Play God and more with these AR/VR Leap Motion experiments

by Ian Hamilton • November 16th, 2015

Last week we singled out some of the cool creativity apps and toolsets in Leap Motion’s 3D Jam but now we’re going to take a look at some of the interesting games and toys buried among the 180-plus entries.

In case you’re unfamiliar, San Francisco-based Leap Motion makes a sensor that sits on your desk or is attached to the front of a VR headset to track hand and finger movements. Though the technology doesn’t provide haptics (the feeling of actually touching something), the hardware provides a tool for developers to explore cutting edge computer interface concepts in virtual and augmented reality. Developers in the 3D Jam are vying for $75,000 in cash and prizes. Winners will be announced in January but you can vote for your favorite entries through Dec. 22.

If you have compatible hardware, including a Leap Motion hand tracker, you can follow the links below to the entires and try these apps out for yourself. Or just check out the videos below for an idea of how they work.

Pet cute virtual animals until they explode

Of all the apps entered in this competition I have to say BatTouch looks like my favorite, if only based on its preview. The 2-minute video below shows a person using hand gestures to lure the cute little flying creature in for a tickle. Then it explodes. If an exploding bat isn’t your thing, Glass Menagerie Wallflower allows a player to spawn a variety of animals that explode into flying shards.

Check them out:

Piloting ships without physical controls

Virtual HOTAS shows a way to pilot a spaceship in VR by taking command of a stick and throttle. You can compare it with FasterVR, which imagines controlling a kind of podracer through somewhat similar means.

Check them out:

Solve creepy puzzles using your hands

Dead Secret on Gear VR puts players in an atmospheric and creepy home in which to try and solve a mystery, and The Room of Mysteries: Call of The Tribal Mask and David Slade Mysteries take a similar approach with the addition of hand movements. Hellvibe, though, looks to focus the player’s attention on solving a puzzle box reminiscent of the one from the Hellraiser series of horror movies.

Check it out:

Music rhythm games

In an attempt to explore music rhythm games in mixed reality, one entry operates a bit like Guitar Hero and another works a bit like Dance Dance Revolution. While a game like DDR can be tiring, in a good way, it’s unclear if that kind of fun would translate to just hand movements.

Intriguing game mechanics

Many of the games entered in the competition showcase different kinds of concepts for interacting with software in VR and AR. These are some of those apps.

VR Omega features cool-looking visuals while taking a player inside the body to cure cancer and.

Warlock VR lets people cast spells.

Minigolf showcases an interesting swinging mechanic for a golf club.

AstroHoops is like a basketball game you might find at an arcade.

Gnomeball is a game of tabletop football with a gnome.

Spacehiker shows a zero-g environment in which you can push off walls with your hands.

Let’s Go Fly A Kite imagines how to use two hands to change the direction of a kite in mixed reality.

Mister Mart is a Job Simulator-type experience giving players their hands to create havoc.

Reach for the Stars lets players connect constellations that turn into objects.

Interns in SPAAACE is a bit like cooperative game Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes…in space.

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