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ARrrrrgh Game Review (iOS)

I probably wouldn’t come across this little game called ARrrrrgh if I wasn’t a Twitter frick. ARrrrrgh, yes this game with that awkward name (I think it’s how pirate express agreement if I am not wrong) is a pirate-style take on the classic hide and seek game. I’ll tell you all about it in my review, so let’s begin!

The gameplay is designed for two players, one person needs to hide a treasure chest under the ground, and the other needs to find it.

I like the digging part. You aim the shovel towards the floor and click to dig a hole, shove the treasure chest and cover it up. The animation is really cool and it looks like there is really a hole in the floor. I first saw this type of animation in the game AMON. What the game does is take a photo of an area on the floor (or wherever you want to put the chest in) and break that image to pieces while showing a dark hole where the floor was broken.

Hiding the virtual chest underneath the floor
I’m hiding the chest underneath the floor, there is no chance someone is going to find it here (LOL, I was playing against myself that time).

Anyway, once the chest is hidden, you need to confirm its place. After that, the game will ask you to give the device to the second player, the seeker. The seeker needs to move around the room and try to locate where the chest is.

The seeker needs to tap on the area on the floor he wants to check for the treasure. If there isn’t anything underneath it. If the chest is where you are going to see another animation that reveals the chest and opens it to show the gold coins inside it.

The seeker can see an indicator at the top of the screen that shows him up close he is to where the chest is. I first thought that it’s a bad idea because the whole fun part of the game is to search it without any help. The thing is that some people might play it in a large area, and it can take a long time check all the available places. I think that the developer should have added the indicator map as an optional feature and allow users to choose whether to use it or not. I play it in a small house, so having a proximity map make the whole experience way too easy, not challenging and therefore not fun.

ARrrrrgh is definitely aimed at young children. It’s a cute little game that uses the magic of ARKit to make a unique experience that wouldn’t be possible or at least not exciting without using AR technology.

The music in this game is really nice and perfectly fits the gameplay. I also like the amusing parrot pirate which you can interact with both as a treasure chest hider or seeker. The game will also alert you if you stand too close to the chest before handing it to the seeker, cute and useful idea.

It’s a very simple game that Iév sure kids will love. In those type of games, you need to shred away the complexity and deliver a very simple experience. The game is aimed at kids at age 4 and up (based on the age rating on iTunes). The game has a good replay value because each time you can hide it in a different place.

I had one time that the app didn’t work well and after putting the chest underground, I wasn’t able to dig it up no matter how many times I tried. Maybe the ARKit lost track of the position of the chest because I put it in another room than the room I was starting the chest.

The AR experience was fun overall. I would have given this to my niece to try out, but she didn’t come today. I’m sure she would have loved it. It’s a simple idea but one that is perfect for augmented reality. We need more game like this on the app store. The last game that I’ve played that really innovated in that way was Meddling Martians AR, but unfortunately, there aren’t many original ideas like that in many of the games that I’ve played.

I’ve seen some amazing ARKit demos that people share on Twitter, but those are just demos. Still, I think that developers can definitely get inspiration from those demos and come up with more original ideas. There are so many great ideas that can form a really great AR gameplay experience and we haven’t seen anything yet.

ARrrrrgh gets good points for originality, although I think there are plenty of ways to make this game even more engaging, it’s aimed at kids so I can understand the design approach.

I would make it so it’s harder to find the treasure, without any help and with a time-limited sessions. I would make an option for players to be rewarded when they get to find the treasure. Maybe limit the amount of digging each player can make and also allow the person who buries the chest to put it in different depths. You probably think of even better ideas but there is definitely a big room for adding more features and improving the experience. It can even appeal to adults if there is a more competitive and rewarding aspect of the game.

I would also add this as a single-player experience, where you scan the place for surfaces and the game hides the chest and you need to find it. I don’t know how well this could work, but it can be nice to also be able to play a game like this when there are no other people around you to play with.

It would also be nice if there was an option to play the game using two devices locally. Each player has its own mobile phone and uses it to either hide or search for the chest. Then the kid who plays it feels that he can enjoy the game playing it with his phone, and it feels better.

I’ve played the game on my iPad 9.7-inch, not on an iPhone (which I don’t have). The game seems to be designed for the iPhone because I was getting a black frame around the game. There was also no way to change the orientation of the game and I could only play it in portrait orientation.

Overall, it’s a fun local multiplayer game for kids that works really well in AR.  A great game to kill some time or enjoy playing with friends when they come home to visit you.

Click here to visit the game’s page on iTunes.

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