6 of the Best Augmented Reality Games That Aren’t Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go has only been around for a couple of months, but if you’re a dedicated player, we can bet your life has changed…a lot. For starters, you probably spend way more time outside—and exploring your city—than you used to. You might also spend more time thinking about Pikachu than you have since you were nine years old.
There are more types of augmented reality games than kinds of Pokémon to catch. Go grab one of these apps for other-dimensional fun. Image courtesy of Frost Museum/Flickr.
Whether you’re tired of catching Magikarps, are ready for the next challenge, or simply want more excuses to get outdoors, load up your phone with six more of the best augmented reality games out there. Good news: these ones don’t require stalking your local Snorlax population.
Ingress is an intriguing portal into the world of augmented reality gaming, whether you align with The Enlightened or The Resistance. Image courtesy of Nori Norisa/Flickr.
“The world around you is not what it seems,” goes Ingress’s tagline. Time to go exploring. An oldie but a goodie, this cult favorite augmented reality game—which was first released back in 2012—sees players on two opposing teams (the Enlightened and the Resistance) attempt to control “portals” around their area, and thus claim territory. Bonus for sightseers: Portals are often linked with real-life points of interest, so you can see some of the coolest spots around your town—and exert your team’s dominance—simultaneously.
Geocaching is a real world treasure hunt that covers the globe. (Careful, you may be standing on someone’s cache right now.) Image courtesy of Geocaching.
You don’t have to be a pirate to go hunting for treasure. You just have to download Geocaching, one of the best (and most classic) augmented reality games around. When you fire up the app, you’ll see the geocaches that participants have hidden in your neighborhood. But the appeal also goes beyond the virtual: Track the real-life caches, and you’ll find containers where trinkets and tokens have been left behind (plus a logbook, where you can record your visit). Since there are more than two million geocaches worldwide, that means you can travel almost anywhere and discover something new.
SpecTrek is the perfect game to show you’re not afraid of no ghosts. Image courtesy of Games4Al.
Bored of catching Eevees but still like, well…catching stuff? Sounds like SpecTrek should be your next download. The game invites users to capture a range of ghosts in their vicinity, though the timed sessions mean you’ll have to keep up a steady clip to do so. But hey, that just means that next time someone asks about your fitness routine, you can tell them you’re a professional Ghostbuster.
Zombies Everywhere. An alternate reality you just can’t kill. Image courtesy of Useless Creations.
Ghosts, zombies—if you’re detecting a common horror angle in augmented reality, you’re not mistaken. Zombies Everywhere does just what you’d expect it to do: it fills your screen with all kinds of gory, brain-savoring characters, from ancient zombies to zombie dogs. And in true slasher movie style, it’s your job to turn back the apocalyptic tide. This might not be one for the faint of heart, but there’s nothing like the virtual undead to get your blood pumping.
Superheroes hate the gym, so they get in shape by challenging average people like you and me. Meet them on Superhero Workout. Image courtesy of Six to Start.
One of augmented reality’s biggest claims to fame is its ability to entertain players…while also ensuring that they’re getting a good workout alongside. If fitness is at the top of your priority list, then go straight to the source with Superhero Workout. The app not only tracks your moves (and your calories burned), but like all good AR premises, it also gives an exciting dimension to your routine. Namely, that you’re saving the world from alien invasion. If doing sit-ups means thwarting rogue extraterrestrials, then what’s a few more reps? (Hey, even if you’re not technically Iron Man, why not work for abs of steel?)
Field Trip exposes the surprising history and current hotspots right in your neighborhood. No chaperones needed.
But AR doesn’t have to be intense or competitive. In fact, some of the best augmented reality games out there are the ones designed to help you get to know your own city a little better. Like Field Trip, which is meant to operate as your own virtual tour guide. It’ll point out tasty restaurants and bars, will direct you to landmarks of interest, and will even supply you with historical tidbits and other surprising facts. Now that’s smart city living.