At a recent HTC Vive event near Valve's headquarters in Seattle, we got a chance to play several upcoming VR projects set to release this year. Many of these games aren't exclusive to the HTC Vive either, so even if you've already pre-ordered an Oculus Rift, these are 10 VR projects you should keep on your radar for 2016. Unless otherwise noted, these games are all set to release alongside the Vive sometime later this Spring.

Space Pirate Trainer
Platforms: Rift, Vive

Space Pirate Trainer is a first person shooter with '80s arcade sensibilities. I began my demo on a space platform and was told I had to protect the space ship behind me. Immediately, a series of drones started to fly up from under the platform and I had to use a pair of dual pistols to take them down. Like a VR version of Space Invaders, the drones came in successively more complex waves. Thankfully, I could switch between several different firing modes. Semi-automatic and automatic are pretty self explanatory, but the charged rail gun-like blasts seemed to be the most effect way to take down stronger drones. When you take one of the Vive controllers and place it behind your back like you're withdrawing a sword, the game swaps out your gun for a shield which not only blocks blaster fire, but can actually deflect it back at incoming drones. Space Pirate Trainer isn't a very complex game, but it seems fun in short bursts.

Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives
Platforms: Rift, Vive, PlayStation VR

Job Simulator's Kitchen demo has been one of the Vive's most talked about demos, but the team at Owlchemy Labs recently redesigned the entire kitchen experience from scratch. Now players take on the role of a chef who receives orders and must put together a series of dishes to please their customers. During my demo I was free to explore a small kitchen and complete my orders. I threw tomatoes and carrots into a blender to make a smoothie, and tossed an avocado between a slice of bread and a cookie to make a "sandwich." Job Simulator acts like a series of museum simulations that show what the world was like before robots took over, but it views these jobs through the lens of a confused analytical robot. The final game will feature five jobs, including Quick Stop employee and cubical worker. It's funny and absurd in all the right ways.

The Gallery: Call of the Starseed
Platforms: Rift, Vive, PlayStation VR

The Gallery: Call of the Starseed is the first of four planned episodic adventures from Cloudhead Games. Inspired by adventurous coming-of-age tales like The Goonies, The Gallery is an adventure game about a young girl who discovers a mysterious message left behind by her twin sister and then sets off on an epic adventure to help a crazy scientist uncover a supernatural mystery. My demo started off on a beach just after sunset. A handheld radio blasted '80s rock and I quickly set out using a nearby bonfire to ignite a series of fireworks. Many of the objects in the game can be interacted with, but they don't all progress the story. To move through the world, you simply hold down one of the controller buttons and then blink to whatever point in the world you're looking. After exploring a nearby cavern, I found what looked like a pirate's hideout. One of the shelves in this space held an enticing box, but it was just out of reach, so I knock it down by throwing a couple of cans at the box. Inside is a note from my sister, leading me towards my next destination. The rest of the game looks to hold a series of similar "puzzles" which will require players to explore their environment thoroughly.

Arizona Sunshine
Platforms: Rift, Vive, PlayStation VR

Indie studio Vertigo Games' new shooter forces you to face the horrors of the zombie apocalypse; unfortunately, those horrors can run really fast. I've played a demo of Arizona Sunshine before, which had me fending off zombie attacks from multiple directions using a combination of pistols, uzis, and shotguns. You can dual wield any combination of these weapons, but that makes it harder to aim since you have to actually steady your own hands while aiming. The newest demo added another wrinkle to the mix and forced me to choose to get rid of one of my guns in favor of a flashlight while exploring a dank cave. With one hand I used a flashlight to discover the horrors in the dark, while I used my other hand to shoot the flesh eaters as they shambled towards me. Another new feature is an ammo belt, which you can strap anywhere to your body and use to reload your weapons simply by pressing the gun up against the belt. My demo was only a single-player experience, but Vertigo Games says it will be debuting a co-op mode shortly.

Budget Cuts
Platforms: Vive

This delightful gem was a surprise highlight from the show. Developed by a small team of Sweedish developers who are calling themselves Neat Corporation, this exploration-based stealth/puzzle game seems heavily inspired by games like Portal. You start out as a spy working for a corporation that is facing serious budget cuts, and you have to travel back in time to make sure your job application gets approved by your employer. Unfortunately, the building is staffed by a group of sentry drones that are ready to shoot you on sight. It sounds absurd, but the game's tongue-in-cheek tone is all part of the its charm. In order to move through each environment, you use a device that fires a teleportation portal across the room. However, before you actually teleport you have the option to scout out that area by holding up a magic window that gives you a real-time glimpse of that environment. Budget Cuts could be just the thing to appease starving Portal fans. Unfortunately, it looks like the game might miss the Vive's launch window, and its release might push out a little later in the year.

For more of our Vive recommendations, head to page two.