Today I’ve played two AR alien-themed shooters: Alien Invasion AR and AR Invaders attack. The later was very lag and had many other problems so I’ve skipped it and decided to review the first one, Alien Invasion AR.
What is Alien Invasion AR?
Alien Invasion AR is what his developers calls it: “A mixed reality experienced based on Apple ARKit”. In this game, you are equipped with a futuristic rifle which you use to shoot down alien’s spaceships. For each spaceship you eliminate you eliminate you get a single point.
You also start with full health. If a ship hits you, you lose 5 health points and if the health pool reaches zero it’s game over. The game remembers your highest score.
The game uses spatial audio, and the developer recommends using headphones for the best experience. It’s also recommended to play in a room and keep 5 feet of open space around you to walk and gain medkits.
Playing Alien Invasion in AR
Alien Invasion AR doesn’t need to find a surface as it spawns the alien spaceships in the air around you. This means that you can play immediately the moment you are ready. It’s still an ARKit game though and this means that it works only on ARKit compatible devices.
You might think why to limit the target audience and develop it with ARKit if there is no need for surface detection. In my opinion, the choice was because the location of the players is needed in order to grab medic kits. The player needs to move around the environment to pick them up. This is the only way you can survive longer and beat your previous high score.
Having said that, there is one thing that I didn’t understand. I was able to play the game in almost complete darkness The medkits still spawn and I was able to pick them up while moving. If the game doesn’t ask for a surface scan and I can play in complete darkness, is ARKit really needed for this type of game?
I also find out that the game played differently when I played it indoors and outdoors and I have no idea why. when I played it indoors, the game placed spaceships all around me, whether when I played it outdoors, it spawned the spaceships only in front of me. I did check it several times and it was always like that.
Immersion, Is the Game Fun to Play?
The game fun only for the first few minutes then it just became very boring. There many things that just made the game boring to play, for example, there are no objectives (just high score), the sound of the gun is annoying, there is no gun movement (looks static), there are no explosion or sound effects when hitting a spaceship, the UI is plain and boring, there is only a single gun, all spaceships look the same and they just stand there in place, they don’t move in the environment.
This are just a few things that made the game look and feel very boring. I love first-person shooters, but the experience with this one was just plain bad.
So what shooters I enjoy playing? I can name you one that was really fun to play, it’s called Alien Invaders AR. I had a blast playing this game. That game is a good example for a simple first-person shooter that works well in AR and I can’t wait to play it again (when I want to do a workout LOL).
I really wanted to play another fun FPS game in augmented reality. This is the reason I was hooked when I saw the screenshot of the laser gun and the spaceships. It’s exactly the type of game I wanted to play today. Unfortiaontely, the gameplay experience was not good. There is a lot of work needed to be done in this game to make it attractive and fun for an FPS fan like myself.
The game was free so I didn’t need to break my head too much, I just downloaded the app and gave it a try. I played version 1.0. Maybe the game will be improved in future versions, but as for this version, I just can’t recommend this game. There are much better alternatives out there that deliver a much more immersive and fun AR gameplay experience.
BTW, if you do play it, try to play it in the dark as well.