Directive games has demonstrated the long-awaited Galaga AR, the first AR game in a planned series of seven. Aside from the game itself, this is also a demo of what the recently unveiled Apple hardware can actually do.

While VR gaming receives a few unexpected punches, AR gaming seems to be in full swing. The iPhone event in Cupertino, California was an opportunity to tickle the users’ imagination by showing off the new hardware possibilities from Apple. Galaga AR game was the star of the show. Its slick and juicy gameplay aside, the game demonstrated the workings of new A12 Bionic chip and Apple’s new ARKit 2.

Those born around the time of original Galaga surely foster some fond memories of the game. The original came out in the 80s and was a classic fast-paced shoot-em-up space arcade game. The 21th century saw multiple makeovers like the 2016 Galaga Wars for smartphones. The new version now reimagined by Directive games sports the fresh Apple AR support and defines the direction that AR gaming is taking. Galaga AR game will be followed by a handful of classic turned AR games more. The AR Arcade Series they call it. We know nothing of their release dates, apart from a vague hint that Galaga AR will be coming out in 2018.

Staying true to the formula the Galaga AR game features a lot of nasty space bugs to kill. The movement is slick, and the novelty of AR stretches further than purely esthetic. As opposed to the original which was a solo affair, the Galaga AR game will support a competitive multiplayer to go along with the classic style. The multiplayer allows at least three players battling it out and competing for points. The players will need nothing else apart from their iPhones, albeit with ARKit 2 support.

Speaking of ARKit 2, the Galaga AR game demonstration was, in fact, a showcase of what the Apple’s new platform can do. The emphasis is surely on shared experience, precisely the reason that Galaga AR multiplayer receives such attention. The spectator mode is another new possibility for developers to include, allowing other users to witness the gameplay. Persistent AR will make sure that users can return to the AR image or puzzle after days of pause. Image detection and tracking has also received a revamp. With the new tech the real 3D objects will be reflected in the virtual objects, making the visual AR game environment more immersive than ever.

What the ARKit 2 features bring to the table is a step forward in the right direction. There is nothing really groundbreaking about the upcoming Galaga AR game, but it sure looks more refined, more feature-packed, and more immersive than what we have seen from AR games so far. It will not turn out to be a social phenomenon of Pokémon GO magnitude, but it marks a new stage development in a shift towards full-scale future AR gaming.