5 Free ARKit Games You Should Try

By Jim Squires |

iOS 11 was released as a free update for Apple devices this week, and for those of you with an iPhone 6S or better, something amazing is part of the package: augmented reality.

While we’ve seen augmented reality games before (like 2016’s insanely popular Pokemon GO), iOS 11 introduced its own set of developer tools tailored to AR development. And as you can probably guess, that means there are a bunch of ARKit experiences showcased on the App Store right now, and even more buried beyond the front page of the Games section. But which ARKit games should you check out first without spending a dime? We’ve selected our five favorite free ARKit games so far.

Flat Pack

The latest game from Nitrome — the creators of Leap Day, Gunbrick, and countless other mobile gems — Flat Pack is a platformer that mixes elements of 2D and 3D space. It’s a 2D platformer that takes place on different sides of a box, but unlike traditional boxes, the levels in Flat Pack have more than six sides to them, and you’ll need to get up and physically walk around each box to guide your hero to success. Nitrome has a knack for making uniquely fun platformers, and Flat Pack is no exception.

Stack AR

Chances are you’re already intimately familiar with Stack — the Ketchapp published game that takes the classic “Stacker” formula from midway arcades, adds a second dimension, and puts the whole thing in your pocket. It’s the kind of quick play, high score, “I know I can do better” game that Ketchapp has built their brand on. Stack AR is the exact same game, but played on your table or floor. Does that sound kind of lazy? Maybe — but it’s also crazy cool. Stacking in the traditional sense would build a tower higher than you’d want to navigate in AR, so the game wisely drops the floor of your tower to hide lower levels . But then, when your game comes to an end, the whole thing comes shooting out of the ground for you to admire as it fills the room.

IKEA Place / Housecraft

Putting these on the list is kind of cheating because they’re not really games, but… we also know how much our readers love Design Home, so including these two apps is a bit of a no brainer for Gamezebo. Both apps do effectively the same thing: let you put new furniture in your house virtually to get a sense of how things might look. But each has its own perks, too. IKEA Place, as the name suggests, lets you place actual furniture from the IKEA catalogue so you can decide if that little shelf is big enough to hold your fiddle leaf fig (spoiler: it isn’t). And while Housecraft has generic items that you can’t buy, it also lets you unleash a tornado to wreak havoc in your living room. The options for items are a little light right now in Housecraft, but we’re holding out hope that they’ll rectify that in a future update — possibly with more disasters.

AR Sports Baskeball

Shooting hoops is always fun on mobile, but AR Sports Basketball does one better by letting you put the basket anywhere you’d like in your actual space. The gameplay here is fairly straightforward: just point your device to aim and choose the power level to shoot. The more baskets you sink in a row, the higher your score. But like real basketball, it’s tougher than it looks. At least for me. My high score is 3. This one gets bonus points for understanding limited space: you can choose a full size net in “normal” mode, or something tiny for your tabletop in “desk” mode.

AR Dragon

Face it: you’ve been waiting for this moment since you fed your first Tamagotchi 20 years ago. Augmented reality and virtual pets seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly, and AR Dragon is one of the first games to capitalize on this combination. You can feed it, you can play with it, you can dress it up — what more could you want in a pet?

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