Just over a week ago, I took the plunge and acquired the Apple Vision Pro, a decision that was somewhat spur-of-the-moment. Initially, I, like many others, was utterly captivated by the experience. However, as the days passed, the initial thrill began to diminish—until I encountered Blackbox. This ingenious puzzle game perfectly leverages the hardware, marking the first time I truly grasped the potential of AR and "spatial computing".  Up until this point, most applications felt like mere extensions of what a computer could do, albeit projected into my physical space. Blackbox, however, is a revelation, a game experience that could only exist on this kind of device. It reminded me of the excitement I felt when I first played on my Nintendo 64 as a kid.

Okay so we don't look excited but I assure you this was a highlight of my childhood

This  got me wondering: What if we extend this concept to harness the full power of the Apple ecosystem? The features I imagine for such a game include:

  • Cooperative multiplayer allowing players without an Apple Vision Pro (AVP) to engage fully using their smartphones.
  • Optimal utilization of the hardware and capabilities unique to both the AVP and iPhone.
  • Integration of gameplay with the player's environment, capturing a sense of wonder akin to Pokémon Go but adapted to the realities of wearing a big ass headset on your face
  • Encouragement for players to move and interact with the real world around them.

While I don't have a complete game concept, several ideas have sparked my interest. However, I lack the chops and motivation to bring such a vision to life, so I'm sharing my thoughts in hopes that someone might be inspired to bring something like this to life.

Players discover that their reality is a simulation. Armed with their devices, they uncover and exploit glitches to manipulate reality, aiming to seize control of the simulation while evading detection by the system operators (SysOps).

Rough Gameplay Overview

Players using phones and AVP collaborate to find glitches and perform actions to exploit them.

For Apple Vision Pro (Guardian) Players:

  • Reality Overlay: They see additional layers of the real world where anomalies and hidden codes are visible, guiding iPhone players to their locations.
  • Code Breaker: They solve complex visual puzzles that can only be appreciated and resolved within an immersive environment, aiding in unlocking global effects or buffs for all players. Collaboration with iPhone players may be necessary.

For iPhone (Scout) Players:

Code Hunting: Scouts use their phones to scan everyday objects, looking for those that shimmer or glitch, indicating a hidden code. For example, a book in their shelf might reveal a secret code on its cover through the phone's camera.

Reality Manipulation Tasks: Once a code is found, players are given instructions to manipulate reality. This could involve:

  • Drawing Sigils: Using paper and pen to draw symbols revealed by the game, which they then scan with their phone.
  • Arranging Objects: Creating specific patterns with common household items, then capturing the arrangement with their phone.
  • AR Symbol Drawing: Moving their phone through the air to trace a virtual glyph, manipulating the simulation's parameters.


  • Mixed Reality Missions: Missions that require both Guardian and Scouts to cooperate, combining their unique perspectives and abilities to solve complex challenges.
  • Social Interaction: Players can form or join guilds, sharing findings and helping each other solve particularly difficult codes. This fosters a community of hackers working together to progress through the game
  • Global Story and Events: The game can prompt players to meet at a real world location for specific events and challenges

When SysOps deploys scanners to detect players or initiates recovery efforts, AVP and phone players must work together to evade or overcome these challenges. This could involve performing glitches in unison or leveraging unique abilities enabled by hand tracking on the AVP.

The potential for integrating other devices in the Apple ecosystem, such as watches, Apple TVs, and HomePods, presents exciting possibilities. For instance, HomePods could play sounds during attacks, watches could alert players to nearby glitches, and an Apple TV might allow players to view the AVP player's perspective for certain tasks.

This concept is as far as I've developed it, but what excites me most is the challenge of blending various hardware capabilities to create a compelling experience for all players. Committing to a single ecosystem offers a unique opportunity to craft innovative gameplay mechanics. I know some folks will be taken back by locking this to Apple but I think there's a very real advantage to the level of integration and ubquitity in hardware capabilities here.  

Should you know of any similar games or decide to develop one based on these ideas, please reach out—I'd love to be your first customer!