Mare is a beautiful Team Ico-esque VR game

“Games a bit like those from Team Ico” is surely a genre by now. Games in which ghostly-pale, solitary and/or mute people wander around large, man-made but abandoned structures, ostensibly solving environment puzzles but mainly creating feelings of loneliness and longing. If Alice were here, she’d add “’em up” at the end of that sentence.

MARE [official site], then, is a loneliness and longing ’em up designed for Oculus VR in which, yeah, all of the above happens as you control a little girl and a mechanical bird. The trailer looks quite lovely.

There are lots of little details I like in there which help establish the tone, just like in Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, such as the way trees and structures shake in the wind and the little girl’s trudging animation when making her way across shallow water.

I’m not sure whether there’s hand controls involved, but it seems as if you’ll partly direct the game based on where you look while wearing the headset. From the game’s site:

By the means of your gaze you indirectly guide and manipulate a mechanical creature known as BIRD – which you for yet unknown reasons are attached to. Sailing the winds from vane to vane you explore, traverse and interact with the landscapes of MARE, a serene world lost in time and space, filled with untangled mysteries.

MARE is being made by Visiontrick, developers of the lovely-looking Pavilion, isometric puzzle game which just came out on Steam and which we’ve covered previously.


  1. Ben King says:

    This does look quite pretty, with nice flying, although it’s a little hard for me to discern what’s going on beyond the directed character movement. This reminds me it’s time to check in on Friend & Foe game’s “Vane” to see if they’ve offered any updates recently given your mention of the team-Ico-like genre.

    • Ben King says:

      Oh neat, apparently Vane was set aside by this very same designer to begin working on Mare here. Here’s a little article from polygon that tells a bit more about the relationship between the Team Ico programmer involved both here and on Vane.
      link to

  2. Aitrus says:

    “designed for Oculus VR”

    Every flipin’ time.

  3. DoomBroom says:

    Annoying as hell with all these exclusives! Facebook and Oculus can go burn in hell. I’ll never buy a product from them anymore. Thank goodness there’s a descent alternative with superb games and software.

  4. whoknows says:

    ahhhh come on, EVERYTHING in this is jocking Ico, down to the shadow creatures, made-up language, and the way she waves and calls for the bird.

    Originality is scarce these days, eh??

    Edit: Saw the link to the Polygon article which explains that the lead designer or whatever worked on Last Guardian. Ok. Still…..