Niantic, Inc.’s Pokémon Go and Ingress have both been surprisingly successful mobile games. I have friends who are hooked on both. They brilliantly incentivize walking and exploration. You have goals, rewards, and the ability to level up. But what makes them special is how they immerse you in their augmented reality. Their worlds are happening all around you, and yet everything is contained within the tiny screen on your phone.
It got us thinking about what other intellectual properties would work well in this style of gaming. Here are our top picks and how we think they could work.
There’s already a petition circulating with over 38,000 signatures asking Warner Bros. to create a Harry Potter augmented reality mobile game, but despite rumors, nothing has been officially announced so don’t get your wizard robes in a bunch. Like the petitioners, I think the Harry Potter world would work really well as a Niantic game. Players would chose one of four houses as their “faction.” Locations could serve as “classes” where players can learn and level up spells. Then you could find magical creatures to “tame.” You could meet other wizards for friendly spell duels, or team up to fight Death Eaters. There’s so much potential!
World of Warcraft
This one is easy. Horde vs. Alliance. Battle randomly generated monsters and loot them for gear. Level up. Fight to control territory. Again, you could have PVP one-on-one battles or group up with friends to fight raid bosses to earn Epic and Legendary gear. Ooh, maybe you could even catch mounts and emotes.
If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! Da na na na na na na! You patrol your area, hunting down and capturing ghosts. Capturing them gives you virtual currency to do scientific research and level up your gear. I can’t think of how there might be rival teams, but perhaps Ghostbusters can offer different types of ‘buster styles (classes) depending on how you enjoy playing.
The Walking Dead
We all need more zombies in our daily lives, right? Instead of having multiple teams fighting for territory, it’s just the survivors versus zombie AI. The destinations are areas that you have to help clear of zombie hordes, but much like Ingress, you need multiple players to properly take over a point. At human controlled spots, you can pick up food, medicine, and other supplies to keep your character healthy. Now part of the fun of these games is how it makes you walk. Well instead of walking to find something, you have to walk to get away from a horde of zombies chasing you. Want to up the fitness ante? Set it to a run mode where you have to move away quickly enough so that the zombies don’t catch you.
Again, the teams in this game are obvious: Alliance or Empire, but much like Star Wars games, there are different classes with their own strengths and weaknesses. You could be a trooper, a slicer, a strategist, and maybe with great effort even become a Jedi. Each class has different ways of controlling areas and assisting other players. There aren’t really critters you’d want to collect, but I could definitely see finding things like holocrons and crystals.
There are so many possibilities if you just use a little imagination. What are some of your ideas for games like these? Share them with us in the comments!
Featured image credits: Warner Bros., Nainatic
Image credits: Warner Bros., Blizzard, Columbia Pictures, AMC, EA