Forget Augmented Reality, AppGear offers Amplified Reality for hands-on, hybrid gaming!

AppGear has thrown the gaming industry a loop, by combining the increasingly popular touchscreen interface with real world, physical elements for a whole new form of hands-on gameplay. This shouldn't be a surprise, as AppGear is part of WowWee, the people who brought robotics to the toy box.

There are a broad range of products from AppGear that make up their 'Amplified Reality' product line. Products are available for iPhone, iPad, as well as Android devices. They have a Foam Fighters line that includes foam airplanes that clamp on to your device, and position themselves just in front of the camera. The result is a physical plane superimposed over your cameras view, merged with computer generated enemies that you combat. It's a really interesting concept, and as long as you adjust the plane just right, the effect is very cool. You should check out their videos to understand the effect, but the best option is to see it firsthand.

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I got to try one of their ZombieBurbz games. This set includes a Deluxe figure and three collectible figures. The Deluxe one is the one that controls the game but the others are for fun.

And that's what my daughter testified to! She's a fan of WowWee and has one of their robots, so when she saw the AppGear box, with the WowWee logo, she had to try the game. And after several hours, she said it was cool, but tough (though she was up to level 16 already!) Too many games are completed quickly, so I'm glad to see this one was a challenge.

In ZombieBurbz, you pit the the zombies against the humans and set traps and progress through different levels. They offer several variations in the ZombieBurbz family, like High School, Avenue, Diner, and more.

One suggestion my daughter had was to place the iPad on a flat, level surface, perhaps,out of its case. It's not the type of game where you hold the iPad. Think of it as an interactive board game. It's almost like Monster Chess, come to think of it!

In all examples, the app is a free download and you buy the physical accessories for about $10. AppGear has a large and growing stable of Amplified Reality products and it's nice to see this new direction of gaming.

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP,,, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.