5 augmented-reality games you can play while waiting for Pokémon Go

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Pokémon Go is still awaiting international release — but Filipino players who'd like a taste of augmented reality can experience it through games like Zombies, Run!, a fitness app that lets players pretend they're running from the undead. Photo courtesy of ZOMBIES, RUN!

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Ever since the term was coined by the Boeing researcher Tom Caudell in 1990, augmented reality (AR), or the supplemented live view of a real environment through computer-generated imagery, has come a long way. It has led to such innovations as Volkswagen’s MARTA (Mobile Augmented Reality Technical Assistance), which allows car repairmen to foresee the outcome of a repair service on a vehicle; Google Glass, which looks to turn AR technology into a wearable experience; and an Esquire magazine cover that enables readers to make an otherwise stationary Robert Downey Jr. pop to life.

But the biggest thing that has stirred up the public’s interest in AR is Nintendo’s latest addition to the Pokémon video game franchise, the mobile-based app Pokémon Go, which lets players collect Pokémon as they encounter the virtual creatures in very real locations. Some lucky users have already gotten a taste of the app, which is currently officially available only in Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. But the rest of us here in the Philippines will have to wait a little longer as Nintendo puts the finishing touches on the international version of the game. In the meantime, CNN Philippines Life has come up with a selection of AR games to play for would-be fans of Pokémon Go.

Ingress

Pokémon Go is distributed by Nintendo, but it’s actually developed and published by Niantic, the former Google startup that has achieved some renown as the creator of Ingress. In Ingress, scientists from Europe discover exotic matter (or XM) on Earth — it is a substance associated with a mysterious alien force known as Shapers. Players join one of the two opposing factions in the game: the Enlightened, who believe that controlling the Shapers will help bring human evolution to the next level, and the Resistance, who believe that humanity and human freedom should be protected by all means. Portals, usually public spaces such as monuments and libraries, are captured in the real world by members of the factions. Players move around to collect objects, establish territory, and form alliances with one another to bring their faction to power.

Ingress is available on iOS and Android for free.

Real Strike

With Real Strike, players can use their smartphones to turn any location into a first-class military simulation field. The game includes 25 high-precision weapons which can be viewed and examined in great detail in Armoury mode, all existing safely within the confines of the app. Night-vision goggles for evening play, environment-sensitive lightening, and scientifically accurate shooting animation are other highlights of this first-person shooter. Real Strike enables players to become military heroes in the making from the comfort of their bedrooms.

Real Strike is available on iOS for $2.99.

Zombies, Run!

With over 200 stories to choose from, Zombies, Run! takes smartphone fitness to new heights. The player is the hero of the story, the one who has to build a base camp of terrified survivors into a thriving, post-zombie apocalyptic civilization. The player must walk, jog, or run to collect materials to help construct the camp and learn more about the secrets behind the phenomenon. But when the zombies come up from behind, the player must move faster to escape their grasp or else drop materials that might be slowing them down.

Zombies, Run! is available on iOS and Android for free.

Clandestine: Anomaly

In Clandestine: Anomaly, after receiving a strange alert from an alien vessel, the player realizes he’s the world’s first and last line of defense standing between his neighborhood and a catastrophe caused by a hidden intergalactic war. With secret alien technology installed on the player's phone, he has access to bits and pieces of what the other side is plotting. The player has to defeat the Leechers, viruses of apocalyptic proportions, before their foreign bodies destroy the world.

Clandestine: Anomaly is available on iOS and Android for $0.99.

 

Om Nom: Candy Flick

Featuring the beloved Om Nom from the famous Cut the Rope series of physics-based puzzle games, Om Nom: Candy Flick brings the squishy, green monster to the real world. After printing out the image provided by the app or accessing it through another device, players just have to direct their cameras to the page and then begin to feed delicious pieces of candy to a 3-D Om Nom. Owning a little weird pet from the world of casual gaming has never been more realistic.

Om Nom: Candy Flick is available on iOS for free.