Top 5 best AR (Augmented Reality) games 2019 + for Halloween fun!

30.10.2019, 19:23

We’ve all spent bizarre moments on our phone cameras watching ourselves wearing non-existent wizard hats and huge sunglasses in AR. But this is only AR in its most basic form. AR games are evolving, and they will continue to evolve as smartphones improve, and as headsets like Magic Leap and Microsoft Hololens arrive with MR (Mixed Reality).

 

There will be software and games that do mind-blowing things for gaming as it begins to overlap into our surroundings, and they may likely begin in the world of AR as it is today.

 

It’s true, MR will revolutionise business and home entertainment. But it will take a bit of time before we all get round to purchasing such headsets, and there's still tons of development and evolution ahead.

 

In the meantime, smartphones are a little more prevalent(!), so it looks like we’re set to go through an interesting period of AR apps. They are starting to get more impressive, entertaining and social. They can also be really creative and tie-in with existing real-world games like board games, toys or activities in interesting ways (in fact, this could be a separate blog post we might cover before Christmas). AR games are also great for making and sharing Halloween-themed creations. 

 

So let’s take a look at some top accessible and attention-grabbing games. You can visit the related app store and try some out, but don't forget it could cost you nothing if you get our free Google Play vouchers (if you manage to earn enough of points completing mini-tasks here at Prizes Drop.)

 

Minecraft EARTH

 

Available on: iOS

Developer: Mojang

Price: Free

 

You can read a full post about this big-budget title at Gaming Impact, but in short, this is a big production in the footsteps of Pokemon Go and will probably do well as it feeds into, and expands, the Minecraft world.

 

Sharing creations and building together could become a lot more immediate. It’s still rolling out across the board, and coming out of beta, but it's one to watch, or take heed of.
 

Surely, Lego (the bigger kids version) will be next to climb on the AR bandwagon, if Minecraft EARTH does as well and ends up boosting traditional Minecraft considerably.


 

Knightfall AR

 

Available on: Android, iOS

Developer: A+E Networks

Price: Free

 

Watch as a miniature battlefield materialises across the carpet of your living room or tabletop. Welcome to an action strategy experience, more like a siege or tower defense game, where you’ll need to protect your castle from hordes of invaders. It doesn’t take very long to get the hang of.

 

If you have a pretty decent smartphone, then it’s well worth a go as there’s more going on in Knightfall AR compared to many more transient AR attempts. 

 

Your accurate aiming of catapult rocks and volleys of arrows - by tapping on-screen and moving your phone - you might just protect your fortress, which you’ll also need to repair.

 

Comes with a Photo Mode, which is also good fun for installing a battle-ready knight in your home.



 

Slingshot Island ARCore

 

Available on: Android, iOS

Developer: Sockethead Games

Price: $0.99 / £0.89

 

Let the game map itself onto your playspace or living area, and you’ll be able to welcome in a complete 3D fortress on a floating island. 

 

‘Where are the Angry Birds?’ you might enquire as this game is rather similar in concept. But it’s such an accessible concept that you’ll be delighting in the destruction of the fortress in minutes. It makes for a great introduction and showcase demo for AR. 

 

You get 30 levels in Slingshot Island, with some good-looking graphics and physics-based fun.



 

Jenga AR

 

Available on: Android, iOS

Developer: Free Range Games

Price: Free


 

Carefully removing blocks from a stack and placing them on top, in order to increase the tower’s height, is the name of the classic Jenga game. The real-world game of wooden blocks is familiar to many student union bars or pubs across the world.

 

There are quite a few alternative titles to try (see last paragraph for more) but we’ve selected this one - Jenga AR - as it’s a bit better in terms of fluid physics and realistic graphics. You’ll find a few more features here too, including various kinds of towers that may have sticky blocks, exploding ones or those that are easier to take out. There’s also an additional versus mode.

 

It’s recommended to choose a decent ‘gamespace’ surface to begin your Jenga or you’ll be throwing coke cans at the non-existent game in frustration. Or for bigger kids, beer and chips.

 

Well worth a game, and to experience the 1:1 ‘movement mapping’ for yourself. And there are no blocks to clear up off the floor afterwards! Now that’s technological progress.

 

Other Jenga games in AR include: Balanced Tower, Jenga AR, Wobbly Stack and Stack-AR.



 

Stack AR

 

Available on: iOS

Developer: Ketchapp

Price: Free

 

...And we’re mentioning Stack-AR here too, because it’s a little different to Jenga AR. Forget the balancing blocks and the physics; this is about timing. 

 

It also makes for one of the easiest entry-points into AR games: simple and quick. 

 

It’s like the popular Stack game that suddenly appeared in app stores and rocketed to the top because it’s such a tap-friendly, fast-challenging reaction game. 

 

Let’s just say that when your tower gets trimmed down to nothing: the game ends.


 

So, there we go. These are a bunch of the best AR games where there are tons emerging. More and more developers are beginning to realise the potential.

 

Perhaps one issue with AR is that you have to invite your outside surroundings into your private game-space, which means they may never be the first choice for public transport, unless you're travelling with family or friends. 


 

Honourable mentions (since it's nearly Halloween at time of writing): 

 

Harry Potter: Wizard's Unite

 


Niantic are top developers of AR games from mega franchises, so fantasy fans or Harry Potter nuts will truly relish this one. You’ll need to sign in via Google etc. and it’s quite a hefty, clunky app so make sure you’ve got a decent device. It uses GPS too, so you'll be moving around hunting for 'Confoundables.'

 

Spell-casting, potion-brewing and various challenges in the wizarding world overlapping into our muggle-world await.

 

Have Niantic explored the potential of AR for Harry Potter with this one? It feels like a strong effort, but also that it's sort of scratching the surface.


 

And yes, Zombies!

 

Many a zombie title including Zombie Gunship: Revenant AR and Zombies, Run! (an interesting take on sport motivation apps). And don’t forget the easiest portable chess board: Chess AR. It works ok.

 

 

Final Note...

 

Like mobile VR (mostly on the way out now), mobile AR feels like a strange affair, until we get some really decent headsets. Things do feel restricted by smartphones themselves.

 

But this is an important stage, as many interesting games begin to explore how things can overlap into our everyday reality, via global positioning, cameras etc. - not only for entertainment but for motivation to do things (like exercising in Zombies, Run!) There will be some titles - both very simple or very complex - that start paving the way for some really, really interesting creations. 

 

 

Stay tuned to the Prizes Drop blog, as we continue to explore AR and new tech. Don't forget you can get Google Play vouchers if you manage to collect enough points by completing our mini-tasks, so sign up today and start earning.
 

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