Today I downloaded a game called AR Fighters by Station Games. The game is categorized under the simulation category because although it’s interactive, there isn’t a lot you can do other than hitting your opponent and avoid dying. There is no progression, no option to unlock characters, no points or goals, etc.
Anyways, a few months ago I remember seeing some tweets about someone posted an AR demo of two characters from the classic Street Fighter game fighting against each other. It was a popular post and I think people really enjoyed seeing the classic Street Fighter game brought to life in Augmented Reality.
Since then I moved on, but I still remembered that eventually, people will make such AR fighting games and it didn’t take long of some to pop out.
Still, I wanted to get the feeling how it is like fighting another character in a Street Fighter-like game and see whether the experience felt good or would it be that exciting as I thought it could be.
I’ve downloaded AR Fighters from Google Play and start playing it. Just so you know, AR Fighters was developed using ARCore technology, so if you download the game, make sure you have an ARCore enabled device beforehand.
Straight from the start, I’ve seen that the experience isn’t going to be great. The UI was designed very poorly, there were usability issues with the game surface placement and adjustments, the game was stuck after each fight (needed a restart), sometimes the controls were applied in the wrong direction (up is down, left is right), etc.
So I recognized the fact that AR Fighters isn’t going to be the type of AR fighting game that wished for, far from it. However, to be honest, I didn’t expect it to be that good, because if so, I would probably have read about it somewhere. Anyway, some apps have low marketing budges and you need to search the app store carefully to find them.
Of course, I give any app that I try a respect and spend time with it before I judge how good or bad it is based on my personal criteria.
I still wanted to get the look and feel of an augmented reality (AR) fighting game, and this game actually was able to deliver some of that promise with its responsive controls, biffy framed animations, visual effects, selection of moves and a combo moves (e.g. Jump and kick). Of course, it doesn’t come close to the depth that you have in games like Mortal Kombat X or Street Fighter V but I did have fun with it.
In AR Fighters you fight against several AI enemies (no multiplayer game mode). You also have an option to pick up a knife which is consumed after some eliminations.
After toying around with the app for some time, I am quite positive that there is a place for an AR fighting game probably mixed with other types of location-based games, or table-top Super Smash Bros. fast-paced brawler. I’m sure kids will enjoy playing against there friends locally, earn rewards and progress, unlock new characters, trade them, etc. I hope that somewhere there are developers who are working on such an idea and we’ll see it a similar game comes into life in AR.
Download AR Fighters from Google Play (Android) here.