When Meta launched App Lab in 2021 it lauded the fact that this alternative distribution method would help developers get their games in the hands of players. All without going through the rigmarole of the official store selection process. The catch, games aren’t the easiest to find unless you use a third-party platform like SideQuest. Even so, this opened the floodgates for indie developers and larger studios alike to get their projects on Meta Quest before completion. It’s now fantastic to see the Quest Store highlight projects that have made it all the way through the approval process.
You’ve probably played several of the games in this new category. Titles like the excellent rhythm-action game Ragnarock, the delightful point-and-click adventure The Secret of Retropolis or the ingenious puzzler Puzzling Places. These all started fighting among the masses before being deemed good enough for the official store.
Quest App Lab Games
What I wanted to highlight was the fact that the Quest Store now has an ‘App Lab Graduates‘ category. App Lab has always felt like the runt of the Quest software litter, hidden away and only allowed out for special occasions. Previously, you go to the main store and see no mention of App Lab. The only time you would was when searching for a particular App Lab game by its exact name.
At the bottom of the search results you’d find a small grey button ‘View App’. Which would then reveal the game you were looking for. Because of the faff involved XR Source created a ‘Play App Lab Games‘ how-to piece for easy reference.
Even with these hurdles, App Lab has benefited the industry, providing easier access to early demos and new ideas. So much so that rival Pico announced App Lab rival Pico Lab.
How often do you play App Lab games on Quest? Let us know in the comments below.