If you have never heard of Draw and Code, you certainly don’t know what SwapBots are. Draw and Code is a software development company based in Liverpool, UK that develops games using new technologies. In the case of SwapBots, they are combing action figure style toys with an augmented reality game running on tablets and smartphones.
The idea of this game is just announced in form of an Indiegogo campaign that allows the supporters to get a first set of 6 different figures for $30 (early bird pricing). The figures consist of three individual pieces that the player can combine in any combination to create unique features. These figures are than recognized via the cameras and integrated into the digital gameplay.
The game itself runs on the tablet / smartphone and is a turn-based battle game that can be downloaded for free. After the initial release the pieces can be bought from the website and they promise more waves of new characters in the future.
Draw and Code calls this a ‘toys to life’ game, meaning that they combine real world toys with digital play via the use of augmented reality. This is a very interesting approach to game play action, even though this approach does not rely on specific smartglasses to view the augmented reality portion.
With $30 you are looking at $5 for three painted Lego blocks (I know they are not Lego based, but they sure do look like them), even though the game itself is a free download with not in-app purchases. This is a new way to monetize these little games, it seems. (NH)