The Gaming Potential For Apple’s AR
It’s hard to believe that it has now been over a year since the release of Pokémon GO. This was a revolutionary game that utilized AR concepts to allow people to “catch” Pokémon in the real world, or at least come about as close to it as possible. It was such an original and unfamiliar game, in all but subject matter, that we published a how to guide in July of 2016. Barely more than a year later, however, the conceptual aspect of Pokémon GO has become a sort of standard. That is to say, with Apple having enabled augmented reality development through it “ARKit” technology, games that function similarly to Pokémon GO are starting to flood the app store.
Now it’s time to take a look at some of the potential we can see in this new corner of the mobile gaming arena.
First and foremost, this arena appears to be built for the birth of the rotational, progressive puzzle. That’s not exactly a description of an existing genre, of course, but it’s a concept that evolves naturally from some of the most popular puzzle games in mobile stores. A lot of these games already involve rotating screens that allow us to use new angles and different perspectives to solve 3D puzzles, and with AR we can do this in a more literal sense. A review at iMore for one such game that’s already made it to AR discussed the idea of exploring different perspectives you can achieve by moving around a physical space, keeping your phone pointed toward the 3D puzzle apparatus that appears to be in the middle of the room. It’s a wonderful concept, and one of the few that’s already working well in augmented reality.
A new era of slot and casino arcade games appears to be around the corner as well. Unlike 3D puzzles, we haven’t seen these emerging just yet. But if you’ve kept your finger on the progress of this type of game on the internet, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that mixed reality is in the works. Developers have already promised a virtual reality version of Gonzo’s Quest, which is described by SlotSource as being perhaps the most famous online video slot in the industry as of now. The way this genre tends to expand upon itself, that will likely lead to a domino effect in which we suddenly see a whole category of slots and similar games coming to life in AR.
Shooters should emerge as well, and it’s almost a little bit puzzling that they’ve been slow to do so already. While none of us want to shoot Pokémon – or at least most of them – you can imagine this game as a twist on the Pokémon GO concept. We could simply point our phones around a real environment, see creatures emerging, and (presumably because they’re coming after us), take them out, instead of trying to capture them. There have been demos, and a write-up by The Unlockr detailed one fascinating early example that even comes with plastic gun attachments and an outdoor WiFi hub to simulate a sort of “real-life Call Of Duty.” But simpler games for casual indoor play are undoubtedly on the way.
Board games will emerge as well, and real-time strategy has already made the move to AR. We’ll see miniature versions of sports games, and undoubtedly some city-building and simulation apps as well. And once you start to imagine how all of these games work, you begin to realize that the potential of AR extends far beyond a few genres. This is the future of AR gaming, and we probably should have realized it when Pokémon GO first arrived last year!