2017 has been a big year for Augmented Reality. The launch of Apple’s ARKit on iOS and Android’s ARCore began a gold rush for developers seeking to build augmented reality apps for the largest mobile platforms. What came next was a flood of demos, apps, games and experiences that are the first wave of the coming Augmented Reality Wave. There have been a number of stand out apps and games released this year. Check out some of the new releases:
8 of the Best Mobile Augmented Reality Apps and Games (October 2017)
Stack AR by Katchapp
Stack AR is an augmented reality reboot of the popular iOS stacking game. In addition to being addictive, the game makes smart use of the strengths of ARKit, namely recognizing flat planes like your table. Notable with this app is how stable the object renderings are. Many early ARKit apps suffered from issues with lighting causing poor surface recognition but the Ketchapp team seems to have pushed past that.
Holographic Communication by Mimesys
Holographic isn’t as much an ‘app’ as it is the business of Mimesys. This demo is included here because the technology they have put together could be game changing. Collaborative workspaces for remote workers would be a boon to many industries.
AR Dragon by PlaySide
I may be dating myself here but does anyone else remember the Tamagotchi? Well this app is like that, but 1000% better. You get to raise a pet dragon who can live on surfaces near you and interact with the environment. The animation and smoothness of the renderings is incredible and gameplay is shockingly addictive.
Zombie Gunship Revenant AR by Limbic Software
Have you ever looked at your rug and thought, damn, I wish this was a super sweet military base that I could defend? No? Well me neither…until this app found its way onto my iPad. It is a tower defense style augmented reality app that has some very well done thermal overlays. You defend your space from zombies hellbent on ruining your carpet. For those interested, the explosions are particularly spectacular.
Lila’s Tale: Stealth by Skullfish Studios
Lila’s Tale: Stealth is a beautifully rendered dungeon crawler style adventure game that now can be played in your actual living room. Like many of the early wave of apps, Lila’s Tale is really just a port of the existing app/gameplay that has been placed on the background of the real world. There are some cool AR features but for the most part the gameplay is what you would expect from a 3D game.
Conduct AR by North Play
Trains bring back childhood memories for many people. With Conduct AR, you can put a digital version of your train set right on the ground in front of you. Like many of the other augmented reality apps, the gameplay is still just normal 3d gameplay but with the background as the real world.
ARise by Climax Studios
ARise is a level-based puzzle style game that has some great 3d artwork. What’s cool about this game is the use of the player’s perspective in how the game works. It forces you to actually walk around and engage with the game in a physical way in order to beat the levels. This begins to get into some of the ways AR can be used to increase user engagement.
Flat Pack by Nitrome
Flat pack is my favorite game of the lot. The game is a 2D scroller that has been expanded into 3D space. The concept reminds me of the story Flatland by Edwin Abbott Abbott (which is a terrific book by the way). By thrusting 2D characters into a 3D world, players get the feeling that they’re a god in this context and it encourages them to move around and explore to absorb as much environment information as possible. To play the game you absolutely must physically engage with the ‘universe’ of the game which is a must for ARKit game experiences.
This installment was mostly games but going forward we’ll be showcasing the best of what we can find across many different augmented reality apps. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter in the sidebar for the latest Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality news!