In 2016, Pokemon Go was released, and the world promptly went crazy. This point is when you saw people showing up randomly in parks and malls, all staring blankly at their mobile phones. It turns out that these are not zombies, nor were they on drugs. Instead, people were walking and interacting with the physical space around them but at the same time looking at their screen to see if they are close to spotting a Pokemon. For lack of a better commercial example, this is the dawn or the popularization of augmented reality games.
This category of digital gaming has been around for some time. Still, it took the recognition of Pokemon Go and the surrounding media attention to wake people up to the full potential of games. These are games that use mobile devices as a bridge to the reality that we can readily observe, and the virtual reality presented on our mobile phones.
Pokemon Go, in hindsight, is a straightforward augmented reality game. You have a phone, and the app would play content using your location. It’s mostly a superimposition of the digital data on what you have captured in real-time from the physical world around you.
There’s been a lot of development in the augmented reality game space since 2016. Here are some of the best titles for 2020.
It started as a Nintendo 3DS game back in 2012. It has quite a bit of history and has had enough time to be fully developed. Its 2002 iteration is smoother than previous versions. If you are looking to break into augmented reality games nice and smooth, this is the game for you. It’s not very disconcerting, but it does get in your face. It’s one thing to try and wipe out ghosts in a typical video game, and it’s another to see the spirits and apparitions, thanks to your mobile phone scanning the space of your basement or your bedroom.
In terms of story flow and overarching narrative elements, this game has improved a little, and it’s no surprise that it can present full HD images impressively. Ghosts can even appear behind you since the app uses 360-degree vision. If you are looking for a game that you won’t get bored of quickly, you might want to consider Spirit Camera. It has significant challenges, mini-games, as well as many different stories that make it fun and engaging even over time.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
J.K. Rowling’s world continues to take place and come to life on different media platforms. She’s already conquered the silver screen, and there had been video adaptations, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Harry Potter and company make their way to augmented reality apps on mobile devices.
When you play this game, you will play a wizard who will encounter a wide range of beasts and fight them everywhere. It’s just a Harry Potter-themed take on Pokemon Go. It’s the same essential gameplay elements of Pokemon Go only with familiar Harry Potter themes and characters. You will need to turn on your GPS to have a data connection for the app to feed and receive content as you walk around in the real world and use your wand to defeat the beasts that lurk at every corner.
This game was developed by the company Six to Start and launched in 2012. What makes this app interesting is that it has a head-turning plot. It doesn’t just pop zombie images on your mobile phone and allow you to dispatch them. It’s entirely immersive because you have to listen to the story, which enables you to get into it. A lot of the zombie outbreak action has a lot more meaning and is more emotionally impactful, thanks to the overall narrative that you are experiencing.
The whole point of the game is to run away from zombies, not get hurt, but also help others and collect items to ensure survival. There’s a lot of things going on here. At its most basic, it’s similar to hide and seek, but there are also strategic decisions to be made and resource collection to do. If you don’t like to run, this game is not for you. The overall goal of this app is to use the zombie theme in a real-world setting to motivate users to be more physically active.
Viewed from this perspective, it’s not just an augmented reality game app. It can also be a health and fitness app. If you ever need a good reason to get up, put on your running shoes, and break out a sweat, maybe being chased down by brain-hungry zombies would do the trick.
The same geniuses behind Pokemon Go developed this game. It uses your phone’s GPS to interact with portals. These portals are selected by the app and placed in real landmarks. The developer Niantic uses a science fiction motif that combines alien forces and good old-fashioned cyberpunk. As you make your way through the game, you earn action points.
You can work solo, but you can also work as a team. The main objective is to interact with your environment to foster a real culture that you can then share with other players. You can share information, stories regarding your neighborhood, where you’re from, and your ethos. It can be a great app to cultivate deeper bonds with others.