I try my best to try out almost any AR game that I see on the App Store no matter if it’s a big title or what seems like a small and unappealing title at first. The reasons for that is first, you should never judge a book by its cover and second, any game might teach me a few things that even some of the bigger AR game haven’t.
In this blog post, I’ll be reviewing a game called Starship Destroy AR. Starship Destroy AR is a very simple and non-thrilling 360° retro 8-bit styled augmented reality shooter. It features 3 difficulty levels.
The gameplay is very simple, all you need to do is to aim at flying ships and tap to shoot. OK, so what that’s it? Yes, this game is probably one of the least exciting shooters that I’ve played in quite a while.
However, there are two things that were done right in this game. The first one is making the ships traveling through the 3D space in various directions. The movement of the ship is like drawing perspective lines and therefore materializes the real world space, creating a sense of depth to the game, which otherwise would have felt flat. The ships are traveling along all three axes with beautiful circular motions.
In some ways, it reminds me of an image that tries to illustrate gravitational waves, while doing so, it also gave the viewer the option to view the fabric of space-time. Which otherwise would just look empty. Those lines helped define a visible pictorial view of the 3D space.
Just think about it for a second. If there were many ships circulating around an invisible “dummy” rounded object, that invisible part would in some way become visible as its shape is described by those rotating ships. It’s like “Seeing” a black hole, you can’t see it, but because light around it is swollen into it, it appears dark, whether light and matter around it that isn’t pulled into it defines its shape. Now here we are not talking about a specific shape, but the feeling of depth in the real world space. Without any descriptive perspective guidelines the space would appear flat.
Now, this leads me to the second things that I liked about this game. When a starship moves, it leaves a long trailing line the follows the ship as it moves and rotates the real world space. This has two advantages. The first one further increases the sense of depth like drawing perspective lines that reveal the structure of the 3D space as described above. The second is that instead of using visual cues for showing where the ships are when they are out of the screen area, the developer has opted to use those combustion lines. This trailing line is long enough to give the user hint where the ships are but without using any visual cues, like dots that appear at the edges of the screen.
This is a great idea that works really well. It also makes it feel like there is an actual air friction in a way.
Although this isn’t an AR game that I personally would see myself playing more than I did (which was just a few minutes), it certainly taught me a few new things. This is why I always give any app a chance. I learned a lot from every single Augmented Reality (AR) app and games that I tried. I can literally write books about all the insights that those apps gave me.
So all in all, I found Starship Destroy AR a good AR game on the explanatory level, and because of the way it is designed, I did enjoy the visual part of the experience more than the actual gameplay itself.
If you are a developer, I recommend downloading and trying it out, just to get a better understanding of what I am talking about here.
Download Starship Destroy AR for iPhone and iPad from the App Store here.