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ARise AR Reality Puzzle game: Test your knowledge here

Changes in perspective will challenge you to think outside the box — or in this case, phone

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Puzzle apps are not only good to pass the time, but also helpful for your overall brain health. There's already loads of them on the market for iPhone owners— from the traditional Tetris to various "brain training" games. The App Store guarantees that you'll never be bored at your next meeting again.

ARise, from Climax Studios Ltd., combines the fun of puzzle games with the developing technology of augmented reality (AR). Once you launch the ARise, your character needs to navigate the surroundings using your perspectives and visual cues from the game.

You move your character by moving your phone rather than swiping the screenGearBrain

To align broken paths and jump over cliffs, you've got to move your phone — no swiping or tapping in this app. Make sure you have a lot of room because you'll probably be circling around the same spot for a while.

When you first open the app, it'll tell you to aim your camera at a location where you'll be playing in and confirm the spot. Then, the game will let you choose a world to explore and play in AR — you'll also see that some worlds are gray and marked "Coming Soon." Hopefully, there's more to come because I'll probably be done with most of them by the end of this week.

You hop to certain islands and explore them in ARGearBrain

Once you choose a world, move around and float near the various islands and look for visual cues to lead you on your journey. Once I found my little soldier guy, I saw that he needed to cross a chasm in order to complete the path he was on. By moving my phone down, I was able to move the puzzle back into the regular path.

It takes a bit to get the hang of, but once you understand how to maneuver the little character and figure out the optical illusions of the AR, it's actually quite fun to play. The app vaguely reminds me of Super Mario games that force you to shift perspective during gameplay.

The AR itself is nicely developed, albeit a bit iffy — you'll need to reset heights and perspectives on the island quite a few times before you can play all the way through. The graphics themselves are simple, yet lively and fun, and definitely worth the $2.99 download.

Pros:

  • Original gameplay
  • Creative puzzles
  • Good difficulty level

Cons:

  • Requires a big space to play
  • Problematic AR
  • Need to reset occasionally
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