HoloGrid: Monster Battle AR may leverage the latest AR (augmented reality) technology, but the game has low-tech roots.
“We started out with a board game and cards because a year ago, that was the best way to bring this idea to life,” says Michael Levine, CEO of HoloGrid creator HappyGiant. “We’d been waiting for AR to mature, and we’re finally able to build a game that we’ve been dreaming about.”
HoloGrid is a mix of chess, turn-based strategy games, and collectible card games. The goal is to knock a specific character—the “champion”—off the board.
In both the board game and iOS versions of HoloGrid, you use cards to place monsters, known as minions, around your champion. There is one major difference between the two: In the AR game, you can look through your iOS device’s screen to monsters rendered in the world around you. No glasses or special equipment is necessary, just a newer iPhone or iPad running iOS 11.
To play, you’ll need a flat surface for the game’s virtual board to appear on. The area can be as small as a side table or as large as your patio. “My favorite place to play is actually outside on my driveway,” Levine says.
Levine’s top tip for new players: Put down as diverse a lineup of monsters as possible.
“We made the rules to this game, and we’re still finding new combinations and strategies,” he says. “You can be a defense first player and hold your line, or be aggressive and push forward with attacks. Depending on your mix of monsters, you can succeed with really any style.”