Developed by Nintendo, bundled with Nintendo 3DS
Demo time: 8 minutes
Estimated wait time: 20 minutes
AR Games, which stands for Augmented Reality Games, is one of the default applications built into in the Nintendo 3DS hardware. I tried the same application as what was demoed by the two Japanese comedians on the first day of Nintendo World 2011. With the help of the Nintendo kiosk attendant, I used the 3DS’s camera to take a picture of the AR Card set onto the small, white table. This sets up the environment to be used in AR Games, and will be different every time.
After the photo of the AR Card appeared on the top screen along with the background, it suddenly became a rudimentary fortress, and I was playing a simple shooter. In this shooting game, I had to utilize the 3DS’s accelerometer and smoothly move the system around to shoot the targets that popped up. The targets would emerge faster and faster, before a boss fight occurred in the form of a giant dragon. I had to shoot various parts of the dragon (the lower body, torso, head) in order to defeat it. The game is timed and can be completed in about three minutes.
The 3D effect was quite pronounced, especially when the dragon boss appeared. With the 3D dial set somewhere close to the highest setting, the dragon convincingly emerged from the screen and noticeably away from the surface of the table. The visuals were otherwise very simple, while the audio was nothing special or memorable. Being included in the standard 3DS package, AR Games serves as a way to give every 3DS buyer a taste of what the system is capable of with respect to augmented reality.