Games based on geolocation aren’t exactly anything new. A couple of years ago when Pokemon GO showed up, it revitalized a subgenre that, despite appearing to be destined to be one of the most popular, hasn’t had too many noteworthy replicas. Nonetheless, and although both titles from Niantic are still the pacesetters, we still have a new wave of titles that seem to be ready to pick up the slack thanks to the recent public opening of the Google Maps API. 

The newcomers

Jurassic World Alive

The latest cinematic installment in the saga has been the excuse for Ludia to release this title with an official license. In this case, the idea is to hunt dinosaurs to later create stronger versions of them in the laboratory with the intention of battling other players’ creations. It’s hard to recreate the Jurassic-mania of the early 90’s, since, just like the previous movie pointed out, kids aren’t as impressed with these creatures anymore. Regardless, tell your kid that he can hunt dinosaurs with his smartphone, and he’ll go wild. [Download]

The Walking Dead: Our World

After waiting for months, we finally have the international version of the game for Android. It’s developed by Next Games, the studio that’s taking care of exploiting the license of the TV series on Android. And luckily, it can even appeal to players who don’t follow the adventures of Rick, Daryl, and the rest of the gang. Although it doesn’t have the enormous database of points of interest collected by Ingress, the game plays its cards right, with a fun combat system and a good amount of emphasis on the cooperative aspect. [Download]

Ghostbusters World

Admittedly, the idea of hunting ghosts around you that can’t be seen with the naked eye fits right into this subgenre. Ghostbusters World is the idea that Sony presented in the last MWC18. It’s a title with official licensing from the well-known franchise in which you have to take your proton packs on the road to destroy whatever threats you come across. The following gameplay video is a good example of what you’ll find, and although it’s release isn’t yet set, they do promise to release it sometime in 2018. [Official Website]

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

It’s not everyday that you reach an agreement with Warner and the investors give you $200 million to develop a game to definitively dethrone Pokemon GO within its category. The funny thing is that the task has been left up to Niantic Labs, creator of Pokemon GO and father of this new reinterpretation of geolocation games. We don’t know much more about the game, aside from the fact that it’ll be released some time in the second half of 2018. Taking into account that the new installment of Fantastic Beasts is due out in November, we can get and idea of when we’ll be able to stop being muggles. [Official Website]

The existing games

Ingress

This game from Niantic Labs revolutionized everything. The Google-sponsored startup was launched in 2012 alongside (by invitation only) its game Ingress, which eventually came out for the general public and later on iOS as well. The idea, although revolutionary, is simple: go around the real world conquering so-called portals in an endless battle between two bands vying for control of the entire world. Users send real places to serve as these portals, turning any old monument or shop into a hotspot of dispute where you have to turn up to fight for your side. [Download]

Zombies, Run!

What do the stars do in any decent zombie movie? They run, of course – run like there’s no tomorrow (as in fact there might not be). Zombies, Run! takes this idea and adapts it to – you guessed it – the world of running. Just put in your earbuds and set off at a jog while dodging hordes of the undead and collecting resources scattered around the streets. The appeal is that it has the main basic features of an exercise tracking app, but gamifies the experience to make those boring runs a bit more entertaining. [Download]

Geocaching

Not strictly a game but at least as fun – or maybe even more so. Geocaching is a super interesting hobby that stimulates tourism, exploration, and yes, adventure. The idea is to find real boxes with unknown contents hidden by other people around the world. The “treasure” might well be a simple paper where you add your own name or a box where you collect one item and leave behind another for the next person in the chain. Usually there’s a cultural component, too, as when you check the position of a box you’ll usually receive directions to where it’s found, which is often a point of interest to check out once you find it. We’ve already blogged long and hard about this fun activity. [Download]

Landlord

The best definition for this game is the one provided by its own developers. Landlord is kind of like a large-scale virtual Monopoly game where you buy real properties around you to build a real estate empire. The game deploys the location database from Facebook and Foursquare, and you get “money” whenever someone visits a place you “own.” (Don’t freak out, by the way, this is all pretend!). [Download]

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