With Pokémon Go a fully-fledged global phenomenon, even as its myriad recent changes enrage fans, the Augmented Reality genre looks set to explode. We’ve put our heads together and have begun thinking about other brands and franchises we’d like to see get the Augmented Reality treatment.
With Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters still fresh in our minds, it seems like this is a franchise ripe for the AR treatment. This would be one of the easiest franchises to create a Pokémon Go clone from (outside of the many Pokémon imitators like Digimon, Beyblade, et al) — an AR Ghostbusters game would substitute Nintendo’s monsters with ghosts that players would encounter in the real world. You would have to weaken them with touch-controlled proton beams before sliding a trap out to collect them, and transferring the ghost back to Ghostbusters HQ would provide you with loot to upgrade your gear over time. That one’s free, mobile app developers. You’re welcome.
Okay, this is an older property now but it is getting a remake starring The Rock in the not too distant future so we think we can get away with it. An AR Jumanji game would have you rolling dice on a digital game board with up to three other friends. Your pieces move around the board, the game generates a dread riddle and a corresponding puzzle or mini-game appears at a nearby Google Maps point of interest. You and your friends must head over and solve the puzzle before anyone can take their next turn. Maybe there’s an elephant stampede in the park. There might be vines growing all over a huge building in the CBD. You’ll have to figure out how to stop it. The closer to the end of the game you are, the more outrageous the challenges become. Although, if you get “In the jungle you must wait, until the dice read five or eight,” we can’t help you.
- The Witcher
This one could be a lot of fun for the grown ups. The Witcher as an AR experience would turn you into an actual Witcher. You would pick up a contract from a digital noticeboard in the real world and hunt down one of The Witcher series’ many grotesque monsters. Like The Witcher 3, once you identify the creature, you would need to read up on it in-app and take the appropriate measures to defeat it — weapons, blade oils, spells, bombs, decoctions. Hunting the creature would involve using your phone to focus your Witcher Senses and pick up its trail. Return to the noticeboard to turn in your quest for sweet loot you can use to upgrade yourself further.
A Batman AR game makes perfect sense to us, because the bones of it already exist in Rocksteady’s excellent Batman: Arkham series of games, and it’s the focus of the upcoming Batman: Arkham VR. There’s been a wave of brutal muggings and assaults around the world and the Dark Knight believes they are connected. Because he can’t be everywhere at once, Batman has used a backdoor in a Wayne Entertprises smartphone app (the one you just downloaded, would you look at that) to put his cowl’s scanning technology right in the palm of your hand. Head to various real world locations (or “crime scenes”) and use your phone to search for, and home in on, clues and pull vital information from the Batcomputer’s databases to solve the case. Each case earns you XP and allows you to graduate to harder, more complicated cases.
- The Dark Tower
With the film adaptation of Stephen King’s beloved fantasy western now in production, what better time to start working on amazing tie-in apps? (There’s actually already one available, but we think we can do better.) The Rose is one of the core macguffins in The Dark Tower narrative — a nexus of other realities, it is also key to continued existence of the Tower and of reality as we know it. The AR app we have in mind would have you tracking down roses near you as you hunt for The Man in Black. Doing so would allow you to peer into other realities and levels of the Tower through your phone. You would need to use your phone’s speakers to listen for the Rose’s singing and your camera to locate it. When you do, you’ll be given a puzzle or a riddle to solve, or you may see The Man in Black himself if you’re hot on his trail. You could even band together with friends to create a Ka-Tet and hunt for him.
We could go on. And on. The world of AR is only just getting started and we can’t wait to see where it takes us. What would you like to see?
Pokémon Go is available as a free download on iOS and Android devices.