Google and Taito are partnering on a new augmented reality version of the arcade classic Space Invaders. The new game, Space Invaders: World Defense, will use Google tools like ARCore and newly-announced Geospatial Creator to let AR Space Invaders aliens fly around real-world locations.
Based on a GIF in a Google tweet, it appears you’ll play the game kind of like a shooting gallery. In the GIF, a handful of aliens appear near and around a static city image, and a reticle appears so that the player can blast the aliens out of the sky. I get the sense this footage might not be fully representative of the final game, though — it kind of looks like the aliens have just been animated over a stock photo.
Just announced at #GoogleIO!
Launching later this summer, this immersive AR game transforms your city into a virtual playground! pic.twitter.com/RuYocQESzI
— Google AR & VR (@GoogleARVR) May 10, 2023
Google and Taito also released a promotional video that we’ve included at the top of this post, but it doesn’t appear to show anyone actually fending off aliens in World Defense. The game’s website is frustratingly bare, only including the promo video and this description of what you can expect:
For the last 45 years, SPACE INVADERS have tried to conquer the world. They are back and this time coming from another dimension. As one of Earth’s top pilots, you must use your spaceship’s advanced technology and your expert skills to travel between dimensions and defend the planet. The future of the Earth is in your hands! This unique, immersive game is powered by ARCore and Google’s Geospatial Creator to create a real-world playground in AR and 3D. Enjoy the classic gameplay in a whole new dimension: explore, find, and defeat SPACE INVADERS in your neighborhood!
And confusingly, the World Defense website shows a screenshot of a ship taking on aliens in a wireframe trench, so maybe that will be an element of the game, too.
According to the promo video’s description, the game is set to release later this summer. Hopefully it fares better than some other AR games.