During the recent Lucca Comics & Games, thanks to Raven I met and talked to Adam Kulick, a co-creator along with Rene Batsford of an incredible app: Lone Wolf AR.
We had already talked about it a few days before the most important festival in Italy (here you can read that small preview) and I approached the meeting with the staff of Lone Wolf AR with great expectations and I can immediately tell you that they have been not disappointed at all (indeed they are even more big now).
Let’s start immediately to talk about what we saw during those rainy days in Lucca: dozens of people who wielded virtual swords and slashed monsters that only they (or at most those behind them) could see!
A success for what has been called the first augmented reality role-playing game in the world!
Because the Lone Wolf AR app is simply not a smartphone game that uses geolocation, like Pokemon Go by Nintendo, but a real role-playing game (maybe lite) based on the universe named Magnamund created by Joe Dever around 70s and 80s.
Our character will evolve during the game according to the classic dictates of role-playing games, discover new places, collect or come into possession of new equipment, new weapons and use them to defeat more and more powerful enemies.
As natural as it may be, the combat phase of the game is the one that appeals the most and is really well done. Seeing the Giaks (a kind of orcs of the Magnamund) challenge you in the street in front of you is exciting for those like me who loved as a child the literature of the most famous series of gamebooks ever!
I had the opportunity to see and try different examples of combat, using swords and maces, but also ranged weapons like bows.
During the battle the enemies follow you with their eyes and turn to face you if you try to circumvent them. In addition you will have to evaluate the distances to strike effectively with the weapons that you have available to defeat them.
One of the things that struck me most was the actual use of weapons against enemies: to hit them we will have to mimic on the screen slashes and blows. The weapons will follow the trajectory that we will decide with the movement of our fingers.
It is also possible to defend yourself, thanks to a shield, but only if you have the free hand to use it, so not while using the bow or casting spells, and even our enemies can defend themselves and minimize our efforts.
The wounds inflicted remain on the enemies, as well as the arrows that will stick to their flesh.
I have not had the chance to try the spells (a pity) but I know for sure that they were present and will certainly be implemented with the right depth. It would be great to be able to build a library and, depending on the gesture on the screen, cast a different spell !!
In short, even now that we are in an early stage of development the game seems very promising, but the thing that convinced me of the goodness of the project is the will of the authors not only want to make a product release in 2019, but to continue to develop it and implement it on a regular basis.
If they keep this commitment, the gameplay will grow more and more and the app will be gradually enriched with new elements.
It could really be an important opportunity for the world of RPGs!
I can not wait to play in the streets of Rome in 2019!