Version Reviewed: 1.0
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Augmented reality is undoubtedly cool technology, but it really hasn't been implemented well enough to be considered a killer feature. Up to now, it has been best used for things like location searches, but more often than not it is used for flimsy games with very little playability. ARDefender bucks the trend, and is one of the first augmented reality games that I have played that actually works well. I'm not saying that the game is great, but it is a really cool implementation of the technology.
To play the game, you first have to download a PDF file from ARDefender.com. The PDF file has a page with three different size maps that can be cut out, one for your wallet, one for your desk, and a bigger one for your floor. Each map just shows a little blue tower surrounded by 7 black dots, but when viewed by an iPhone, the map turns into a fully playable battlefield.
Through your screen, the small blue tower becomes a 3D tower that can be viewed at any angle by your iPhone. You can easily change between a birds eye view and an isometric view by simply positioning yourself (your actual body) where you want to be. The playing fields are best used on the ground, but they can also be played right off of the computer screen.
The game itself is a fairly standard castle defense game, where you are the tower and you have to kill all the invading forces. Instead of simple tap to aim though, you have to physically move your target with to where the enemy is and then hit fire. As you progress through the game, the waves get harder and harder, but you also get more and more ammo to fire your special guns (lasers and missiles). On its own, there's really not too much about the game to gush about, but with the added augmented reality twist, the game is pretty impressive.
After a while though the magic of augmented reality wears thin and the lack of depth becomes grating. ARDefender really just boils down to a fantastic tech demo to show off to your friends. As far as games go, it's fairly run of the mill.