Danish brickmaker LEGO released a new augmented reality (AR) app in the iOS App Store yesterday, combining the virtual world with its physical toys. LEGO Playgrounds brings select brick sets to life, kicking off with Ninjago.
Using select physical sets from its Dragon Hunters theme, including Dieselnaut and Dragon’s Pit, LEGO Ninjago AR creates a multi-user game through Apple’s ARKit technology. Two players can connect and play together in the same physical space by teaming up to battle against the Dragon Hunters and compare high scores.
There are five playable levels that can be used without a physical LEGO set, as long as the app—on an iPhone 6s and above with the latest iOS update—is being pointed at a flat surface. It is free to play with no in-app purchases or ads/marketing. The overall new app is intended for all ages, however the first Ninjago AR playground is recommended for ages nine and up due to storyline and gameplay complexity.
This isn’t LEGO’s first time diving into the AR space, having released the AR Studio app to mix virtual and real bricks late last year. Playgrounds is different because it combines the newest tech with more realistic effects and multiplayer AR content. It also rolled out LEGO BrickHeadz Builder earlier this year as a free augmented reality app for Android devices to bring its BrickHeadz toys to life.