Augmented Reality
screenshot from ghost snap app

Boo! Can you handle the spooky Ghost Snap app?

Just in time for Halloween, here's our review of an AR app that'll scare your pants off.

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If you and your friends are bored this Halloween, try out some scary augmented reality apps to raise the tension and send shivers up your spine. A good download is "Ghost Snap" — an augmented reality mobile app for Android devices that lets a ghost haunt you on screen.

Augmented reality apps don't require virtual reality glasses. All you need is your smartphone, in this case, an Android-based device, and access to the app store for your operating system. For Android, that's Google Play.

To start Ghost Snap, you'll first download the app. Once on your smartphone, the app will ask you for permission. Then, the main screen will pop up. The interface is pretty basic — there are options to start, for directions, rate, view credits, and exit.

However, the app does turn your flash on automatically — don't let this alarm you already. Your surroundings will turn towards grainy, green filter—like night vision goggles. If the flash did scare you, the following ad will probably return you to reality.

screenshot of ghost snap appThe Ghost Snap app will automatically turn on your flash — the better to lend a haunting feel. Amber Wang

Use your camera to pan around your surroundings and find the five signs of the ghost. Take pictures of them with the camera button to either summon the ghost or defeat it — the "Ghost Snap" app didn't really make that clear.

After some time, the ghost will appear on screen. It looked like a mix between Slenderman and Edvard Munch's "The Scream." Tap the camera button to make the ghost disappear and take a picture. This will make the ghost disappear while you look for more clues.

Some signs I found were a quote that read, "Don't let him come close," in a cheesy font made to look like blood, flashing lights, and camera glitches. Besides the words, I thought the effects were pretty believable.

screenshot from ghost snap appThe ghost will eventually appear in Ghost Snap — a creepy creature you can make disappear. Ghost Snap

The best environment to play this game is in a dark, quiet space with headphones — ideally, virtual reality headphones, which can also be used for augmented reality content. The app utilizes 3D sound, which is pretty impressive. Although there wasn't much variety in sounds, they were realistic and creepy. The footsteps certainly sounded like they were coming toward you.

Overall, this app will probably entertain you for about an hour. I also wouldn't recommend it to anyone below ten unless you want to deal with a week of nightmares. Trust me, I was that kid.

Pros: Mostly believable effects, simple gameplay, and 3D sound.

Cons: The ghosts and signs do not always manifest, the silly words and ads.

And if you are an Apple user, we recommend looking at Snap Ghost - Camera Hunter. It's an app available on the App Store. This app allows users to add ghosts to their pictures to scare friends, family, or co-workers. Just make sure your iPhone or iPad is running iOS 12.0 or later.

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