Watch: Apelab’s Intriging New ‘Break a Leg’ Running on Gear VR’s Motion Controller


Swiss / LA based developers apelab have announced their latest project for Gear VR. It’s called ‘Break a Leg’ and it puts you in the top hat of an “improvised magician” as he strives to entertain his audience. Here’s the game running with the soon to be released Gear VR motion controller.

The problem with peripherals, especially those which launch after older iterations of the original hardware, is of ensuring good and sustained software support. The latest Gear VR headset will have its own dedicated motion controller, as announced at this year’s MWC and detailed at last week’s Samsung ‘Unpacked’ event.

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Therefore, it’s important that Oculus and Samsung manage to entice developers to build compelling software for the controller, in order for the companies to avoid the chicken/egg situation of poor developer support leading to poor adoption and so on.

To that end, apelab have just announced a new Gear VR title built for the new motion controller, and the trailer for Break a Leg gives us more footage of the device in action.

Here’s the premise for the new title:

As you find yourself trapped in the backstage of an ancient theater, you are prompted to improvise a magic show without missing a beat. For centuries the owner of the Intergalactic Grand Theater has been kidnapping human illusionists, desperately looking for one capable of mastering the Greatest Power of the Galaxy as stated in the Ancient Book of Stellar Tricks.

Unfortunately, you are not a magician. But with the help of a mysterious ally, you will master the art of misdirection, conjuring, levitation, vanishing and more using all of the immersive functionalities the new controller can bring to mobile VR. But be careful, they really don’t like failure…

It’s a refreshingly original idea, and an ingenious way to utilise and encourage users to learn the new motion controller on the Gear VR platform. The actions performed with the new device – which derives input information via onboard sensors and doesn’t benefit from any absolute positional tracking – looks surprisingly effective in the trailer, although some actions by the player seem to be slow and deliberate, perhaps to hide the device’s shortcomings.

The project a collaboration with Oculus themselves, and apelab have confirmed the title is co-funded directly by Oculus and Swiss TV network RTS SSR. Clearly Oculus see the new motion controller as integral to the evolution of theirs and Samsung’s mobile VR platform – as evidenced by the promotional material released last week.

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The new Gear VR headset and controller will be available together for $129 from April 21st, but if you’re considering pre-ordering Samsung’s latest S8 mobile phone, check out the offer Samsung currently has to snag the VR devices free alongside your purchase. Break a Leg meanwhile will be launched via Oculus Home for Gear VR later this year.

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