Video game studio Newmatic Co., Ltd. recently launched its sightseeing VR game Ellie’s Travel Diary onto Steam for its Early Access release, where you can buy in and try it out for just $14.99. The devs state the game is currently about 80% complete, with its official full launch planned for some time in 2021.

Another game that was a response to the year 2020 has come to be, Ellie’s Travel Diary is a VR sightseeing and immersive interactive game set in the Republic of Korea (South Korea). According to the devs and Game Press, the game acts as both “an innovative infotainment tourism title with immersive VR features” and a sandbox free-travel exploration game. Since the global COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to almost all forms of public tourism, VR (and video games in general) has stepped in to help people “visit” public places it’s not currently safe to be in.

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In Ellie’s Travel Diary, you’ll immerse yourself in the shoes of Ellie, a boy traveling to Korea for the first time, accompanied by his father, Harry, and his mother, Jenny. Korea is depicted as a vibrantly-colored miniature 3D landscape that you’ll experience in both third- and first-person views. Starting from within the plane on the flight over, to landing at Incheon Airport, to the Korean subway rides to your choice of sightseeing locations, the game will engage you as both a tourist and a gamer.

During your virtual visit to Korea, you’ll be able to visit numerous popular and famous Korean landmarks and locations, such as Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, Namsan Seoul Tower, Jamsil Han River Park (Seoul), the Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon, and even fly over and view the Joseon-era King Jeongjo Tomb from a hot-air balloon. Many of these locations include interactive games and activities you’ll be able to play, including archery, a laser show, a fireworks show, yacht and cable car rides, playing basketball, trying on traditional Korean clothes (hanbok), and, of course, the always-necessary art of taking photos.

Ellie's Travel Diary article image
Credit: Newmatic Co. Ltd.

Ellie’s Travel Diary is sponsored by a partnership “with Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) and Gyeonggi Content Agency (GCA),” with both helping to develop many of the features that set it apart from the average VR tourism and gaming product. “It was important for us to provide the fun factor along with precise information about the tour sites through the controller and game interaction”, said PARK Yong Jae, Newmatic’s Art Director. “Our goal was to present the joy of visiting a country in a Gulliver’s Travels-like atmosphere via VR through cute and friendly graphics that could appeal to all ages.”

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