There’s a new mobile gaming application for wearables in Montreal.
Mighty Cast, Inc. released the first independent game for their ‘hackable’ Nex Band today.
The Montreal-based developer of wearable technology and software platforms was founded in 2012. They are the makers of the Nex Band, a wristband built on their propriety “When/Do” platform, which allows users to create (what they term ‘hacking’) commands and responses by double-tapping or holding one of the five modules on the front of the band.
Each module has a different colour, and by setting different hacks and light combinations, the band can notify users of social media notifications, control the volume on their headphones, navigate Spotify, or even set off a fake phone call to get out of a sticky situation.
The Mighty Maru, a choose your own adventure style visual novel, allows users to cast spells and craft magical elements right from their wrist.
The game takes place in the dystopian city of Nicque, where a decade-long energy drought has caused mass poverty and famine and people are ready to revolt. Violence ensues and dissenters are wrongfully imprisoned. Players take on the role of a member of a secret society rebellion and are gifted a magical Carpulest bracelet. The bracelet helps the central character free their imprisoned true love.
The game was the recipient of the Canada Media Fund award, and while it was designed specifically for the Nex Band, it can still be enjoyed by players without one.
“Nex was born out of a creative story world which is what makes it unique in wearables” said Mighty Cast CEO, Adam Adelman. “We wanted to share this experience with our community and allow it to be played for free whether you have a Nex Band or not”.
We got our hands on a Nex Band and an early download of The Mighty Maru, and we have to say the introduction of a paired game makes a lot of sense.
After testing out the Nex Band for a few days, it seemed like the people who would get the most out of it would be younger users or people new to the world of wearables. At $79.99 USD, it falls on the more accessible end of the spectrum, considerably less than the fitness tracker Fitbit or the touchscreen Apple Watch.
But price aside, Nex feels more like a game than a serious piece of technology promising to monitor your health. And that’s just fine. The social aspects of the band, which allows you to send light notifications to your friends and alerts you when your friends are nearby (so long as your friends also have a Nex Band), seem like they could easily gain traction in the constantly connected pre-teen crowd.
The creation of a game to utilize the functionality of the Nex Band seems to acknowledge this. The Mighty Maru doesn’t feel juvenile. Rather it has the capacity to appeal to young players and older gaming enthusiasts alike. It also seems to indicate a further move towards entertainment rather than utility.
For those new to wearables, the Nex Band is an affordable introduction to the capabilities and applications of wearable technology. More seasoned connoisseurs will probably enjoy the gaming and entertainment value of the band, but probably wouldn’t find it functional enough for everyday wear.
The Mighty Maru is available for free download on the iOS App Store and the Google Play store now.
The Nex Band is available for purchase here.