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Tiny Castles

Go Hands-on With Oculus Quest App Lab Games First Steps & Tiny Castles

Time to see what Oculus has been cooking up.

Once an experimental feature, great things were expected of Oculus Quest’s hand tracking yet that’s not really come to pass, with only a handful of titles utilising it. Oculus is trying to encourage more developers to give the feature a go by releasing two of its own projects, First Steps With Hand Tracking and Tiny Castles.

First Steps With Hand Tracking

First Steps should sound familiar to most Oculus Quest users as the app came supplied with the original headset back in 2019. It helped introduce owners to the features of the device, mainly how to use the Oculus Touch controllers and what they were capable of. First Steps With Hand Tracking essentially takes that experience and swaps in hand tracking.

Free to download, this is an App Lab title so don’t expect the same level of polish as other Oculus games. First Steps With Hand Tracking even notes in the description its more developer-oriented, saying: “If you’re a developer, you should check out how hand tracking can replace your Touch Controller experience.” Either way, it’s still nice to see more content encouraging the feature.

Most gamers will be more interested in Tiny Castles, another in-house project this time built specifically for hand tracking. Described as an ‘action puzzle game’, the gameplay involves you playing a god freeing and protecting your followers from an evil god and its minions. It’s really more of a test bench to showcase what types of gameplay work well with hand tracking.

Tiny Castles

So don’t expect a massive array of levels and challenges to face. One of the more interesting aspects – especially if you’re a developer – is the Playground Mode. This area offers you the chance to test each specific mechanic such as grabbing an object or punching an obelisk.

While you might have played with the hand tracking feature in the Oculus Quest menus, actual implementation by third-party studios has been lacking. Worth checking out are The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets, Waltz of the Wizard: Extended Edition, Vacation Simulator and The Line for good examples. As the roster of hand tracking titles for Oculus Quest (hopefully) grows, VRFocus will keep you updated.

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