Every professional footballer goes through a bad run of form, but it's particularly problematic when you're a striker and the goals dry up. Headmaster takes this very idea and spins it out into an entertaining virtual reality game, as you assume the role of a down-on-his-luck superstar who's been sent back to heading school. Your objective is to overcome your ails in front of the net, and graduate in the form of your life.
Even if you don't have a fondness for the beautiful game, developer Frame Interactive's happened upon an enjoyable mechanic here. Everyone knows how to "head" a soccer ball, and so this is an instantly accessible experience. Stages take the guise of trials, where you need to steer approaching spheres into targets, hoops, and sometimes even piñatas. The variety, despite the simplicity of the concept, is great – and achieving the top scores is seriously tough.
But while the primary mechanic would make this a fine fit for recommendation alone, it's the wrapper that sends it to the top of the class. The game's set in a kind of footballing penitentiary, and as you progress, you start to learn more about the wise-cracking task master that's setting you these heading objectives – as well as Carl, the unfortunate individual responsible for assembling all of the trials. We hate to draw flaky comparisons, but it is ever so slightly Portal-esque in terms of tone.
And it is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny at times, but the only thing that's not hilarious is how making frequent heading motions can move the PlayStation VR headset on your noggin. Sony's accessory includes some decent tightening options, but even with these taut, we often found that after a few levels we'd have to re-position the device as it had moved on our head. At best, you're going to end up with some minor focus issues here; at worst, you can throw the tracking of the unit off entirely.
Headmaster scores a hat-trick with its sense of humour, quirky concept, and well-executed gameplay. It's one of those games that you really want to get into, diving around your living room as you try to score the perfect goal. It's a shame, then, that the realities of actually wearing the PlayStation VR headset mean that you can't actually ever unleash your inner-Alan Shearer – but we'd be being pretty harsh if we gave it a red card for something that's out of the developer's control.