Today was the big Pixel 4 launch event, where Google confirmed all the juicy details we’ve been tracking about the phone for the last few months. However, the fun doesn’t stop there. One of the main features of the phone, Motion Sense, is now set to get a demo game, Headed South, created by ustwo, the developers of Monument Valley, in collaboration with Google.

Motion Sense on the Google Pixel 4 is a radar-based technology that can detect hand movements and detect your presence near the phone. Primarily, this is being put to use to do simple tasks like switching media tracks and silencing alarms.

However, it’s able to do far more than that, as proven by the Pokemon Wave Hello app, which lets you play with some of your favorite Pokemon using Motion Sense gestures. This is made possible using a special “bridge” application that allows certain other apps access to Motion Sense information.

Today, an update to this bridge application rolled out via the Google Play Store to Pixel 4 devices. Our APK Insight team discovered that this new version includes an updated application whitelist, which adds a previously unannounced game to the list. The new game, entitled Headed South, is already live on the Google Play Store, giving us a preview of what to expect.

The first thing you should know about Headed South is that it’s absolutely gorgeous. This is because it was developed by ustwo, who were the minds behind one of the most beloved mobile game titles ever released, Monument Valley.

While we haven’t seen any gameplay yet and have been so far unable to test it out on a Pixel 4, the Play Store description for Headed South gives us an idea of the gameplay and how Motion Sense and “Quick Gestures” will play in.

A collaboration between Google and ustwo Studios, Headed South is an experience that introduces Google’s new Quick Gestures to users in a playful and engaging way.

Driven by Motion Sense, Quick Gestures introduce a new paradigm of interaction that changes the way users interact with their devices.

Headed South takes you on a journey from the forest-covered scenery of the North to the warm, secluded shores of the South in a fantasy landscape. You play as Soli, a unique bird on a mission to rescue unsuspecting wild birds from a dark, approaching storm.

Each bird is unique and requires special gestures to catch up to them in flight. Through Soli’s journey, players will learn, practice, and master the use of Quick Gestures on the Pixel 4.

Master the gestures and flight controls in order to save the birds and escape the storm!

Naming the main character “Soli” is a less-than-subtle nod to the underlying technology of Motion Sense, which Google ATAP originally dubbed “Project Soli.”

Between Headed South and Pokemon Wave Hello, Google is clearly aiming for Motion Sense on the Pixel 4 to be fun, not just utilitarian. Hopefully, Google will open Motion Sense to more app and game developers over the coming months, now that the Pixel 4 has been properly launched.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article

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About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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