VR game: Higher Ground

Guardian – Higher Ground is a small experimental prototype for Gear VR and Google Cardboard. Available in the Google Play Store and the Oculus Store via key redemption.

Send an email via the contact form link on the right side of the page or send a private message on the forum and I’ll send a free key.

The simplest way of getting the app is to copy this key on your device, then open the Oculus app, click More down the bottom and select Redeem Key. More info here. Once you’ve pasted that in, the app will be added to your library and you’ll get updates as you would with any Oculus Store app you purchased.

Guardian – Higher Ground is strongly influenced by an excellent game I once played on the Amiga called The Sentinel, where you climb a landscape in order to oversee the Guardian and conquer it. Note that the screenshots here are from an earlier version (but the art hasn’t got any better; I’m looking for someone who can fix that). For a small video of gameplay, follow this youtube link.


In the original, the player moves by teleportation. If you have enough energy you can project a clone of yourself and transport yourself into that shell. If you have time – that is, you’re not under attack – you can turn around and absorb your old shell so no energy is lost.


This type of gameplay was useful in the days when high-frame-rate 3D was not possible on domestic computers. But it also suits VR, where moving visually but remaining stationary physically is not a totally comfortable experience for everyone.

One important difference in this interpretation is that it requires only a Gear VR or Google Cardboard headset, and ideally a swivel chair. Gameplay is built around gazing and the occasional tap.

A Sentry appears
A Sentry appears

For the Gear VR version, the best way to try out the app is to send me your email address (via Contact button, bottom-right main page) and I’ll send an Oculus key. The rest is pretty simple. For Cardboard, just look for Guardian- Higher Ground in the Google Play Store.

The Guardian scanning

The game is fully functional but with minimal packaging.

Playing the game