Angry Birds Coming to Your iPhones in Augmented Reality
Resolution Games and Angry Birds developer Rovio Entertainment have partnered to launch an augmented reality version of the hit bird-flinging mobile game.
Named Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs, the new version of the series will be similar to a recently launched virtual reality version of the game which was also known by the same name. However, the augmented reality version of the hit-series will be compatible with the Apple mobile devices, particularly the iPhone 6. Later, the mobile augmented reality game will work on the iPad Pro models as well as on the 5th and 6th generations of iPad.
By leveraging iOS’s ARKit technology, the Angry Birds game takes the levels to the real world. Also, just like in the original Angry Birds game, the player will have to slingshot the birds into a pig-controlled structure with the objective of knocking down as much as possible and destroying all the pigs.
When fired up, the game detects its environment for the most suitable surface and then begins to build structures on top of it. The augmented reality brings the environment and characters to life in a very spectacular and dynamic way and these will interact with you as you are moving around. It’s not an augmented reality game that you will play in confined spaces such as the subway. Due to the maneuvering and creativity that you have to pull off for the best angles to fell the structures and win the game, you will need more open spaces. Since its launch a decade ago and after several sequels and spin-offs, players have been having an Angry Birds fatigue. The new angle rekindles the excitement by offering players newer experiences and brings a new dimension to the game.
It still remains to be seen for how long the AR version will remain evergreen and keep players interested. With the diverse options in play, it may not keep its luster for long. It’s hard to predict the extent of user engagement that we can expect; will users be ready to engage and move around over the long haul to fully exploit the immersive capabilities of the game? There is also the question of interaction with the AR game via an iOS mobile device as opposed to an AR headset which are increasingly the norm. Will this appeal to users at a time when many high-powered AR headsets will be launching into the market? Rovio initially went for the headsets as they are the default hardware choice for some wishing to interact with a title like Angry Birds.
Rovio Entertainment, the company behind Angry Birds, does not have a dedicated AR developer so the company collaborated with the Swedish AR games developer Resolution to create a fuller and more immersive experience for users. Rather than incorporate AR as something of an add-on, the teams partnered on building a game from the ground up that would fully utilize the spaces.
Rovio first began experimenting with AR in the Magic Leap, by launching the First Person Slingshot for the Magic Leap headset in 2018. In February this year, the company released the Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs hit virtual reality version for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets.
The company has now shifted its focus onto augmented reality, wrapping up its implementation of the hit series with all the form factors available to date. With iOS devices, Rovio is now able to take the AR game to the masses. The company plans to release the game this spring for iOS devices.
The Angry Birds game was developed by the Swedish tech firm Resolution Games and draws from the deployment and experiences with its predecessor to deliver a highly customized version of the game available on mobile form factor.
The more mainstream version of the Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs will build on some of the levels of the earlier versions while availing new originals for its users. With the initial Magic Leap implementation, its first foray into AR, the company was interested in delivering a more immersive experience that could fully leverage the 3D space around the player. The company then decided to introduce the hit series through platforms that are more accessible to the current consumers such as iOS.
With the imminent release of the iOS version, we are going to see possibly, the biggest audience for the game so far. Apple also stands to benefit from the launch as the game presents an opportunity for the giant tech company to introduce its ARKit to a broader and more mainstream audience. It’s particularly fortuitous that the game is Angry Birds, a mobile game that has international name recognition and a simple gameplay that appeals to a broad spectrum of players with diverse levels of expertise.
However, the AR experience will not deviate much from the original. There is the first-person view in the title which is designed to maximize on the AR experience but the core game remains the same with similar levels and gameplays as the original Angry Birds that took the world by storm a decade ago.
With the augmented reality version of the game, you can now have an even more immersive experience. The player is able to move their phone around the entire level thereby getting the best angles possible while aiming their feathered projectiles.
Angry Birds AR will launch soon with 40 levels. No release date has been provided yet but the game is already available for pre-order and is expected to hit the market at a point in “late spring”. While the game will be free-to-play, it will most likely have some in-game purchases. The company says it’s yet to “lock down” a suitable business model.
The two companies involved in the project, Rovio and Resolution, have also announced that the Angry Birds VR will launch on PSVR on March 26.