The Turning Forest: Daydream's Simplest Visual Wonder

Virtual reality is still relatively new as most of the available headsets with recognition just released this year, and there are varying levels of difficulty when it comes to the user experience. While options like the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift aren't going to be particularly challenging for most people savvy with tech, anyone who has never touched a VR headset let alone messed around with PC gaming likely needs something simpler. It's hard to argue that there are simpler VR headset options (other than Cardboard-based VR viewers, of course) than Google's new Daydream View, but even with its simplicity it still requires the use of the controller to interact. While that's not a bad thing as there are some truly amazing apps already available to check out, for someone who you're hoping will be wowed by the VR experience but might need the least amount of interaction possible, there's not a whole lot available that really captures that excitement of a visually stunning and immersive experience unlike anything they've ever seen. Except BBC's The Turning Forest.

If you've just got your Daydream View headset and a brand new Pixel or Pixel XL and you want to share it with someone who needs the shortest path possible to something amazing, set up the headset, install and open The Turning Forest, have them put on the headset and then just sit back and enjoy. While you can use the Daydream controller to essentially mouse over stuff, the interaction is more of a story that you're lead through as opposed to a game that requires constant controls. You don't really have to do any clicking of the action button or use the trackpad, and although you might have to wave the controller around a bit at certain points, these sort of instances for the most part just enhance the experience and make it more interactive, and most of the experience will just require you to enjoy what's right in front of you.

The best part, is that it's a fairly visually stunning experience. It won't by any means be as realistic as something you might find on the HTC Vive, but the graphics are pretty decent, and the vibrancy of color throughout is nothing short of amazing. When you get right down to it, it takes minimal effort to get it going, and once it's up and running whoever is wearing the headset doesn't have to do much more than just watch what unfolds, and that's essentially what happens - the experience unfolds as it's pretty much a story. A visual novel, if you will.

When you consider all the factors, The Turning Forest blends together awesome and colorful visuals with a simplistic setup to start the experience and it's friendly for all ages, so anyone can enjoy it and you won't have to worry about the content being inappropriate. More to the point, The Turning Forest is really an excellent example of how inviting VR can be. Your average everyday smartphone user who doesn't interact much with computers let alone a pricey VR headset doesn't really have to feel overwhelmed. They can slip the phone into the headset, and in a couple of clicks they're on their way to just a really cool experience.

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About the Author

Justin Diaz

Head Editor
Lover of food, craft beer, movies, travel, and all things tech. Video games have always been a passion of his due to their ability to tell incredible stories, and home automation tech is the next big interest, in large part because of the Philips Hue integration with Razer Chroma. Current Device: Google Pixel.
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