Advanced augmented virtual reality technology meets 3D = awesome first person shooter fun, and hopefully the first of many to come on the iPad!
The explanation why this game is so cool can be explained using a bunch of acronyms – namely, augmented reality (AR) and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technology, the same kind NASA uses. Basically, AR lets you add virtual elements to the real world. SLAM makes AR a whole different ballgame, literally, since the game does not rely on visual markers anymore and uses your location to generate your very own playfield or game area.
Creating the playfield can be a bit daunting at first, but if you follow the instructions closely, you will find that it’s easy to create your own playing area, which can be the poster on your wall, or a harmless bookshelf. If you get it right, colorful balls will appear on the scene, during which you will be prompted to complete a particular mission. Shooting is easy enough, with a limited number of bullets to make sure you fire accurately. The 3D graphics are awesome, and each level gradually breaks you in nicely, to help you get used to the game mechanics.
The SLAM technology at work here makes gameplay nice and smooth, but not necessarily too easy. In a similar AR shooter that I tried, trying to pin down a target was incredibly annoying because my iPad couldn’t manage a proper lockdown. Here, everything proceeds as it should – you can aim and shoot and reasonably expect a frustration free experience, controls-wise.
The technology behind this game is awesome and demonstrates the exciting possibilities of AR on the iPad. The technology makes this game one of the most fun and inventive FPS yet on the iPad. Whether on sale or at full price, this game is highly recommended.
Game: Ball Invasion for iPad 2
Price: $0.99 (normally $1.99)
Developer/Publisher: 13th lab