Goalkeeper in AR

Taokaenoi Football Cup – Game Review (iOS)

I just came up after playing a cool AR game called Taokaenoi Football Cup. It’s a very simple AR arcade game where you get to become a goalkeeper in Augmented Reality, trying to prevent a virtual player scoring against your goal.

I was actually was excited to find out that this game was developed by the same developer who developed the game AMON, one of my favorite AR games.  I don’t see many people talk about this studio, but the people there are really making some interesting apps that best fit the medium, Augmented Reality. They definitely got my attention. I think it will be amazing working with this company that has such talented creators. I think about contacting them myself and do something great together.

The game was launched together with Taokaenoi Club, this is why the name is part of the title of the game.

AR goalkeeper
Look around you and you can see the soccer goal net.

The game was developed in celebration of the World Cup. I’ve already covered two World Cup-related apps, Flag Paint on Face AR and World Cup 2018 Country Flag Face Paint AR, but both of them weren’t games. So this is the first World Cup-related AR game that I had a chance to play since the World Cup has begun.

The goal of the game is to try to catch as many balls as possible in a single session. Your best game will be counted to the highest score. The is a global competition which is divided into 2 leagues: regional league (6-30 June 2018) and the International league (8-14 July 2018). The top 3 winners with the highest score of each league will be announced on July 7th and be awards with prizes. Participants must reside in one of the following territories: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malasia, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Republic of China, Hong Kong, SAR.

I was playing as a guest but in the highscore table, I could already see the top two players with 34 points. Anyways, I like the rewarding competitive aspect of the game.

When you start the game you need to find a place on your floor where you have 3×3 meters play space for you to move around.  the goal is smaller than an official Football goal which is 73.2 meters by 2.44 meters in size.

That being said, the ball will travel at quite fast speed and you’ll need a good reaction time to stop it.

My problem with this game is obviously that what controls your view of the game is also your controller. I didn’t like it when I played a Table Tennis AR game (where the racket controlled by the phone) and in AR PingPong Rally game. However, in this goalkeeper AR game, it’s less bad than a ping pong game, where the ball can fly far from where you are and moving your device into that direction where the ball is, make it impossible to see the scene. The reason is that the device is no longer aligned with your fields of view.

In the case of Taokaenoi Football Cup, the area which the ball can hit is relatively limited in size and the ball travels in speed that is fast enough for you to prepare for it. Still, the game feels balanced and challenging.

I like the country gloves and they way the virtual hands are presented in the game. This can be a fun game to play with AR/MR glasses when your hands are actually free. Just imagine playing it with haptic feedback gloves and having another player being the kicker, can be really fun as local multiplayer AR game.

Conclusion

I have to say that it was a refreshing gameplay experience for a change. Although it really isn’t a good fit for playing with a handheld device, rather than a wearable one, I had fun with it.

The thing is that I can’t really remember the last time I was playing a real soccer game, let alone being a goalkeeper, I think it was many years ago in school. So this is actually one of the things that I really liked about AR. Being able to replicate some real-world experiences and bring those experience in a virtual form.

It’s not the first time I experience something similar to this. I experience it in Seoul where I played Pool in augmented reality, I felt it when I played AR Table Tennis, driving remote-controlled cars in RC Club AR Motorsports. Some of those gameplay experience will be so much better with AR headset because then your hands are free for interaction like in their real-world equivalent. The only thing that changes is that now some of the physical game elements are virtual. Of course, this opens are a whole new world of opportunities to enhance the experience and in some ways, make it even more convenient and fun.  You can practice and get better and do that without spending time running after balls or risking yourself from any hazard that might be involved with certain physical activities that some of those games might require.

This game could have been vastly improved with challenging levels, different kicker positioning, curved balls, penalty distances and a cheering characters to elevate the spirit and other improvements.

Oh, by the way, just thinking about it, AR can be used to train goalies as well. I think that after playing the game for half an hour, I become an even better goalkeeper myself 🙂

The game is free, so download it for iOS and give it a shot here.