The success of Pokemon Go has been a wild ride thus far: we've seen fans doing all kinds of wacky, dumb and genius things in order to capture adorable augmented-reality pocket monsters over the past week. People have been afflicted with Pokemon fever for 20 years, and an opportunity to do it on their smartphones was apparently just what the doctor ordered.
Watching Pokemon Go capture the hearts and minds of millions of people got us thinking, though...what other games could make for fun AR titles on our smartphones? We put our heads together and thought of a few potential blockbuster AR game ideas from some of our favorite franchises.
We just finished adventuring with dashing treasure hunter Nathan Drake in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, but that doesn't mean our loot searches should stop there. An AR trinket hunting game would be an excellent addition to the Uncharted family. Search neighborhoods for hidden idols, secret maps, and more. All your finds would be documented in your trusty journal, with all the fun notes and information we've come to enjoy while globe trotting as Nathan Drake. Everyone loves a treasure hunt (rarer Pokemon could be considered their own version of treasure), so this concept seems like a no-brainer.
Ever since Ingress hit Android and iOS devices, we've been waiting for an AR version of Watch Dogs, where you're a hacker wanted by authorities, and have to work alongside (or against) opposing syndicates through cyber-espionage. An AR version of Watch Dogs would see you choose a hacker handle, then head out into a hyper-connected version of your city, seen through your smartphone. We're imagining a very player-versus-player game here, with turf war battles, puzzle challenges to claim locations by "hacking" them, and all other kinds of gray-hat goodness.
Jonathan Blow's critically acclaimed puzzle game would be a slightly different experience as an augmented reality game. Instead of wandering a mysterious island, players would be able to wander the streets of their local neighborhoods, solving puzzles and racking up points on local, national, and global leaderboards. There might be larger group puzzles that require three or more people, and some might require you to walk through a large portion of the city to "trace" a correct path in order to solve more massive mazes. Completing a specific number of puzzles across every major geographical region might trigger an in-game event made for the whole world to solve...
We know Fallout already has a mobile game in Fallout Shelter, but we'd love to be able to lift our smartphones and see our very own Wasteland take shape as we walk around town. You'd choose a faction, and run quests for them, ranging from taking out a few bloatflies to teaming up with other Lone Wanderers and bringing down a deathclaw that's been lurking in your 'hood. Over time, the game can create large-scale scenarios that individual players can contribute to in order to beat them, and the factions can go to war if specific criteria are met. Bonus: we love the idea of your home base being your very own Vault, complete with AR decor and special functions/power-ups available before you head out into the Wasteland.
Grand Theft Auto
You know what? On second thought, maybe this one's a bad idea.
A really bad idea.