5 of the Best AR games for Android
Nobody saw Pokémon Go coming and nobody could have predicted just how popular it was going to be. The mixture of the real world and gaming had been mixed in an amazing way to create a game that appealed to all ages. Now we are done with Pokémon Go, what else is out there for AR? Here are what I think are five of the best AR games for Android.
Augmented Reality was original conceived as a business application to help sell products, tour real estate and offer insights into medicine and other sciences. The mixing of the real world with a digital overlay has huge potential for many industries, with gaming among them. Pokémon Go may have been the first mainstream game to mix the real with the unreal but it certainly isn’t going to be the last.
Here are five other AR games for Android that are well worth checking out.
The original AR game may not have the fanatical following it had last year but it is still playable and is still entertaining. Remember all those people wandering around aimlessly staring at their phones? They are still around, just not in the numbers they used to be. All because of this game. Using geolocation, Pokémon Go places character battles in real places. Set up your pet, go to the battleground and fight. A deceptively simple premise that earned Niantic millions of dollars and lost many of us hours of our lives.
The game is still available for free on Android and still played by a lot of people although you will need to live in a city to see enough competing players to battle against.
Ingress actually preceded Pokémon Go and has performed very well. Also developed by Niantic, this game sees you play a part in a secret society that fights for control over Exotic Matter that leaks into our dimension at specific locations. Called EX, this matter is the games currency and your job is to collect as much of it as you can from a portal at a given location.
Other players are either in your society or in a competing society. You go to the location to gather this matter and try to get control of the portal where the matter leaks into the world. The other team tries to stop you. A simple premise that has proven very popular.
Zombies, Run is an AR game for Android that mixes gameplay with fitness. It is a very neat game that gets you outside running or walking. As you progress on your journey, you unlock small story fragments that keep you wanting the next one and keep moving. It gamifies fitness in a very cool way and plays on the remaining popularity of zombies to create quite the immersive environment.
The neat thing with Zombies, Run is that you can use it on a treadmill if you don’t want to go outside. While it is a fitness game, it works very well in terms of immersion and interest. The drip feeding of story keeps you wanting more and the quality of the writing isn’t bad either.
SpecTrek takes you ghost hunting in your city. It is a bit like Pokémon Go but was here first. Your job is to give yourself a time limit, then go out into the world around you and hunt ghosts. It is a combination of game, fitness game and navigational game and combines them all very well. The premise is definitely to get you out and moving around but hides it well enough in your quest to find these ghosts.
I didn’t think SpecTrek was as immersive as Zombies, Run but considering it is free and still good fun, it is definitely worth a try.
Toyota 86 AR
Toyota 86 AR is a promotional for the Toyota GT86 car but is also a pretty good game in its own right. It isn’t deep or particularly long but as a concept, the game is very good indeed. You get a code, generate a car in the app and then drive the car around. You use controls on your phone You can then upload the video of your drive if you like that kind of thing.
I usually avoid these promoted games like the plague but this one is so good I think it deserves a place on this list.
AR games are still coming of age. It won’t be long before the quality, depth and immersion is many times greater than it is now. Despite its infancy, AR gaming is a very interesting way to spend time if you have a compatible phone.
Got any other AR games for Android to recommend? Tell us about them below if you do!