Sometimes you need to get up and go outside, but this is something that we rarely associate with video games. Although there are certainly games out there that pique your interest in certain activities (Prince of Persia might have convinced some people to practice parkour, for instance,) few games actually have mechanics that revolve around you leaving your house. With the advent of augmented reality and peripheral-based gaming, developers have used new technologies to make some creative games. Here are some of the best ones you can play.
5. Rune Factory 4
Rune Factory 4 is a role-playing/farming simulator where you select a character and hunt monsters. The game integrates Nintendo Gold Coins, a currency that you can only obtain by walking around in real life. This is possible thanks to the Nintendo 3DS built-in motion sensor which detects how many steps you take even when the console closed.
4. Pokemon: Heartgold and Soulsilver
Although Heartgold and Soulsilver seem like traditional Pokemon games at first sight, they came packed in with a pedometer called the Pokewalker. This device allowed you to level up one of your creatures, capture Pokemon that you could only find using this pedometer and unlock items the more you walked. Although you could definitely trick this pedometer to get whatever you wanted, walking around suddenly had an extra purpose.
3. Zombies, Run
If there’s a kind of app that thrives on the App Store that’s probably exercise apps. But what if I told you that the exercise app I’m about to recommend to you has zombies in it? In Zombies, Run, you play as a survivor living in a post-apocalyptic world overran by brain-eating creatures and the only way to survive involves running. Thanks to different audio transmissions the game tells you where it’s safe to go and where you can pick up supplies and when you need to run as fast as you can.
In Ingress, you explore the world to capture portals that are placed in culturally significant real-life settings (fountains, churches, monuments and other landmarks) and you try and link these places together via control fields. The game uses an augmented version of Google Maps (developer Niantac belonged to Google at the time of the game’s release) where you can see places where you can collect energy. Niantac went on to develop the extremely popular Pokemon Go that millions of people downloaded for free.
1. Boktai: The Sun Is in Your Hand
This solar-powered Game Boy Advance game must be one of the most creative titles ever made. On the surface, this is a traditional action RPG where you fight enemies and solve puzzles, but the cartridge comes with its own solar sensor and the only way to retrieve lost ammunition and defeat enemies is to play in direct sunlight. There was a direct sequel called Boktai 2, so if this gimmick is appealing to you, there’s a lot of fun to be had in both games.