LEGO today has officially launched its LEGO AR Playground app on iOS, incorporating ARKit technology to merge real LEGO sets with augmented action. The first ARKit Playgrounds app from the company arrives with a NINJAGO theme.
The app, first demonstrated at WWDC in June of this year, showed off the possibilities ARKit opened to developers. Rather than replacing a traditional set, LEGO hopes customers will be incentivized to buy more physical toys to have more fun digitally.
Luckily, LEGO is keeping the app kid-friendly, as there are no advertisements (besides the ad for LEGO, of course), nor are there any in-app purchases to tempt unsuspecting kids.
As previously reported, a similar LEGO AR Stuido app (not available in the US) shows similar gamplay action to the new LEGO AR Playground.
The full press release can be read below.
LEGO® NINJAGO® AR – the first to feature as a LEGO Playgrounds experiment
Using the popular LEGO NINJAGO theme, this first playground uses AR technology to detect selected physical LEGO NINJAGO Dragon Hunters sets and bring them to life with exciting effects, animations and interactions.
The game uses the multi-user support in Apple’s ARKit technology, allowing two players to connect and play together in the same shared play space.
Users can connect and team up with a friend to battle against the Dragon Hunters, share power-ups and 3D assets, create strategies to withstand the endless waves of Dragon Hunters and even compare high-scores with friends.
LEGO Playgrounds is intended for all ages. However, the first LEGO NINJAGO AR playground is recommended for ages 9+ due to the game-play and storyline complexity.
The LEGO NINJAGO AR Playground uses two sets from the LEGO NINJAGO Dragon Hunters theme: the LEGO® NINJAGO® Dieselnaut (70654) and the LEGO® NINJAGO® Dragon’s Pit (70655).
LEGO NINJAGO AR Playground key play features:
- Bring Physical LEGO Sets to Life with exciting AR effects, animations and games
- Play with Friends in the same shared AR space around your set
- Explore Physical LEGO sets and discover new interactions.
- Place & Share Objects in AR to create unique game areas with friends.
- Unlock Power-Ups and level-up your character.
- Test Your Ninja Skills & Strategies to keep the enemies away and survive as long as you can. What is your high-score?
For the current LEGO Ninjago AR experience available in LEGO Playgrounds, there is an option to play 5 levels without a physical LEGO set. The app will simply look for a flat surface and allow you to play in AR only. Naturally we do encourage players to go beyond and unlock the fun around their existing physical LEGO sets.
The LEGO Playgrounds app will be free to play. There will be no in-app purchases or any ads or marketing messages.
The AR technology utilized in the app will require an iPhone 6s and above, with the latest iOS updates.