iPhone app uses multiple devices to extend gaming experience
In my role as a Digital Producer it’s my duty to play with apps, iPhones, iPads and any bit of kit I can get my hands on. I regularly download apps and look out for innovative uses of technology to help inspire the work we do here at Imagemakers. Now I’ve justified spending many hours playing on my iPhone I’d like to share with you an app that allows a multiplayer, shared-screen gaming experience using Bluetooth technology.
The game, Johnny Test: Roller Johnny stretches across multiple iOS screens (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad) using Bluetooth to create a larger digital play space. The space automatically expands when a Bluetooth-linked device with the game running is in range. By moving the devices players can also reveal hidden areas, which both players can explore.
The game can only be played with more than one screen in multiplayer mode; a single player mode is also available for a single device. Players can even hook up two iPhones to an iPad for an even larger playing space. See the video below for a demo of the game.
The game itself is pretty simple; Johnny and his friends race on skates to the finish line in a roller derby. You collect bling for extra points and can get extra time on the clock by grabbing power-ups. If you co-ordinate your moves in multiplayer mode, you can power up a sling to toss you and your friends ahead of the pack.
According to Mashable the app is created by Kolody, who say that this is the first time a game has been devised for iOS devices using co-operative screen play. They even said that Apple gave them special permission to access their mobile development team. Roller Johnny launched in late December but Kolody is already working on an update to bring the shared-screen experience to Wi-Fi as well.
I’m inspired to see an app using Bluetooth in an innovative way. The use of multiple devices helps to physically extend the gaming experience in a way we haven’t seen before. It feels more social and I think it has potential to develop further. It would be interesting to how this technology could be used within museums and cultural organisations to create a more participatory experience amongst school groups.