We are starting to see the first official hand tracking updates and titles making an appearance on the Oculus Quest store, one of the first five are The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets. This is a game we played through with a constant smile on our face due to the charm it was filled with, when we reviewed it on PCVR. We have now had time to play with the update, what did we think?
If you would like to know our full impressions of the game, and not just the hand tracking update, please check out our PCVR Review. Although, this was our first time going into the Quest version of the game, and despite some reduced visual clarity, we struggled to find any differences between each version.
We have been patiently waiting for games to start rolling out updates and taking advantage of the hand tracking implemented into the Quest, so, we were certainly interested to see the team at Fast Travel Games had done with their title. Especially with it being the full game, which will allow you interact with the would and the puzzles just using your hands.
When first launching into the game and the feeling of not having the controllers in your hands and seeing them on the screen is great. Even interacting with menus just by touching the options makes you think it’s crazy how fat the technology has moved forward.
However, as you move into the game where it works well and offers a new and great experience, it starts to show it’s still at an early and experimental stage, and also takes some getting used to on a personal level when it’s being used for more than just pointing.
Firstly, lets get out the more personal side of learning to use it out of the way, as this is something you do get used to after around fifteen-minutes. This is keeping you hands in the view of the cameras, there was many times at first I was turning my head to look at another part and never moved my hand holding an object, which sometimes led to me dropping the object I was holding for the puzzle. Although, this can be frustrating at first, we would really recommend giving it that ten to fifteen-minutes to get used to it.
Now, to the games implementation of the hand tracking. This is implemented well and you will have a lot of fun playing it with hand tracking, even if you have already experienced it with controller in the past. It gives you a good reason to revisit the game and brings the charm back with it again. With a smile instantly coming to my face when pushing the dog on the sling just using my finger. But, inside of the game is where we got that experimental stage feeling from for the tech. The reason we felt this was, because you pinch the world to rotate it, but if you have done the same pinch to pick up and item and keep this hand close to the world, it can stop you moving the world with the other hand. This can be frustrating at first, however, as with keeping your hand in front of the camera you will soon get used to stop making this happen.
It was fun playing the game again, with the freedom of having just your hand tracked and not holding controllers. However, it still feels at an experimental stage of this sort of tech and some little frustrations come attached to that. With that in mind, we think it’s good to have hand tracking in The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets and it is certainly worth playing with the hand tracking even if you have played the title previously. But, where it works well, we still find with controllers is the best experience you will get in with the game.
For the purpose of transparency, this hands-on was completed using a code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a free code does not affect my judgement of this product.