An update to the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges AR game now supports ARKit, letting you play holochess as if you were right there on the Millenium Falcon. Granted, the game was already available, but its previous form was somewhat limiting. It required users to purchase additional hardware in order to play.
The advantage of ARKit is that you don’t need to buy more hardware. The app will use your phone’s camera and built-in tech goodies to place the game within your environment. The full holochess game will give players “8 levels across 6 planets and 8 unlockable creatures with unique special abilities.”
As The Verge points out, the game is merely a port from the original version, meaning that it hasn’t been rebuilt to adhere to the new technology around ARKit. As a result, text is apparently too small, and controls are awkward, clearly meant for use with a headset. That said, Disney does note that to gain the full gaming experience on Jedi Challenges, players will still need additional peripherals to play, such as the Lenovo Mirage AR headset, lightsaber controller, and tracking beacon for the other modes of the game. Of course, that kit will set you back $149, which isn’t an awful lot for what’s included, but can seem like a lot to spend on an app.
The timing of the update is ideal, as Disney is preparing to release Solo: A Star Wars Story next month. The movie is likely to feature the Millennium Falcon extensively. The iconic ship is where fans got their first glimpse of holochess during an amusing game between R2-D2 and Chewbacca in A New Hope.
Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is also available on Android, although there’s no word yet on whether it’ll gain support for Google’s ARCore.