I've been saying it for ages. Augmented reality has a major part to play in the future of handheld gaming. With GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth and cameras in our mobile phones, the potential for blurring our real-world exploration with our gaming is a thrillingly exciting no-brainer. Why the iPhone isn't absolutely flooded with shooters, RPGs and adventure games laid over real-world locations I do not understand. Fortunately though, Nintendo has already cemented AR gaming as a core pillar of the 3DS experience by installing a stack of it onto the console out of the box.
And now we have the announcement of the first, full-size third party edition. And things are (hopefully) going to get really spooky.
Coming from publisher Majesco, and in development at 1st Playable Productions, The Hidden is a ghost hunting/extermination game which uses the 3DS' cameras, gyroscopic motion control and WiFi to deliver "a rich 3D adventure with multiple layers" set in the real world. Sounds mighty exciting, and and it could be crazy-scary, in a "Cheers Majesco, I now no longer feel safe in my own home" kind of way, if executed correctly.
Only issue as I see it so far is that its effectiveness is all going to hinge on its tone. Worrylingly, a quick scan down 1st Playable's back catalogue reveals a hell of a lot of very kid-oriented games. So while this would be awesome:
This would be a sad waste of a brilliant concept:
Are you as excited about the idea as I am? If so, fingers crossed, people.
April 7th, 2011