Just like its collection of new apps, the Play Store made a strong showing in the game department last month. From Ingress to Clay Jam, there were plenty of great new games to choose from in November. With games, as with apps, there are often too many to download and try each one. To that end, we've rounded up the top seven games every Android gamer will want to take a look at from November 2012.
If you've been paying attention to the news cycle lately, you've probably heard that Google—by way of the obscure "Niantic Labs"—released a game of some kind. You saw a trailer that depicted people discovering hidden energy fields within statues, landmarks, and artistic sculptures. You had no idea what was going on. You signed up for an invite anyway, because like any other weird Google product, you want in regardless of what it is.
Just in time for
Halloween election night, the original paranormal investigators are ready for another round on Android. But hold on, would-be busters: this ain't no ordinary mobile cash-in. Ghostbusters: Paranormal Blast is an augmented reality mobile cash-in. The core gameplay is finding ghosts though your smartphone camera (AKA Ecto Goggles), zapping them with your handy dandy nuclear-powered Proton Pack until they're weak enough to catch in a regulation Ghost Trap.
We've seen some really cool things come along with augmented reality technology. In fact, just a few days ago the Chestburster app made its way to Android, allowing users to finally see what it's like to watch a baby alien tear its way out of things (up to and including actual chests). Now, however, we see augmented reality used in a much more practical manner with a new app called HandsonAR.
If you always dreamed of reliving Kane's experience in Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi horror flick Alien, now's your chance. Chestburster uses a custom t-shirt and augmented reality to bring your own baby alien to life at the expense of your chest, minus the blood, guts, pain, and, you know, dying. Yes, it is as awesome as it sounds.
Badass, no? The companion app just landed in the Play Store for free today (you can't see the goods without the app), but the shirt will set you back $30.
Amazon-owned development house A9 Innovations has released a product search app built on the idea that instead of tapping buttons to take pictures of products, you'd rather just point your camera at products. Probably not a bad notion! Not exactly the most important thing to spend a bunch of money and time developing, but hey, if you can just wave your phone in front of a movie and get pricing and review information, it's gotta be worth it, right?
Announced last month at SXSW, Marvel's Augmented Reality app has finally hit Google's play store, promising to "bring the Marvel Universe to life like never before utilizing your Android powered device."
Essentially the app allows users to scan select Marvel products (which feature the AR logo) to unlock and view exclusive Marvel content. The app unlocks a surprisingly wide array of content, from 3D shorts to script excerpts, exclusive art and commentaries, and "key features on select comics."
The app's augmented reality functionality is powered by Aurasma, the self-proclaimed first visual browser, "bringing the physical and virtual worlds together." For fans of the Marvel Universe, this app seems like an awesome way to get an extra dose of Marvel content.
Epson announced today that the Moverio BT-100, the first Android-powered see-through wearable display, is now available from the Epson store.
While Epson's Moverio glasses aren't exactly the fabled augmented reality spectacles Google is said to be working on, they are at least an interesting entry into the wearable display market, utilizing a wired, Froyo-powered track pad controller and micro-projection technology to put a perceived 80" display over whatever you're looking at.
You've got to hand it to Google. They don't let silly things like "feasibility" and "finances" get in the way of an awesome idea. The New York Times is reporting that Google is working on a set of glasses with the specs of a smartphone, including 3G and 4G data connectivity, GPS, a camera, and oh yeah, a heads-up display.
Not the actual display. We wish, though.
The glasses, which are supposedly under development at Google's not-so-secret Google X lab, would cost about as much as a smartphone, so they likely won't be for the light wallet.
Augmented reality has spent years in the "great idea, not quite there yet" bin, right next to motion controlled TVs and self-driving cars. Of course, what's the best way to improve a fledgling technology? Stick a trigger on it and let people shoot things with it. The Xappr is here to bring that essential step to the evolution of AR technology.
The Xappr gun, developed by game studio MetalCompass, is an attachment for your phone designed for first-person shooter games.