10 Best Location-Based Games
When Pokemon GO first came out, people went nuts as it was the first time that a mobile game was able to incorporate virtuality into reality. This is also one of the first games that made use of real locations, with everything happening altogether in real-time for the players. For Pokemon GO, it is the perfect implementation. Pokemon is all about hunting for Pokemons in the wild, and it could have never been given justice by other genres, aside from augmented reality.
Flash forward today, games like Pokemon GO were able to inspire more developers to create their own location-based games. Not only does this make the experience more engaging and realistic, but it also allows people to go outside and even meet new friends. However, there are also some concerns about GPS games.
There are some reports of people having accidents, which sometimes can be fatal, after following the game tasks which require them to go outside. In fact, until now, Pokemon GO is still banned in some schools and government offices due to the dangers that come from playing with it. But this doesn’t scare most people away from playing these kinds of games. After all, safety is under our own hands. If we are not careful of our actions, then there may be some consequences.
The current COVID-19 situation makes it difficult for us to go outside, and socialize with other people — in this case, fellow players. However, with the vaccine coming out soon, I’m pretty sure we can then go outside and resume things as normal. Fingers crossed for that.
For the moment, let’s take a dive into our list of GPS-based games which you can play after the pandemic dips down. While these locations based games may also be available for iOS, we will mostly focus on Android here. We will still, however, include in the list games like Pokemon GO, and other Pokemon GO alternatives.
No, Pokemon GO didn’t just come out of nowhere. It may be the trendsetter of augmented reality games, but it isn’t the first one to implement the technology. Before Pokemon GO actually came Ingress Prime — the pioneer of location-based augmented reality games. It is developed by the same company that created Pokemon GO, Niantic, and features almost the same goal as the prior one.
In this game, you play as an agent belongs to either of the two factions: The Enlightened, or The Resistance. The Enlightened are the people who want to use the Exotic Matter (XM) to evolve mankind to a higher level, while The Resistance fights against those that want to exploit and use the Exotic Matter (XM) against humanity.
Your goal as a player is to go to places presented on the map (once powered by Google Maps, now by OpenStreetMap), and look for the portals. Depending on the factions you belong with, you may have different missions upon finding the Exotic Matter (XM). But know that you can only trust your own faction.
2. Pokemon GO
Of course, we will have to include the trendsetter of the location-based, augmented reality game, Pokemon GO. As mentioned earlier, Pokemon GO is also developed by the same company that developed Ingress Prime. While Ingress Prime came in first, it is Pokemon GO that really made it to the trend.
Just like the original anime Pokemon, Pokemon GO let players go out to real locations and hunt for Pokemons. They can also battle with other players along the way, or in the PokeStops where most players hangout to get items such as PokeBalls for hunting more Pokemon in the wild, and also collect eggs which contain some goodies such as XP, Candies, and Stardust.
I’m a Pokemon player myself, and while I can’t go out very often (I’m included in the risk-group), I found a way to play the game in the comfort of my home using the Pokemon GO hack on devsjournal.com.
Orna is one of the crowd favorites on this list. It is like a concoction of a classic turn-based retro game and innovative geocaching technology. This game is like Pokemon GO, except that you collect weapons and pets instead of Pokemon. Orna’s graphics are nostalgic 8-bit pixels, which by the way are slowly making a comeback, but the gameplay is as modern as any location-based mobile games.
In this game, you will collect weapons from real locations (there are over 1000 in-game items available), level up and progress through over 50 in-game character classes, challenge other players in the PvP arena, submit their characters to over 300 monster types, and defeat over 200 unique bosses and raids.
If there is a mobile game that we grow up playing with, it is Minecraft. This sandbox video game is an ultimate nostalgia trip.
As we know, Minecraft has a lot of modes. Creative mode, which I am a big fan of, allows you to build your own world without the annoyance of your friends who want to destroy your meticulously created world. Then there is a multiplayer game where you both live in the same world, and fight against hostile mobs such as spiders and cactus-looking zombies, and other players. Plus, there are your unhelpful friends who will troll the server.
But unknown to many, Mojang actually also developed a location-based augmented reality game called Minecraft Earth. In this game, you can create your own world, integrated into real locations. That means you can build a Minecraft structure on your neighbor’s lawn without them knowing. It’s a collaborative game, which you can play with your friends, or your whole neighborhood.
I remember when I was a kid. We used to play like we were pirates looking for treasures anywhere in our neighborhood. Each of us will hide things like toys and snacks in many locations, and we would look for them the next day. It was a fun, engaging, and very social game. We didn’t know what it is called when we were kids, but later I found out that it is actually called geocaching – minus the use of GPS. And it is one of those games that is making a big comeback.
Geocaching is available for download in any major app store. In this game, you will hunt for geocaches hidden by other players, and also hide your own geocaches for other players to look for. Unlike Pokemon GO, what you were looking for here is not virtual items but physical items. It is a fun game, engaging game, which is also the reason why one of my friends from the US is now happily married to his fellow geocacher.
Walking Dead is all the buzz before the makers literally killed all the original characters. But despite all the plot changes, and some mediocre character killings in the show, it is still one of the most unforgettable American series there is, which in return, made a really expensive brand for the makers. Now, Walking Dead isn’t just about a TV series. It spun many mobile games that took inspiration from it.
Walking Dead: Our World is the official mobile game licensed by AMC TV. It is a first-shooter free roam game whose goal is just to kill zombies in many real-life locations worldwide. You can also team up with your friends slaying all the zombies you can find in the augmented reality world. The developer, Next Games, said that there are a total of billion zombies killed so far worldwide. A great testament of how popular and powerful the franchise and the Walking Dead brand is.
Harry Potter: Wizard Unite is a mobile game developed by Ingress Prime and Pokemon GO developer, Niantic, based on the successful and globally recognizable Harry Potter franchise.
Like its previous mobile games, Niantic’s Harry Potter: Wizards Unite also integrated augmented reality on its gameplay. Here, you play as one of the wizards in Harry Potter world, and explore Hogwarts and other popular locations right in your own neighbourhood. You may also learn amazing spells to cast provided by the Ministry of Magic, and gather ingredients in real life locations to create a potion.
The best part about the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is that you can team up and collaborate with other players to take down hostile characters such as death eaters, werewolves, acromantulas and many more. You can also collaborate and strategize to successfully execute difficult Wizarding Challenges.
The Witcher is a very popular book, which in itself spun an action role-playing game in 2007 with the same name, and more recently a Netflix originals series. The universe revolves around Geralt of Rivia tasked with finding a child of prophecy, killing and hunting monsters along the way.
The Netflix series made The Witcher popular again, and so the original game creator CD Projekt, tasked its own independent development studio, Spokko, to create a mobile game based on the series, integrating augmented reality and real-life locations. Currently, the game is still under development.
In this game you become a witcher yourself, slaying and collecting trophies from many monsters, which most of them have never before seen, according to Spokko.
Knightfall AR is one of those underappreciated augmented reality games on the Google Play Store. It uses Google’s augmented reality technology, that means, you will only be able to experience it better if your mobile phone supports ARCore.
In this game, you play in the ancient world of The Knights Templar, defending the city of Acre and the Holy Grail against the invading army. The best thing about Knightfall AR is that you can literally play it on top of your table. Think of Knightfall AR as a modern version of table top board games such as Snake and Ladders, Jumanji, Monopoly, or Scrabble, which your family used to play during Sunday nights. Uh, the memories.
10. Zombies, Run!
One of my favorites on this list. I started running daily to remove my stress and ease my depressive episodes. But while music works the best when running, it would be even more fun if you actually run to save your life.
In this game, all you really need to do is tie up your shoes, put your headphones on (this is a 3D audio game), and run away from hungry zombies. This is an audio and location-based mobile game. Just always look where you are running as it can sometimes thin out the line between fantasy and reality.
If you both like being fit and running away from something, this is a mobile game for you.
Google Play Store library started from typical touchscreen-based mobile games to revolutionary augmented reality games. It is very fun to actually see the technology progress, and at the same time, taking advantage of it.