To say that Pokemon GO has taken the world by storm would still be a massive understatement. To date, millions of people have completely committed themselves to ‘catching ’em all’. Interestingly, the premise of the game itself is fairly simple: it makes use of your physical location (via GPS) and combines this with Augmented Reality (AR), making the Pokemon you encounter seem to appear ‘in front of you’. In reality, the AR tech here is nothing more than superimposing an animated Pikachu (or any other Pokemon) on top of your camera’s viewfinder. Still, the total effect of the GPS and AR gameplay looks good and has been largely well-received by fans. So, this got us wondering: are there any other games like Pokemon GO out there worth trying? The short answer is ‘yes’!
First, let’s be real: no other game is going to let you catch monsters in exactly the same way as Pokemon GO. Nonetheless, after searching through our memory banks (and Google’s), we’ve got an original list of 10 GPS / Augmented Reality games like Pokemon GO that, whilst slightly different, are bound to please most Pokemon hunters around the globe.
Selection Criteria of Our List:
- Each game needs to make use of GPS features or have an AR element to it – ideally (but not necessarily) both.
- The game will feature an element of collection – these can be resources, treasure or monsters.
- It needs to be for mobile devices (e.g. tablet, phone, or portable gaming consoles). This is fairly obvious but something important to keep in mind nonetheless.
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Why it’s Similar: Much like Pokemon GO, SpecTrek is all about looking at a map, hunting down a creature, and then using AR to capture it.
Why it’s Different: There’s quite a few key differences here. First, you’re capturing ghosts, not Pokemon. Also, SpecTrek isn’t really about collecting many different types of creatures. It is instead more of a timed treasure hunt. You decide how long you want your ‘game’ to be and from there you’ll have specific locations appear on the map. Your job is to then get close to these locations as quickly as possible and use your camera when you’re near enough.
Overall: SpecTrek is more of a confined experience than Pokemon GO. You’ll play it for a few minutes, dashing about the place to find as many ghosts as possible, and then repeat the entire process from scratch. You can beat your previous high scores and whatnot or even turn the whole experience into a group exercise activity. Worth checking out for those looking for more GPS / augmented reality games like Pokemon GO with a Ghostbuster-esque twist.
2. Temple Treasure Hunt Game
Why it’s Similar: Temple Treasure Hunt Game (yes, that’s its full title) has you finding treasure and the guardians that protect it. Similar to most augmented reality games like Pokemon GO, you’ll use Google Maps to get close to the treasure before switching to AR mode to nail the precise location of the jewels, gems, and gold.
Why it’s Different: Temple Treasure Hunt Game actually has a neat physical element to the virtual hunt. What I mean by this is that you can print out AR cards to hide around the house, garden, or local park. This allows you to create your own custom hunt where other players can then point the camera at the AR cards you’ve hidden around the place. It’s pretty great for kids’ parties and such where you’ll be in full control of item locations, thus keeping everyone safe from dangerous traffic.
Overall: A pretty simple app but one that gives total control to the user should they want it. Printing and hiding your own AR cards might sound like a pain, but with a little creativity this can be a solid alternative to aimlessly wandering around looking for a Pidgey.
Why it’s Similar: Ingress is all about capturing real-world points of interest. Like most games like Pokemon GO, Ingress asks you to travel to locations and interact with them via mobile devices. However, you won’t be capturing monsters so much as you’ll be claiming entire areas as your own.
Why it’s Different: Ingress has you picking a team and acting on their behalf to claim as much global territory as you can. ‘Battles’ consist of simply spending action points to weaken the enemy’s zone before stealing it from under their noses. You can also spend the same points to upgrade and further protect locations you currently control.
Overall: Ingress was made by Niantec, the same people who developed Pokemon GO, so it’s easy to see how this was the starting point for many of the latter’s key ideas. However, this game’s unique emphasis on territorial conquest is enough reason to give it a go.
4. Resources Game
Why it’s Similar: Resources Game has one major feature in common with Pokemon GO: it’s reliance on your GPS positioning. The game has you place virtual oil rigs in real-world locations. You’ll then start to build advanced refineries, claim natural resources, and then sell everything in an effort to build your oil empire to be bigger than Shell and BP combined.
Why it’s Different: Resources Game is much more strategic than Pokemon GO. The game’s got a wonderfully elaborate economic system. What this means is that it’s important to not just collect oil but to sell it at the right time too. As well as claiming and setting up your own wells, you can also spend time sabotaging those of a rival player’s, or even spend money to scan where the next big oil deposit could be.
Overall: Considering this game is coded, designed, and supported by only one guy, Resources Game is mighty impressive. There’s a slightly more cerebral competitive approach here compared to Pokemon GO’s GPS gameplay, Strongly recommended for players wanting more games like Pokemon GO that offer deeper tactical levels.
5. Landlord Real Estate Tycoon
Why it’s Similar: If plundering the Earth of its natural resources isn’t your bag, maybe charging extortionate amounts of money for living accommodation is. Much like other games like Pokemon GO, Landlord Real Estate Tycoon will have you make your way via GPS to the locations of some virtual prime real estate. The main idea here is that you buy ‘popular’ areas of the globe and the more people visiting them, the more rent you receive. This is a double-edged sword as you have to pay for upkeep on the properties too. So, if you start seeing a fall in traffic, you’d best sell the property to cut your losses.
Why it’s Different: Unlike Pokemon GO, Landlord Real Estate Tycoon’s trading system is fully fleshed out. In fact, there’s an entire housing market, meaning that you can, in theory, buy a lovely virtual apartment block in New York all from the comfort of your London flat. This will cost you a lot of in-game money, but it’s all part of crushing your opponents through capitalistic monopoly. Not too different from the real-world, really.
Overall: Like Pokemon GO, Landlord Real Estate Tycoon is an interesting gaming take on GPS tech. Tracking the number of people visiting locations is a neat idea, and creating an entire housing market out of virtual properties is mighty impressive. This is definitely a game worth a shot!
Want more GPS / augmented reality games? List continues on Page 2 –>
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