PAX Prime Impressions: Pollen

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Pre-Order The Muramasa Limited Edition at J-List!

Look for us on OpenCritic!

Share this page

Great Physical Editions at Physicality Games!

Check out our friends across the pond at

We are proudly a Play-Asia Partner


Ads support the website by covering server and domain costs. We're just a group of gamers here, like you, doing what we love to do: playing video games and bringing y'all niche goodness. So, if you like what we do and want to help us out, make an exception by turning off AdBlock for our website. In return, we promise to keep intrusive ads, such as pop-ups, off oprainfall. Thanks, everyone!


One of my most anticipated demos this year was my very first foray into Oculus Rift, a first-person exploration game called Pollen. Developed by Finnish team team Mindfield Games, it is set on a space station on Titan. An incident has occurred and the Rama Industries who manage the station are looking for a new employee. That employee is you, and it is up to you to investigate what has happened. But that’s all story setting, not something I actually experienced in the demo.

PAX Prime 2015 | Pollen

The demo itself was a revelation. Keep in mind I have never before experienced Oculus Rift, so everything was new to me. The dev team asked if I had played before, warning me that first timers would often experience discomfort, dizziness and nausea. So I put on my goggles, strapped them on and got ready. Though I did briefly encounter a bout of dizziness, it quickly abated, and I soon found myself completely immersed in the VR world of Pollen.

PAX Prime 2015 | Pollen

The controls in the game were pretty simple and easy to pick up. You can move around, pick up and throw away items, and even rotate them around. That’s it, and that’s really all you need. I can’t imagine a more complex control setup that would work for Oculus Rift, since if you don’t have the controller layout memorized, you can’t look down for guidance. The demo mostly consisted of moving around, checking out objects and playing around in my environment. Case in point, there was a gym on the station, and I was able to take free throws with a basketball. Another cool, and mesmerizing, detour was a virtual video game I could play, which consisted of moving around a spiral and avoiding dangerous areas.

PAX Prime 2015 | Pollen

Perhaps one of the most incredible aspects of the controls was how the headset was integrated. When you turn your head, the camera shifts with you. Furthermore, by leaning forward, the camera will zoom in on whatever is in front of you. This made the sense of immersion in the virtual world astounding. Like any good sci fi nerd, I’ve always been interested in the possibility of functional virtual reality, and I can say that Oculus looks to deliver. But if you’re not a fan, or don’t want to put in the money, you will be able to play Pollen without Oculus tech as well. Just keep in mind the computer specifications are tuned to Oculus standards.

For those who are interested, Pollen will release for PS4 and Steam in early 2016. To get a feel for what it’s about, check out the following.

About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Head Editor and Review Manager, he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his limited spare time he devours indies whole and anticipates the release of quirky, unpredictable and innovative games.