Whether you're getting the new iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, or you just want to see what ARKit has to offer, I'm recommending you download the game ARise first.
- $2.99 - Download ARise
Why should your first AR experience be a game?
The potential for AR with ARKit is huge, and developers have only begun to scratch the surface of how augmented reality can be incorporated into their apps and games; however, it's pretty easy to see that AR gaming is the best way to interact with augmented reality.
AR gaming gives you the ability to not only see something appear in the real world around you that you can look at, but also interact with the digitally created objects in various ways. It's that interaction, big or small, that really sets AR gaming apart from conventional mobile gaming. As with everything new, there's a learning curve; that's where I think ARise has really an edge over some other AR games on the App Store right now.
The reasons you need to download ARise
I would consider myself an experienced gamer, and typically, it doesn't take me too long to pick up on new games. While I still feel I grasped the mechanics and concept of ARise fairly easily, learning how to control the AR environment did take an adjustment period. Luckily, ARise is such a simple and low-pressure puzzle game, that you won't feel stressed while adjusting to a new way of playing a game. Walking around the room, holding your phone in a comfortable manner, and exploring the different perspectives you can achieve are all part of the AR experience and you want a place that's going to let you do that at your own pace.
Unlike other popular AR games on the App Store right now (ahem, Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade) ARise is a full-fledged game that is only playable with ARKit. That means the entire gaming experience happens in AR, using your camera to see digitally created levels in the world around you. If you're really looking into AR for the first time, you need an app where you can get a complete experience, and not just an AR mode that enables you to take pictures or see a demonstration.
How to play ARise
You only have one objective in ARise and that's to escort the knight through the optical illusion invested AR level you see before you through your iPhone or iPad's camera.
As you look around the level, you'll notice the knight's path is blocked by missing sections; however, you can make the sections connect by physically moving around the space and looking for the right perspective to line up the symbols.
As you can see in the GIF posted above, once you line up the symbols by moving yourself into the right position, the symbols will light up blue, and the knight will cross.
A couple negatives
ARise is a little short. As of right now, there are only three levels you can explore, with the promise of more levels to come free of charge every month. That can make the $2.99 price tag of the game seem a little steep, but you have to keep in mind this is just the beginning.
ARKit is still very new to developers and users alike, it may cost a little extra to be an early-adopter, but I'm never one to complain about developers trying new things. I think AR gaming is going to be big, and I'm excited to take chances on the people who are pushing the limits of that ARKit can do.
Other ARKit apps you should check out
While I truly think ARise is one of the best ways for you to experience ARKit right now, it's by no means the only option out there. There are a ton of AR apps already on the App Store and more seem to be popping up each day. I encourage you to try lots of different apps and games to see what you like about ARKit and even what you don't.
What do you think of ARKit so far? Will you be checking out ARise?
Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter
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Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.