Space Invaders: World Defense is a New AR Game Using Googles ARCore Technology Launching on iOS and Android this Summer

A couple of years ago in March of 2021 TAITO, in collaboration with Square Enix, announced that an augmented reality game based on the legendary Space Invaders was in the works. It was being developed by Square Enix Montreal, but we didn’t really hear anything further on the project following its announcement and then Square Enix Montreal was sadly shuddered late last year following its acquisition by the Embracer Group. I wasn’t really sure what the fate of the Space Invaders AR game would be, but apparently it’s still alive and well, and officially titled Space Invaders: World Defense. The game is built with Google’s ARCore technology, which utilizes Google’s extensive topographical knowledge of our planet to deliver an AR game where the bits that are augmented into our reality can actually be aware of and react to their real-world surroundings. Check it out.

This is actually really cool, because I’ve found most AR experiences to be pretty underwhelming since they’re more or less video game elements projected onto a real-world environment through a camera lens, and there’s no real connection between the two. There are exceptions of course, but by and large most AR games would be the same experience no matter where you were playing them. That’s what makes ARCore sound so interesting, and it’s something I thought would be exclusive to games on Android given that its Google’s technology. However, Space Invaders: World Defense is also coming to iOS devices, so good on them for sharing their cool tech. TAITO also recently released a more gameplay-oriented clip from Space Invaders: World Defense, which gives you a better idea of what it should be like to actually play.

So it looks like a couple of cool things are happening in this video. First is the sort of AR game you’d probably expect, where invaders are appearing in the world around you and you’re shooting them down looking through the lens of your device’s camera, but like I mentioned these baddies are aware of their surroundings due to Google’s mapping data. The other thing going on is it looks like there’s a mode that uses the mapping data to create actual levels out of the cities and streets of the world, so if you wanted to fly down a virtual 5th Avenue in New York blasting invaders out of the sky, you can do that. It kind of reminds me of the April Fool’s joke Google did a number of years back that let you play Pac-Man along the city streets in Google Maps.

Space Invaders: World Defense is slated for release later this summer, and you can find out a bit more information by visiting the game’s website. You can also pre-register for the Android version on the Google Play Store, with pre-orders for the iOS version said to be coming in the near future.

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