Remember what Egon said in Ghostbusters? “Don’t cross the streams?”
Well, local virtual reality game Mystical Mayhem did that very thing in, with an amalgamation of some (not so) serious ghost-extermination, haunted-house-exploration adventures and also of poking playfully at online streamers who are willing to do just about anything for viewership. And between the two, losing followers definitely seems like the true horror story here.
This is what happens when you mix TikTok with the Chinese Seventh Month, in a game made in Singapore.
It’s just another Tuesday night of punching the living daylights out of ghosts when you’re willing to do just about anything for the gram. Facing off a few life-threatening encounters really isn’t anything to scream about when it’s all about getting those viewer counts. And if you’ve grown up with a healthy appetite for all things spooky, Mystical Mayhem is the perfect game for living out your Ghostbuster dreams.
You will take on the spooky apparitions as protagonist Bob Mayhem, a struggling streamer who realises that in order to attract more viewers, he will have to rebrand himself and do something incredibly audacious. This leads him to taking on his new persona, Mystical Mayhem and of course, the fastest way to go viral is to do something stupidly brave like ghost hunting in an ominous haunted mansion.
The haunted mansion you are exploring possesses an ancient artifact which Bob dubs the “Orb of Voodoo Hoodoo”. Along with his sidekick robocat, who also acts as his roving camera, players set off to uncover the wonders and horrors of the dilapidated house. What makes the experience all the more authentic is the fact that the game provides others a way to view what goes on during your supernatural adventure while you are hooked up to your VR headset. Moreover, the feed won’t simply be a view of the in-game world, it even includes an interface similar to that of a Twitch livestream, completed with a Live commentary from your “viewers”.
During gameplay, you immediately start off in the haunted mansion. Eerie portraits, reminiscent of famous paintings such as Girl with a Pearl Earring adorn the peeling walls; and a haunting track adds to the sinister atmosphere with multiple rooms you need to solve in order to unlock a flight of stairs to ascend to the next level which also act as checkpoints.
This is done through multiple combat and puzzle missions in order to obtain keys. Combat involves throwing actual punches so remember to leave enough room around yourself for the actions (2 x 2m as stated on steam). We had a fun time smashing the planks and eradicating the ghosts that zoom toward us. Be careful not to get dizzy from spinning around in an attempt to knock out all of the ghosts though!
On each floor you have to fend off against a unique boss too. The bosses all have their unique attack styles which you will have to figure out and learn to defend against in order to win. As the adventure continues, you’ll even unlock special weapons that will aid you in your quest of retrieving the orb and dispelling the spooky inhabitants of the mansion. Sadly, the proton pack is nowhere to be found.
While the plank-bearing ghosts may seem as cute as Casper and company, the bosses are rather intimidating in their own right. Growling and howling at you, the bosses fling their knives, heads and more mercilessly, requiring you to both dodge or punch away their thrown weapons while also trying to deal out proper punches as the spectres fly at you to attack.
There’s an overall good blend of spooky atmosphere with cute characters like the mini ghosts and your robot cat. The disturbing interior is designed with enough gloom to make you feel as though there’s a real spine-curling chill wrapping around you as you explore the area. That said, the challenges in-game, be it fighting off bosses or solving puzzles are not overly difficult to overcome but does remain fun enough to keep you absorbed in the gameplay.
Beyond punching, the game offers a bunch of fun interactive elements such as making you squat to pick up objects from the ground, punching boxes and opening doors. You can even move and tilt objects around in order to solve puzzles such as the ball-in-maze.
With Mystical Mayhem, it really feels as though you have stepped into a real haunted house reminiscent of the ones in Tokyo Disneyland and the like. After unlocking all the levels, cracking your head open over puzzles and beating up bosses, you round off your chilling tour of the mansion by witnessing a cool backstory during the ending cut sequence of the game.
The paranormal game is developed by Indie company Rock Nano and published by Refract Games, and is the Singapore’s studio’s first-ever title specially designed for VR-only and is released on SteamVR.
Sadly, this VR-only title means some investment into virtual reality headsets will be needed. Officially, the game supports either the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift S but those headsets can burn quite a hole in your pockets, plus they are not easily available in Singapore.
Playing the game on the Oculus Quest 2
Well, just like ghostbusting isn’t an exact science, there is a way to play Mystical Mayhem on the newer and more accessible Oculus Quest 2, with a simple workaround. As seen in 5 Reasons Why Now Is The Best Time To Jump Onto VR With The Oculus Quest 2, we have included the steps to play and run pretty much every VR game on Steam.
All you need is a VR-Ready PC (run the free test here), and a USB-C link cable. The official one from Oculus can be quite expensive, at US$79 for a 5M-long cable. You can simply settle for quite a number of third-party cables, as long as it is a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C cable such as this one, which goes for US$10 for a 3M-long cable and up to US$15 for the 5M-long cable.
Here are the steps to get your Oculus Quest 2 up and running with SteamVR:
- Make sure Steam is already installed on your PC.
- Download SteamVR (it’s free) via Steam.
- Download and install your Oculus software if you have not already done so.
- Sign in to your Oculus account.
- Connect your Oculus Quest 2 to your PC using the USB-C link cable.
- The Oculus app on your PC will recognise your headset once it’s plugged in. Click on “Continue” to enable Oculus Link.
- During the Oculus Link setup, there will be a test conducted to test the speed of your USB cable, if it fails the test, it may be time to get the ones we recommended above.
- If asked to “Allow access to data”, be sure to select “Deny”.
- Strap on your VR headset, and head to the “Apps” section, and you should see the SteamVR icon. Select it and choose the SteamVR game to play.
- And you’re all done, enjoy!
If you prefer to stay wireless, it is possible too, but you will need to purchase the Virtual Desktop app from the Oculus store within your VR headset or via the Oculus mobile app for US$19.99. This will take up a bit of time but it’s totally worth it if you prefer to go wireless:
- Download and install the Streamer App for Virtual Desktop.
- Download and install SideQuest (it’s free too).
- Once you have sideloaded it, you can simply launch your games from the Virtual Desktop “Games” tab in VR.
And you’re all set-up, you can start gaming away with your Mystical Mayhem ghostbusting adventures! The Oculus Quest 2 is readily available from US$299 for 64GB or US$399 for 256GB on Amazon US. Alternatively, you can also get it via Amazon.sg which includes FREE shipping for Prime members.
Support local! The full game for Mystical Mayhem is currently out as early access but this means that there may be some small bugs and issues here and there. These will be fixed along with a free to play demo to let you test out just a small portion of the game in time to come.