On May 25th, 1977 a small movie with a $13,000,000 budget came out. At the time, the executives involved had no faith that this film would make any money. To the surprise of many in the industry, not only did that film set records, it led to a number of other movies, video games, books, toys, cartoons and so much more. This film we know as Star Wars became a long lasting hit that is still setting records 40 years later.
Phil Tippett, with a life long interest in stop motion animation, was hired by the film's creator, George Lucas, to create a holographic chess-style game using animated monsters as well as a number of other iconic creations from the film. With the success of Star Wars, Phil Tippett started leading the animation team for Industrial Light and Magic; the group that set the standard for special effects in the film industry, since its creation. And now he is lending his talents outside of film and into the world of video games.
Tippett, along with small game studio Happy Giant, has created what can only be described as an homage to that classic scene from the Star Wars film, a game called Holo-Grid: Monster Battles. Having been out for some time on iOS, Android and Gear VR platforms it was recently released to the Microsoft HoloLens.
In the tradition of the modern turn-based game style, Holo-Grid: Monster Battles pits two teams of monsters against each other. Each monster having their own strengths and weaknesses, which offers a variety of strategies to play and beat your opponent. The iOS, Android and Gear VR versions of the game offer cross-platform multiplayer and a gameplay style that incorporates a collectible card game as well.
Unfortunately, at this point, that is not the case for the HoloLens version. The version at the time of publishing only allows the player to go up against a computer AI opponent. Mixing that fact with my inability to get passed the tutorial due to some lock up, leaves me to believe that this port is more a tech demo than an actual game. Which is odd considering it is being ported from an actual game.
Of course, the HoloLens user base is pretty small, which can make that time investment a struggle at best. Maybe the coming Windows Mixed Reality headsets will motivate the complete port.