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Preview: Nimbus Knights on Oculus Touch

Otherworld Interactive’s Nimbus Knights shot into the public eye last month as it was announced as a HTC Vive compatible title, but here at Oculus Connect 2, Hollywood, we see a different side to the surprise. An Oculus Touch build was not only announced but is playable on the show floor, offering a very palatable build of a videogame that promises to be decidedly addictive.

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A simple prospect: the player is surrounded by floating islands which they must conquer. This is done by moving knights in their command to each new island by way of a wooden platform that can be grabbed and moved. Sweep the platform underneath a troop (or multiple troops) and they will mount it ready to be transported to their new destination. Troops spawn regularly from any islands you own as Nimbus Knights is most definitely a numbers challenge.

Your knights will come across rival knights and bigger beasts. They engage in combat automatically, though the position in which you choose to place them on an island could give you a momentary advantage. Manual assists are also available, limited to just a single ‘poking stick’ in this build. Grabbing a tree from one of the islands gives you the opportunity to directly interact with enemies, pushing and swiping them until they can no longer attack or are maybe even defeated by your own hand.

Once an island has been cleared your flag is raised and it becomes a new spawn point. The build presented at Oculus Connect 2 was undeniably easy, but it remained enjoyable. There is great potential for varied troop types – both for the player and the enemy armies – and landmasses, with Otherworld Interactive hopefully looking into larger scale battles that demand greater strategy and time commitment for later in the videogame.

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Nimbus Knights is a charming videogame thanks to its colourful visual design, but also because of it’s physics system. These knights are well trained, but they are also used to having their feet on solid ground. When the player collects or delivers the knights sudden or angular movement can throw them totally off-balance, causing them to scuttle or bounce around and potentially miss the intended target. On more than one occasion in VRFocus‘ time with Nimbus Knights the eagerness of victory being a hair’s breadth away resulted in unpredictable knight placement and even a few quick grabs to save them from falling into oblivion.

The demo build of Nimbus Knights is great fun, but there’s a huge amount of potential for Otherworld Interactive to push the experience further. Additional troop types, weapons, enemies, land masses; all of these will be required to turn Nimbus Knights from a fun 5 minutes into an engrossing 5 hours. Here at Oculus Connect 2 Nimbus Knights proved to be one of the most compelling reasons for motion-control in virtual reality (VR), and hopes are high that the same can still be said when the final release version arrives next year.