The Blu (2022 Update)

4-star rating
PCVR, Link
Meditation, Natural History
Comfortable, Roomscale, Stationary

The Blu VR coral reef surrounded by jellyfish

The Blu explores the oceans in a series of short immersive encounters that's likely to delight and sometimes even surprise viewers. Each tranquil underwater environment is different than the last; from shipwreck to coral reef, and even the deep ocean floor where sunlight fails to reach. Observation and interaction with many different types of marine life is possible, including fish, mammals, reptiles and plants. All well detailed and animated in ways that add to a sense of realism and immersion.

Adept at providing tranquil experiences intensified by an ambient soundscape, The Blu can also build and slowly transform a scene into a marvelous spectacle that can delight in unsuspecting ways. Since these experiences are brief we choose not to spoil them for you here.

Though mostly a stationary experience, viewers also have the ability to move around within a limited footprint and reach out and touch the wildlife. Some creatures will react when touched, or be affected by the wake produced by the movement of your hands within the virtual water. Locomotion is either by physically walking in your room space or by using a controller thumbstick. Snap turning is also available for those who need it, and is almost necessary for a seated experience.

The Blu VR hammerhead shark in the latest update
The latest update features a short hammerhead shark encounter.

The titles and runtimes of the sequences are as follows. The Steam version also has an 'aquarium mode' which extends the duration of an experience but adds no further content.

• Whale Encounter (2 minutes)
• Reef Migration (7 minutes)
• Luminous Abyss (6 minutes)
• Hammerhead Cove (2 minutes)

The first three experiences are part of the original version which is still sold on the Oculus Rift store. The Steam version of The Blu was chosen to receive an update in 2022 that added the Hammerhead Cove experience, but also changed a few things, including a clunky new menu. The updated Steam version comes with Whale Encounter for free but the other experiences are an upcharge either individualy or as a bundle. Thankfully the price remains the same and now you get to choose what to buy. The Reef and Abyss experiences are by far the best, and we found the new Hammerhead Cove experience to be both underwhelming and short.

The Blu VR curious turtle swims around a coral reef
A curious turtle swims around a coral reef

✅ Tranquil underwater experience that delights in surprising ways.
✅ Good graphics and animation adds realism.
❌ Short experience.
❌ Steam version's 2022 updates aren't an improvement.

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