0°N 0°W: VR Art & Music Exploration

4-star rating
Art, Music, Uncommon
Comfortable, Stationary

Title superimposed over a neon city backdrop

Colorfiction's 0°N 0°W, also known as Zero North Zero West, is an abstract experience that combines multicolored dynamic visuals with an atmospheric original electronic score. Participants are granted freedom to traverse each each environment, scaling objects to appreciate panoramic views from various angles and elevations. Exploration unfolds into diverse environments, either through aimless wandering or discovering nondescript doors leading elsewhere. At times hidden worlds within worlds emerge, revealing themselves gradually over time and by chance. A menu system also exists for those who want a more methodological approach to exploration, but be aware that some off-menu locations remain.

0°N 0°W is a modestly priced flat-screen experience for Windows PCs that offers a free update for viewing in virtual reality. Although the developer describes the VR add-on as under development, it appears they've since moved on to other projects, signalling no further updates.

Two rows of open doors. Which do you choose? Probably doesn't matter since the program will randomly generate your next world anyhow.
Portals to other worlds?

The VR adaptation discards introductions and menus, instead placing participants inside a cube adorned with doors that lead to other environments. Though there were too many doors for us to quickly count, we found that there are fewer environments to explore than there are doors in the cube. There are a maximum of 15 environments to be exact, compared with the 211 levels of the flat-screen PC version. Despite this limitation, exploring these worlds from all angles within virtual reality was much more immersive and spectacular than viewing on a monitor.

Controls are rudimentary. It's possible to use Oculus controllers for movement, running and jumping. However, staying close to a keyboard is important if you'd like to change environments without having to find portals between worlds. While number keys 1 through 6 facilitate transport between certain locations, others remain reachable only through exploration. Notably, a smooth turning option is absent across control methods, though snap-turning works fine when needed.

Overview of a dynamic neon city.
Overview of a dynamic neon city.

The developer states that the VR version of 0°N 0°W was tailored for Oculus headsets. We have reports that it works with other PCVR systems too, though Index controllers may not be supported and a keyboard or Xbox controller will be needed as an alternative means of movement.

Those who find 0°N 0°W appealing should might also find interest in a similar experience produced by the band Radiohead. Their free Kid A Mnesia exhibition is similar in some ways and works on PC, Mac and Playstation 5. Though thoroughly satisfying as a flat-screen production we were also able to view it as a VR experience using paid VorpX software.

Colorful digital grids of blocks cycle before your eyes.
Colorful digital grids of blocks cycle before your eyes.

One of several striking monochrome environments.
One of several striking monochrome environments.

✅ Spectacular VR environments that need exploration.
✅ Inventive original soundtrack.
✅ Includes flat-screen version with more content & polish.
❌ Only a few environments available in VR.

• YouTube: Trailer
• Languages: English
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