooting at her or radio back to HQ that they spotted a sniper), select a new attack spot for her from your iDroid. If you get the silencer for her rifle eventually, the enemy will have a much tougher time finding her.


Quiet will leave you permanently  (*soob soob*) starting from main ops 43. The easiest way to prevent this is to equip butterfly emblem before mission 41.


And the award goes to …

Quiet! I mean Quiet ….shh……

Quiet is the most versatile and easy-to-manage buddy on the field. While D-Dog can mark enemies, so can Quiet. D-Walker is a bit too loud and clumsy for our liking although we love the fulton canon that can fulton even vehicle from a range.  D-Horse for us, is more of a transportation tool. Vehicles can be gotten easily on the field and can move as fast if not faster than D-Horse.

Quiet allows us to be super stealthy in our mission. At times, we even reached a outpost with all enemy tranquillised ready for us to fulton away! However, you would need a rather high bond with Quiet and the proper weapon with silencer for her before you can realise her full potential.

So that is our pick for Best Buddy Award MGS5 TPP. Although we think that Quiet is the best buddy for us, other buddies may better suit your gameplay. For us, we like stealth and fultoning people to mother base and Quiet is really helpful in that. Different buddies will require different tactics and way of playing..

Which is your best buddy? Let us know in the comments below.