Fantasy Games: Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality

September 6, 2022

Fantasy games are usually online games where each player will take on the roles of characters; they will then act out adventures and quests. Players can become anything they want, whether they are mythical beings in games such as Skyrim or perhaps a knight in games such as Dark Souls. These fantasy games can often be experienced through augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR). 

What’s the difference? 

The difference between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can be confusing, but here are some of the differences. There are three types of augmented or virtual reality, non-immersive, semi-immersive, and fully immersive. Augmented reality can be seen as semi-immersive as your surroundings will be augmented by adding digital elements – this is all done live and is achieved through using a camera. This is because AR is made to coexist with reality; this integration is easily accomplished as you can access it with a camera on a smartphone or tablet. Virtual reality, on the other hand, provides a fully immersive experience. It usually will involve your real-life environment being replaced by a simulated one. You will often find the world(s) that are created through virtual reality are designed to be larger than life. Virtual reality usually requires a headset to be used – these cover the eyes and the head; there are typically built-in speakers to provide a surround sound experience.  

Augmented Reality Games

There are many augmented reality games on the market. A popular game that became popular due to going viral on social media is ‘Pokémon Go.’ This is a smartphone game where you become a Pokémon trainer; your goal is to capture and train your pokemon and battle them at virtual battlefields called gyms. The app allows you to walk around and find different characters. You then have to capture them by throwing balls at them. The game uses mapping technology to show you where Pokémon could possibly be located. 

‘Jenga AR’ is a take on the classic game Jenga. The rules are the same: each player has to move individual bricks one at a time from the center of the tower and place them at the top. The game provides incredible visuals as you are able to use your camera to walk around the tower and pick out the block you want to remove. The game also has a multiplayer option, allowing you to play with your friends and family!

‘The Walking Dead: Our World’ is an augmented reality game based on the popular show The Walking Dead. In this game, you will be roaming around while killing zombies. The zombies will change depending on your location. Alongside clearing out zombies, other characters may send you on missions while you carry out a story. 

Virtual Reality Games

Virtual reality games allow you to experience a fully immersive gaming experience. ‘Cloudlands VR Minigolf’ is a great all-rounder game. It has been described as a really great introduction to anyone who is new to virtual reality. This game allows you to play minigolf from the comfort of your own home. It is compatible with the following devices: HTC Vive, Google Daydream, Oculus Rift, and the Oculus GO/Gear VR. 

‘Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR’ is the virtual reality version of the popular video game Elder Scrolls. The game involves action and role-playing. In this game, you are able to explore the environment freely and use your hands to cast or strike out any spells. The game can be played seated, which is great for players with accessibility issues. Currently, the game is compatible with the following devices: PSVR, HTC Vive, Steam, and the Oculus Rift.

If you are a fan of games such as Guitar Hero, you might consider ‘Audioshield’ – this is a game made by the same creators of Audiosurf. The aim of the game is to match punches with the incoming beats of music; the great thing is that you can choose whatever music you want – making the game versatile. Audioshield is compatible with Windows MR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive.

What Device Can You Use?

There are many different devices you can use when gaming. Augmented reality games commonly use a smartphone or tablet; it is unlikely many other devices are used. Virtual reality games, on the other hand, have many devices. The ‘Oculus Rift’ revolutionized the world of VR; there are now many different versions, such as the Rift S, Go, and Quest 2. The Oculus Rift comes with a headset that may need to be plugged into a computer, depending on how old the version is. There is also a remote control that will allow you to look and move around your virtual world.  

The HTC Vive is a headset that needs to be plugged into a computer. It is more expensive than the Oculus Rift and requires a relatively powerful computer to operate. The HTC Vive may be better suited for those wanting to take virtual reality gaming more seriously – perhaps not the best option for a newcomer. There is a remote control that comes with the headset; this allows you to move around your virtual world with ease. 


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