Having made over $1 billion in less than a year, Pokemon GO is one seriously hot property and it only makes sense that so many developers want to try and capture some of that success for themselves. AR (augmented reality) gaming is a trend now and fans should expect many games to ‘borrow’ some Pokemon GO mechanics.
The latest game to take some cues from Niantic’s massively popular mobile title is Sharknado: ShARkmented Reality, which has been released ahead of the August movie premiere of Sharknado 5: Global Swarming. According to the official description, the app can “transform your environment into a Sharknado feeding frenzy” and allows people to “fight your way through level after level of increasingly terrifying Sharknados! Firenados, lighteningnados, nukenados.” With every level, players will unlock different weapons to defeat the sharks, such as chainsaws.
Taking some inspiration from the Pokemon GO ‘family photo’ feature, Sharknado: ShARkmented Reality also includes an Augmented Reality Photo Booth. This lets players put 3D sharks in the environment and take photos with them, also allowing them to take photos of themselves and their friends with sharks. Additionally, leveling up leads to more shark types and weapons that can be used in the photo booth feature.
As a redesigned version of the existing Sharknado app, Go Shark Yourself, Sharknado: ShARkmented Reality isn’t as substantial as other Pokemon GO clones. But while it does not include any location-based play, this may be for the best, as players yelling about chainsawing sharks to death in public probably isn’t a great PR move. Some may also be disappointed that it doesn’t allow players to unlock more sharks by collecting them in different locations instead of leveling up, but it’s unclear if there’s a big enough variety of shark types to make that sort of game interesting.
With that said, the Sharknado AR game is still one of the more interesting takes on the Pokemon GO formula. Instead of being a straight-up collecting clone, Sharknado offers a bit of a twist on things, like Garfield GO which gives players free food. It ditches Gyms and Pokestops and brings the action to the players, letting them experience some simple, silly fun right in front of them. The lack of regional creatures and things like rares are also a bonus, but whether the app has staying power past the release of the next Sharknado movie is unclear.
Sharknado: ShARkmented Reality is available on iOS and Android.