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Shores of Loci Hands-On: A Beautifully Executed Quest Puzzle Game

Six months after its early access launch on App Lab, MikeTeevee’s Shores of Loci has officially arrived on the official store for Quest 2. Read on for our full hands-on impressions of this puzzle game that see you rebuild the world around you.

Puzzle games are a low-key favorite of mine. RPGs and platformers are my usual picks, but thanks to A Fisherman’s Tale, Cubism, and Tetris Effect, I’ve slowly come back around. We’ve seen some fantastic VR puzzle games over the last few years, and Shores of Loci is certainly up there. Its puzzle mechanics may not be revolutionary, but there’s a quiet elegance on display. Dressed with a beautiful presentation, MikeTeevee has done exemplary work.

Shores of Loci sets the tone immediately with two simple questions. “Am I just a small cog in a big wheel of time? Or am I a giant, able to move heaven and earth to create a reality that was once just a dream?” However, its appeal lies not within the narration but through powerful environmental storytelling. Traveling between five different lands, your goal is to help the Giants and Villagers reclaim what has been lost. From forgotten civilizations to fishing towns, you’ll rebuild homes and the very earth they stand upon. 

You achieve this through 3D puzzles. Shores of Loci treats environments like an interactive diorama. Reconstruction requires connecting individual pieces of land or buildings, which you can pick up with motion controls. Larger puzzles split into two or three sets, likely to avoid overcrowding your screen. Pick up two pieces, find how they fit together (assuming you have the right ones) and continue. Once a puzzle is complete, it merges into the scenery. You can then head onto the next land or finish the remaining puzzles.

However, finishing puzzles isn’t the most straightforward task. There are twelve in total, most of which are well designed, but placing them together can be a head scratcher. Some pieces aren’t immediately obvious and often require rotation before slotting in. This can be frustrating when you have six or seven different pieces to search between. Fortunately, a hint button highlights two connected parts, and Shores of Loci doesn’t penalize you for using it. So, everything balances out.

I just wish there was more to this. Within three hours, I’d done all twelve puzzles and hit credits, which could’ve been quicker if I’d used the hint button more. Unlike other similar titles like Puzzling Places, there’s not yet any DLC to extend its lifespan either. I’d suggest taking your time, if only to soak up Shores of Loci’s fantastic presentation. All five locations pack some wonderful and varied designs that are simply stunning, each accompanied by a tranquil soundtrack. 

I’d struggle to name a more relaxing VR game, and I can see myself coming back to Shores of Loci. It’s not the longest game, but MikeTeevee has beautifully realized this world thanks to its vibrant art style, which compliments the environmental storytelling well. Some puzzles can be slightly frustrating if you’d prefer to avoid hints, but VR puzzle fans won’t want to miss this.

Shores of Loci is available now for $14.99 on Meta Quest 2 and Quest Pro, alongside PC VR via Steam.

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