We’ve been waiting for the much-hyped Magic Leap AR headset for years. If nothing else, the company is a master of using mystery to get the punters interested in a product. After being tortured with teasers and small leaks, the first developer edition of their hardware finally made it into third-party hands.
While the actual product is not quite as magical as the hype had suggested, it’s still a big leap (sigh) over other products like the Microsoft Hololens.
Now we have the first actual game for the platform, not just an in-house tech demo. It’s not some AAA franchise or other earth-shaking release. Instead, it’s the latest game in the Angry Birds franchise. A game that once dominated the then-new smartphone gaming space.
Sling ’em if Ya Got ‘em
It’s called First Person Slingshot , which is a play on the popular first-person shooter genre of video games. Here’s a mockup of the gameplay.
As you can see, it’s basically the same core gameplay of the classic 2D original, but rendered in mixed reality, 3D glory. It’s actually a great fit for the platform since most people are already familiar with the game and flinging birds at a physics puzzle is a simple mechanic which still has lots of depth.
To your great surprise, the concept of Head Mounted Display is also not a new idea. The first head-mounted display was developed around 1960’s. the Telesphere mask was the first example of a head-mounted display, which provided 3D stereoscopic and wide vision with sound.
However, don’t think this is just a port of the game. Now that the game is in proper 3D, it literally brings an entirely new dimension to how each puzzle should be solved. Goodness knows some of the later stages in the original game were fiendishly hard.
I say “mockup” because of course it’s very hard to convey what an MR game like this really feels like to play on a 2D monitor. Also, based on reviews I’ve read for the headset, the promo video looks just a little too solid. With the actual videos being a little transparent.
It’s pretty cool of Rovio that they’d develop a game for a hardware platform that doesn’t have much of an install base. Even when the consumer version of the Magic Leap launches it’s not like millions of people are going to buy it like they did the iPhone.
I would not be surprised if we get a port of this game coming to iOS devices. It’s perfect for ARKit and would probably play just as well.