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[PAX] Hands-On (The Air) Preview: Dropchord

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Any time the words “Double Fine” and “new game” show up in the same sentence, you have my attention. Obviously, when I first heard that Double Fine had a new game coming out for the Leap Motion Controller, I was intrigued; mostly because I had no idea what the Leap Motion Controller was. I was able to play Double Fine’s Dropchord at PAX East and now, boy, do I want a Leap Motion Controller.


If you’re unaware what the Leap is, it’s a Kinect-ish device for your computer — wait, wait, don’t go yet. This is a very small device that picks up motion of your fingers in the air above it. So, unlike with Kinect, you don’t have to wave your body around all silly-like. Also unlike Kinect, it seemed to work.

Double Fine had Dropchord set up with very little instructions (and by very little, I mean none at all). Standing there in front of a game I’d never seen before with a device I’d never used before, I was a bit apprehensive. Especially in the confined space of the exhibition hall while surrounded by strangers.

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Yet, it couldn’t have been easier. Navigating the menus with my fingers in the air was almost instinctual, and as the game booted up, the on-screen avatars of my fingers locked into place in a giant circle. A line connecting the two main fingers I was using to play the game. As dots came into the center field of the circle I was able to collect them using that line. Simple enough.

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Then, other obstacles (like lightning bolts) came in which I had to avoid to keep my score up. Using my fingers to create lines throughout the circular playfield was one-hundred percent intuitive and I was able to avoid most of the obstacles. Later, I unlocked a power-up which allowed me to spin the line all throughout the circle, which let me collect dots that were dissipating much faster than they were before. It also allowed me to hit a bunch of lightning bolts — hey, just because the controller was responsive doesn’t mean I was good at the game.

Dropchord will be released in May, coinciding with the Leap controller itself. The controller is available for pre-order now for $79.95 and we were told to expect Dropchord at a “typical mobile price-point.”

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