Metro Romance: AR dating simulation game
This dating simulation game, based in Taiwan and Japan, allows players to receive text messages from their favorite characters and meet, or even go on a date with the augmented characters at real locations. The choices made during the virtual date result in different game endings.
Toii Virtual Gaming Lab partnered up with Taiwan’s Kaohsiung metro subways and one of the most famous shopping malls in Japan, Canal City Hakata, to create an interactive geo-based AR game. At the beginning of the game, players receive a text message informing where to meet with augmented reality characters. The main characters are inspired by the famous KRT Girls – four anime-styled characters that are the official mascots for the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit.
Allen Yu, Toii CEO, when speaking about the inspiration and success of the game, said “The inspiration was in fact from Pokemon Go. Instead of catching Pokemon, we let players encounter girls (virtually, of course). We see players coming from different cities and even different countries to explore the locations with the characters, and we also see players using it as an interesting travel guide to explore attractions.”
When reaching the designated locations, a famous night market, for example, the players can meet with their favorite characters and have some street food together. How players respond to the conversation during the date will affect the relationship and the story.
The game developers chose to incorporate AR into their app with the intention of allowing players to have a more immersive experience. They believe that having a digitally augmented character integrated into the physical scene helps players feel like they are actually going out on a date with one of the KRT mascots.
The game was designed to work in both indoor and outdoor environments. Wikitude geo-based AR is used for the outdoors and Wikitude image recognition technology for indoors. This way players can play in environments such as subway stations and shopping malls without being affected by poor GPS reception.
The game currently has over 15k downloads on iOS & Android and is set up for over 30 different locations in three cities of Taiwan and Japan.