Hear that sound? It’s the sound of a whole new generation of augmented reality smartphone games rushing towards your handset, following on from the success of Google’s Ingress title. The first of these is a cool riff on the GTA franchise, dealing with cops and robbers and some real time diamond thefts in your neighborhood.
The Target: Off Radar is an app based game which is available for both iOS and Android devices, tablets or phones. The tablets will need 3/4G of course. The idea is you get together with a bunch of friends, anywhere in the world where you can download an Open Street Maps map, and set up teams plus a ‘gangster’. The plot revolves around foiling a series of diamond thefts by shooting the gangster before he/she can grab 5 diamonds and flee.
The game is played in real time, using the GPS on your device, with regular on-screen updates showing where everyone is within the game space. The app sets everything up automatically once you press start, so it creates the play area (1 km around your location), plus it places the diamonds and the tools the gangster needs to acquire to do the heists etc etc. There are also ammunition and medical treatment stores dotted around for in-game use.
You can play with up to 18 friends (or strangers we guess), and the developers suggest 6 teams of 3, since there’s only one device per team. Each game lasts for a total of 120 minutes, which doesn’t have to be all played at once. You can have several sessions during a 12 hour period, so you can break for lunch or whatever. The big thing which may put some people off is the fact that each game costs Â£60, which can be shared between all the players of course, but it’s still quite a lot to outlay. The app is free though.
Judging by the video above, the gameplay is quite fast and interesting (another video in Dutch). There are things like radar, radar jammers, booby trap explosives and tool requirements which should make the gameplay quite engrossing. The cops chase the single gangster, the gangster hunts the diamonds, and everyone tries to stay one step ahead of each regular radar sweep. Just remember to start the game with a fully charged up device!