Hands-on with VR arcade shooter “Akka Arrh”


Playstation VR 2: Hands-on with VR arcade shooter

Image: Atari

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Jeff Minter’s arcade shooter Akka Arrh is out today for PS5 and Playstation VR 2, and I’ve tried it.

Akka Arrh is based on a 1982 Atari prototype that never made it to the arcades. Legendary game designer and Llamasoft founder Jeff Minter (Centipede, Gridrunner, Polybius) developed a remake of the arcade shooter that was released on PC and consoles in 2023.

Today, the PS5 version of Jeff Minter’s Akka Arrh is released, including a VR mode for Playstation VR 2. I played both versions.

How Akka Arrh plays

Akka Arrh is a classic shoot ’em up from the 8-bit era and therefore exudes a lot of nostalgia.

You use the analog stick to control the crosshair of a stationary turret that can rotate around its own axis. First you drop bombs. When the explosion hits an enemy, it creates a shockwave that causes more enemies to explode, triggering more shockwaves and spectacular chain reactions. As enemies die, you gain bullets that you can use to take out stronger enemies and further increase the multiplier.

Here and there, enemies will also appear who want to steal your pods on a level below you. If this happens, you have to dive down to the lower level and eliminate the thieves.

Audiovisual fireworks on PSVR 2

Akka Arh unfolds its mechanics and rules at short intervals and explains them with the help of quickly disappearing text overlays. This may be intended design, but I found it stressful to be introduced to the game this way.

I liked the audiovisual aspects of Akka Arrh the most. Unfortunately, the PSVR 2 version is only slightly differs from the PS5 version: the game fills your field of vision, and debris and score points fly towards you. The resolution is surprisingly low, but that may be intentional too.

The numerous enemies, projectiles, and effects could be overwhelming for some people, so the most intense effects can be turned off to limit the sensory overload.

Akka Arh reminded me of games like Rez Infinite and Tetris Effect, and anyone who likes those titles should definitely take a closer look at Akka Arh.

You can buy Akka Arrh for $20 in the Playstation Store.

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