Parallel Kingdom, which has been available on Android and the iPhone for some time, gives new meaning to persistent multiplayer online gaming.
The game world is overlaid on a real-time view of Google Maps. Your position on the map is determined by your mobile signal or GPS, and game events (such as encountering other players, battling monsters) happen in real time at your location.
There is a small radius within which your character can venture from the comfort of your couch. But if you want to further explore the â€œworld,â€ and meet other players, youâ€™ll have to physically get out and go there. As you delve a bit further into the game, youâ€™ll uncover other methods of virtual travel, most of which are connected to the ways in which other players stake out territory.
The game has a lot of depth, as players can explore, collect items, even claim territory and found cities. Itâ€™s a mobile MMORPG with an augmented reality twist that takes some commitment to learn, navigate, and enjoy. But the payoff, especially for future, more graphically-rich AR and location-based games is huge.