What a Mobile Device Can Do with AR

January 31, 2019
What a Mobile Device Can Do with AR

For some reason, a day can't pass in the GameBuz office without someone mentioning Pokemon GO. We realized we'd be a pretty bad mobile games news site if we didn't talk about augmented reality.

Before we talk about AR in mobile gaming, let’s quickly go over what AR actually is. Augmented reality is overlaying digital information over what you normally see. The coolest example is used in the cockpit of a jet fighter, the pilot’s helmet. These multimillion helmets give the pilot all of the information he could ever need right in front of his eyes, flight information, camera views from the bottom and back of the plane, weapon controls and much more. All that while he still keeps a clear picture ahead of himself and never has to move his head.

Admittedly your phone and its camera weren’t developed and paid for by the US government so some things will be lacking, like the eye-tracking, eye controls, perfect peripheral vision and so on. Also, augmented reality doesn't necessarily have to be an image overlayed on what you see, it can be any type of information.

Don’t be too sad, because there are some cool things your phone CAN do.



Image source: Play Store

Let’s be honest, we love sharing our work and we don’t get out of the house enough. WallaMe is there to help, it allows you to paint on your surroundings and lets others see it. It’s a fun way to hide small notes and pictures for friends to find.

You take a picture of an object, write and draw on it and publish it, then when someone gets near, they can use their camera to look for your note. It’s still not perfect and it has its quirks, but in time we could see social media networks like this pop-up. You could also organize a pretty cool easter egg hunt with WallaMe.


Zombie Gunship Revenant AR

Image source: Play Store

If you ever wanted to be in control of an attack helicopter, I have good news for you. In this game, you select a flat area around you to generate a map to play on. After that, you use your phone to control the weapons and camera modes while you move with the phone in your hands to fly the helicopter around the area.

Featuring a large assortment of weapons, realistic sounds and hoards of zombies to gun down Zombie Gunship Revenant is definitely a well made AR action game. Just keep in mind that you will need a more recent phone due to the game requiring ARCore.


Clandestine: Anomaly

Image source: Clandestine: Anomaly official Facebook page

Clandestine: Anomaly is a strategy game that isn’t purely an AR game, but it shows how it can be used to add on to the classic formula. The gameplay is based on location with the playing field being the player’s local map.

The game uses AR as a small window of opportunity for the player to do additional damage to the aliens during a round. With the logic behind this being to avoid having to look weird when you’re outside, having to really move too much and to save battery life. If you have an iPhone, you should definitely give it a try.


Zombies, Run!

Image source: Play Store

If you need motivation for your morning run, this is just the thing for you. You take the role of Runner 5 in this AR fitness app/game. It turns your morning run into a survival game, where the narrator informs you of what's happening.

You are given missions to find supplies for your hideout, to help other survivors, find ways to cure the infection and more. From time to time, you also might find a zombie horde, then you RUN. I couldn’t imagine a better motivation that hearing zombies growling right behind you. Stay in shape and feel like a hero.



Image source: Play Store

This app is a bit different, instead of the surrounding world being an addition to the game while you play with your phone, the world is your playing field and the phone is the addition. The app gives you approximate locations for geocaches around the world and hints about their exact location. Then it’s up to you to actually go out and find them. When you do, you log them using the app and, if you wish, you can share pictures of your travel to it.

You can also message other players to ask for help in finding them or to share experiences. Definitely a fun app to have when you go hiking or urban exploring.


Pokemon GO

Image source: Pokemon GO official Facebook page

Let's be honest, you already knew it's going to make the list. Because as I said, a day in the office can't pass without someone mentioning Pokemon GO. It's an obvious pick, everyone knows it, it's fun and it's getting updated every day.

In my opinon the best AR game so far, but I did spend a lot of time playing Pokemon, so I might be a bit biased. I can either say that much or go off on a tangent and then have to explain to my boss why we're publishing a 10.000+ word article.


Night Terrors: Bloody Mary

Image source: Night Terrors official Twitter

Let's end this one with some horror. What’s better (worse) than playing a horror game? Well, being in it obviously! This game turns your house into the scene of a horror game and what more could you ask for. The game is recommended to be played at night, indoors with the lights off and headphones on. Obviously, you are going to show your bravery and do exactly that.

I wouldn’t want to go into too much detail how it plays and what exactly the app does, because it would ruin the experience. The big part of the game is not knowing what’s going to happen and not having an exact objective. You have to get up and start walking. Also, the game has a few tricks up its sleeve so that you don't get too comfortable. Happy hunting.


Augmented reality might not be something huge and shiny for now, but it has a bright future ahead as shown by these few games and apps. Who knows maybe in a few years we’ll see dedicated AR headsets or be able to get used pilots' helmets cheaply?