Curious about what will transform the world around you in the AR Games?
Included with every 3DS are six unassuming playing cards. When combined with the AR Games on the 3DS menu, they do magical things. Here's a rundown of what you can expect from each mode:
- Archery: Archery was shown off at several events, including E3 2010, the January event, and PAX East 2010. Using the 3DS to shoot something that appears in real life but isn't actually there is a weird and fun feeling (see: Face Raiders). In its final form, it's not much different from what we've seen before. It's very cool if you've never seen it before, though.
- Star Pics: The only selection that makes use of the five other included cards. You can put Samus, Link, Kirby, Mario, and Pikmin into real world environment, altering their size, placement, and pose. It's really fun for about five minutes.
- Mii Pics: The same as the previous one, except with Miis. There are way more poses for Miis, though.
- AR Shot: This is kind of like a real world billiards game. Position the 3DS like a pool cue and hit the ball through environments that transform the world around you into hills and valleys that are filled with water or lava.
- Fishing: The area around the card turns into water, and you have to use the 3DS as a fishing pole to catch the fish that litter the water. If you put it on different colored areas, then the variety of fish changes. Explore and try to find the Cheep Cheeps!
- Graffiti: You can draw things on the touch screen that appear in the real world. Everything has depth, and it is very neat. You can also trace over images on the touch screen. You can see my poor rendition of Link below.
The AR Games are, to me, cool but not amazing. They are severely limited and work in a similar way to the little-known Nintendo-made DSiWare title called Face Pilot, which used the internal DSi camera to read your head movements to fly a glider. When you are in a well-lit environment, it's excellent. However, introduce any semblance of darkness and the experience falls apart. So turn on all your lights, and take the requisite 20 minutes it takes to play through all of these games once. Occasionally, you can show it to people who haven't seen it before. Other than that, it's not worth going back to more than once.
The AR cards can be used in other games. In the launch line-up, you can put your puppy in the real world in Nintendogs+Cats.