First AR Angry Birds Game Released for iPhone and iPad
Are we just about to see a Pokemon-style augmented reality viral hit? The wildly popular mobile game Angry Birds is making a debut in augmented reality exclusively for iPhone and iPad. The AR mobile version of the game will launch as Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs. Another AR version for Magic Leap was launched a few months ago.
The augmented reality version of the game will merge the images that are seen via the phone’s camera with 3D virtual objects thereby overlaying the levels of the popular puzzle game onto the real-world surroundings of the player. It’s like augmenting the mobile version onto the real-world thereby creating an exciting mixed reality version of the game that you can enjoy in your preferred settings.
Apple’s ARKit technology has been used in the development of the Angry Birds AR game. ARKit consists of sets of tools that allow developers to build augmented reality apps and games for smartphones.
Angry Birds went viral when it was released in 2009 and went on to become one of the most successful mobile game series ever. It has been downloaded more than 3 billion times over the past decade. Over the same time period, it has also been converted into other content formats including movies and toys. There is even an Angry Birds theme park in Finland, the where the game originated from. It’s only befitting that on its tenth anniversary we are able to experience the same game using “next-frontier” immersive technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality.
The mobile puzzle game involved players using slingshots to fire various types of cartoon birds at green pig-towers in an attempt to knock them down. The new augmented reality version of the game is even more interesting as it provides a mixed reality playing environment where the players are able to move around the 3D towers of pigs in the game. Players are also able to approach every new level of the game from multiple angles as well as from new perspectives. The beauty with the AR is that you are immersed into the virtual part of the game without losing sight of the real as the virtual objects have been superimposed onto your real-world view.
Rovio, the game’s developer, has been working on the immersive rendering of the game for quite some time. It debuted the AR version of the game on Magic Leap in 2018 and the virtual reality version on Oculus early this year. While the studio has been experimenting with the immersive technologies over the past few years, this will be the first time that it is developing an immersive gameplay that will be accessible to a much broader user-base via their smartphones. The Isle of Pigs AR game has been developed for iPhone so as long as you have the device with an iOS 12 on it, you will be able to access the augmented reality game with ease.
The studio is also working on an Android version although it hasn’t divulged when it plans to launch it.
How the Game Works
In the new Isle of Pigs AR, players are able to transport the classic pig-constructed towers into their own real-life environment. It’s an augmented experience.
A player will be able to project or beam the game onto any surface around them such as the floor or the tabletop. The game will leverage the 3D viewing capabilities on iPhones or iPads and allow players to walk in a 360-degree environment around the levels in the game and view it from multiple angles. By walking around in 3D, they will be able to discover the hidden items as well as the weakness that they can exploit, which makes the gamepaly a lot more engaging in AR.
If a player spots a target, they can start firing the Angry Birds slingshot in order to topple the pig-towers and pop the pigs therein.
This Angry Birds AR version is quite similar to the virtual reality version that was released earlier in the year. The main difference is that it’s an augmented experience where the players are able to port the game into their real-life environment instead of having to do with the immersive environment viewed through a virtual reality headset. Due to this augmented capability, you can also expect the gameplay to be tiny. You can play the game on smaller surfaces such as on a table or your pillow or you can expand it to a life-size environment when you take it outside.
Rovio has partnered with Resolution Games in the creation of Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs. The two also partnered together in the creation of the previous AR game for Magic Leap and the virtual reality game for Oculus headsets. Rovio is developing multiple versions of the game in an effort to try and understand the future of gaming which it considers its strategic mission. Rovio is trying to understand what gaming will be like in 5 or 10 years. What devices will people be playing on for example? What will be the new gaming platforms? Will it be augmented reality, mixed reality or spatial computing?