Valve and HTC’s virtual reality headset, the Vive, is almost here. It’s the one that tracks you while you move around, and it’s pretty damn cool. During a recent event, I got to play 12 of the games that it’ll launch with. Here is what they look like and what I looked like while playing them. Hint: not cool.

This post originally ran on 1/28/2016.

Hover Junkers

What it looks like:

What I looked like:

This one is probably the coolest game I played at Valve’s recent VR event in Seattle. It’s a multiplayer-centric first-person game where you fly hover platforms (that you can customize with things like additional cover mid-battle) and get into frantic gun battles with other players piloting their own hover platforms. It elegantly provides a reason for your limited range of movement (and, as ever with the Vive, holographic blue walls pop up if you get too close to real walls) while creating a thrilling form of mid-battle locomotion.

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I took to crashing my junker into my foes and sticking to them like glue, taking potshots from behind cover in the confusion. Physically leaning around so that I could just barely see opponents was terrifying. Players can also emote with things like thumbs-up and middle fingers. One of my opponents surrendered, motioned that I should turn around, and then betrayed me as another enemy closed in. It was a fantastic moment.

The Gallery: Call of the Starseed

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What I looked like:

This one’s a cleverly written Myst-like adventure. What really struck me about it was the amount of interactivity baked into its eerily calm beach environment. Not only could I pick up pretty much any object (and put it in my backpack if I wanted), they worked in conjunction in ways that made sense. It really clicked for me when I read a note containing sensitive information and thought, “You know, it might be bad if anybody else got ahold of this information.” On a whim, I picked up a nearby candle and held it up to the note. The note caught on fire. I also got to make popcorn over an open fire. GOTY.

Audioshield

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What I looked like:

From the creator of musical zone-out chillathon Audiosurf comes Audioshield, a game about punching your way out of a musical meteor storm. Colored globs corresponding to any song’s (you can upload whatever you want) rhythm fall at you, and you use shields of corresponding colors to block them. I played two songs: “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys and something vastly less interesting by Metallica. Both were really intense, so much so that I mentally tuned out the music on a couple occasions. Eventually, I took to dancing around, almost boxing with each song. It’s an interesting, albeit somewhat simple idea. A cool proof of concept, but I worry that I’ll tire of it fairly quickly.

Final Approach

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What I looked like:

In another life, Final Approach would’ve been an isometric game. In this brave new world of VR, it places you smack-dab in the center of white-hot air traffic control action as a sort of titanic invisible god. You drag paths for planes and helicopters to follow with your “hands” and then leap down into the thick of things to do stuff like put out fires (or, if you’re me, blast friendly worker folk with the game’s relentlessly torrential fire hose). It’s neat, but simple. I doubt it’ll hold my attention for long.

Elite: Dangerous

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What I looked like:

It’s massive space game Elite: Dangerous—which we’ve written about at length before—except in VR. It doesn’t really take advantage of Valve and HTC’s patented you-have-legs-now-use-them-god-damn-it technology, though. I imagine the experience is pretty much the same on Oculus Rift.

Budget Cuts

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What I looked like:

One of the few games I played at Valve’s event that left me itching to play more immediately after the developers slipped off my Vive, leaving my forehead cold and my eyes naked to cruel, stupid regular reality. I’ve written a little about it before, but it’s basically Portal meets stealth. It gets so many little things right. The portal gun itself, for instance, has this immensely satisfying arc to its shots. Also, trying to stealthily skewer robots is equal parts empowering and terrifying. Turns out, I am not so great at throwing knives with my own two hands. Oh, and the writing is fun and clever, too. Despite not being developed by Valve, Budget Cuts reminds me of classic Valve single-player games. That’s a very, very exciting thing.

Cloudlands: VR Minigolf

What it looks like:

What I looked like:

It’s minigolf, but in virtual reality. That’s... pretty much the whole thing. Some of the harder levels verged into impossible-to-replicate-in-real-life territory in fun ways, but otherwise Cloudlands feels like the Vive’s take on Wii Sports. If you want yet another way to play minigolf in the comfort of your living room, go wild.

Tilt Brush

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What I looked like:

Tilt Brush is Google’s wickedly cool virtual reality art program. You get a palette of tools and effects, and you can paint/draw on anything—even thin air. It’s great. I’m not even an artist, and I can see myself losing countless hours messing around in Tilt Brush.

Space Pirate Trainer

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Space Pirate Trainer was inspired by Space Invaders, and it shows. Alien robots come at you in increasingly difficult and varied waves, and you dodge their fire while drilling them with shots of your own. Difference is, you physically dodge attacks. Each time an enemy fires, you go into a sort of Matrix mode. Time slows, and you can duck under shots or block them with shield. The game’s pretty simple on the whole, but it’s thrilling as heck and a little tiring. Hit the video about to watch me leap around like a Z-grade Hollywood action star. You know you want to.

Fantastic Contraption

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What I looked like:

One of the most charming, clever, fully realized games I played at the whole event. Fantastic Contraption is a product of Northway Games, creator of similarly inclined games like Incredipede and the original non-VR Fantastic Contraption. In it, you slap together outlandish inventions with a handful of versatile parts to overcome increasingly difficult obstacles. Already, the game is impressively intuitive and whimsical as fuck. When I picked up parts, they talked to me and told me their function. There’s also a cat who just kinda hangs out and will bring you more parts. It’s cute and sweet and difficult-to-explain—a living metaphor for VR if ever there was one.

Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives

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Job Simulator takes place in a future where humanity has completely automated the concept of work, so people create a simulator of “jobs”—that most plebeian of concepts—to see what working was like. You know, for fun. It is, of course, hilariously inaccurate. The portion I played took place in a kitchen, and though I was technically given orders to make certain dishes, I could pretty much do whatever I wanted. I made a meat milkshake. I also whipped up a delicious stew that was one part carrot and one part shattered glass. Every time I was done with an ingredient, I threw it at somebody. It’s dumb, it’s great, it’s Job Simulator.

Arizona Sunshine

What it looks like:

What I looked like:

(Unfortunately, I did not capture any footage for this one. Sorry! Imagine me pretending my controllers are guns and laughing when a physics glitch causes a cactus to rocket into space.)

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This one is, surprisingly, not a lemonade-flavored tea beverage. Sorry to disappoint, everybody. I’m just the messenger. Arizona Sunshine is first-person zombie shooter that’s perfectly functional and occasionally exciting. You have to physically go through all the motions of picking up and reloading your guns, which is cool. The whole thing feels like a glorified tech demo, though. It’s alright.

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To contact the author of this post, write to nathan.grayson@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter @vahn16.