Augmented Reality – Traveller AR First Look
Ask anyone who grew up in the 80s what their all time favourite computer games is and there is good chance they’ll reply with Elite. They simply don’t make games the same any more. Back in the 80s it was all about the game play, and boy did Elite have it in abundance.
Over the years there have been many attempts at producing the next Elite clone, all of which have failed to live up to the original. Even when the original creators tried to recreate their success with the truly dreadful Elite 2 and Elite 3 they failed to be anywhere near as successful.
You may be wondering why I mention Traveller AR and Elite in the same breath. When you load the Traveller AR game its clear to see where the inspiration has come from. The game is very Elite like, you start with a basic ship, travel between the numerous space stations located in the galaxy while trading cargo in an attempt to build up your money and to equip your ship. Along the way you’ll meet with alien races and humans alike that want to relive you of your precious cargo forcing you to engage in combat.
Traveller AR picks up some of the best bits from Elite and the other wannabe clones. For example, when you dock you are able to access a message board where you can sign up for special missions that earn you money or equipment. Additionally, the game is a MMORPG that supports thousands of users so you have that social aspect of encountering real people as you play. You can send them messages too via the in game chat system.
It is difficult not to compare the game with Elite as there are so many similarities, but rather than dwell on those and as this is an AR blog we should focus on the augmented realityness of the game. The games use of AR in my limited playing time has been of the superficial kind, eg. It turns on your devices camera window so the action takes place around you rather than on a space backdrop. I’m never really a fan of this as playing with your living room as the backdrop provides no value to the gaming experience in my opinion. However, the games designers do claim that the AR feature utilizes your GPS position and providers you with bonuses based on your playing location. While I haven’t seen that in action yet, presumably it’s open to scenarios where visiting your local Starbucks earns you special rewards. They also say that you’ll be able to use the AR functionality to discover and interact with nearby players.
Traveller AR is currently billed as being a beta release which means it is still undergoing development and ironing out some of the bugs. As such the price is currently £0.69/$0.99, but that will increase once the game is out of beta.
Without doubt Traveller AR is an ambitious project and I am expecting great things, if you like space trading games, or want to remember those good old Elite days then this could be the game you are waiting for so get it now while is on special offer.
Traveller AR is currently available for iOS devices and can be Installed from here: itunes.apple.com/gb/app/traveller-ar/id463521846?mt=8