Twinkl ARchitect is a very entertaining physics-based augmented reality game for iOS. There is something about a physics-based game that is really exciting to play in augmented reality compared to other games. In some ways, I felt like the virtual items are guests in my world and I felt that connection between the physics in the game and the real world, and that excites me.
Of course, developers can employ their own gravitational forces and other types of physics for items that behave differently than how they do on Earth. this doesn’t make it less exciting, in fact, when I was playing Playground AR: Physics Sandbox game, I really enjoyed the opportunity to play with zero gravity right in front of me. I mean, how else I would able to achieve this in the comfort of my home?
I also enjoy playing with physics in-app virtually because there are many things I can’t do in real life (for many reasons) but I could do them in the app. Whatever I do, I don’t cause any damage, I don’t need to pay for expensive equipment and nobody gets hurt when I create my own crazy physics experiences.
ARChitect, or maybe I should refer to it in its full name “Twinkl ARchitect“. is a physics-based puzzle game, one that I was eager to play for quite some time now. It doesn’t have many levels which are quite unfortunate, but just playing with the few that we do have, shows the great potential of such games in augmented reality. Playing a physics game is so much fun because it’s all about trial and error. You experiment with the physical forces, try to understand them, then try, for your best knowledge, to construct or to interact with structures in a way to fulfill certain objectives. Even if the objective is very simple like just placing cubes (either from wood, ice or stone) and to a 15m height; you soon find out that you are not a genius that you thought you were 🙂
ARChitect shows you why you need to go and learn architecture if you want to build bridges and tall structures. If you can’t build a 15m structure with square blocks, how can you build something much more complex? Then it tells you, hey, just build a bridge, and I found myself falling over and over and I still haven’t managed to make one that the truck can drive over it.
The link rods are really cool, they allow you to restrain the movement of the blocks by connecting nodes together. The results can be quite fascinating when you try to toy around with this in the “Creative mode” (sandbox mode) as you can see at the end of my video review from YouTube.
At the end of my review, I found out that want to see more of this type of physics-based AR games. Physics puzzle games, AR or not, are very popular on the App Store and I think there is a big room for them in augmented reality and mixed reality (e.g. Magic Leap One). As some of the previous puzzle games that I’ve played, I like the ease of use, the observation part and the challenging mind-teasing puzzles that teach you something as you play.
Using real-world physics in games shouldn’t be hard, because many 3D game development engines have real-world physics built right into the core engine, So in fact, it’s just adding different interactions and try to create something interesting as a game, add some objectives and let players try to figure out to achieve those objectives.
If you are n augmented reality developer or developing for the Magic Leap One MR headset, I highly recommend trying this game out. If you are a passionate gamer that loves puzzle games, physics-based games or sandbox games, I also recommend downloading and playing this game. I hope this game will continuously be improved in the near future because it has its issues and it does need more content, but overall, the core gameplay experience is great and I had a lot of fun playing it.
P.S. I would also like to see an AR game that combines physics and chimesty with cool objectives, that can be awesome!