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Reach Out And Touch Games: Leap Motion 3D Jam

Please excuse me using a boring-o marketing image rather than a rad game screenshot. I figured not everyone knows what a Leap Motion controller looks like. It's this. The sensor bar bit. Not the eerie hovering hands.

I have used a Leap Motion controller once before, to rotate a 3D wireframe mesh of a horse’s skull at an art exhibition; I found the experience lacking. But a sensor bar controller which tracks your hands via magic invisible waves sounds like it could do a lot more. So let’s have a gander at the fruits of the recent Leap Motion 3D Jam and see what some of these 158 games have come up with. I don’t have a Leap Motion so I can’t squeeze or caress the fruit myself, but we can still admire their shape and lustre and lean in for a whiff of their aroma [we can look at them -Ed.].

The game jam gave developers six weeks to make a game which uses Leap Motion, whether in its desktop form or mounted onto 3D cybergoggles for real waving-your-hands-in-front-of-your-eyes sensations, with the hope of winning cash money and shiny prizes. And maybe figuring out quite what Leap Motion is good for. It’s a peripheral which hasn’t made much of an impact, though cybergoggle fans are keen on it for the holodeck experience.

158 games were entered in all, so let’s cast our eyes down the list and have a quick look at a few. If you have a Leap Motion, you can download and play these yourself for free.

Aboard the Lookinglass is a puzzler which has players looking through their hands to reveal the past and the future. Voodoo Child is a very hands-on sailing simulator. The Box Fan wants you to put your hand somewhere unpleasant, which I’m always keen on. Hollow hands you a horse’s reins on a ride through Sleepy Hollow. Weightless is a simple hands-on touching-stuff game, but set in zero-gravity for a playful alien experience.

Then in Hammer Hands, your hands are hammers and you’re surrounded by smashable things. Graffiti 3D is 3D doodling with your fingertips. Robert Yang’s Hurt Me Plenty is about consent and “spanking the heck out of some dude.” LeapGarden lets you plant and landscape a Japanese garden, which sounds delightful. Ferarri Cops is downright absurd.

Many games were more conventional but still interesting, puzzle games and walking simulators which let players reach out and touch objects, and a number of wizard simulators about lobbing fireballs. This slightly odd selection is simply what caught my eye. Do have a dig yourself and share what you find, won’t you? Perhaps one of y’all even has a Leap Motion and might tell us all about it.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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