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Magical World: App allows users to play with aliens in the park

Brad Christensen
magical park
A selection of the creatures that can be seen in Magical World  GEO AR Games

City council releases app allowing users to explore Christchurch's parks through a blended virtual world.

Magical World is an app that sends the user into a gaming fantasy land where they can herd kittens and chase dinosaurs.

The Christchurch City Council launched the game with the help of Geo AR Games at the start of March.

Council Head of Parks, Andrew Rutledge, said Magical Parks was a new take on the city's traditional Park Weeks, which encourage people to get out and enjoy their local parks.

The app was only planned to be active for two weeks but the level of usage meant the council extended the lifespan of the game.

It was originally available to play at Wycola Park, Cypress Gardens and Ouruhia Reserve, but the extension only includes Ouruhia Reserve. 

Magical Park

Kids and parents explain how Magical Park is being used.

Geo AR Games chief executive Melanie Langlotz  said the idea for the game came from her stepdaughter, who did not want to go outside, instead preferring to play on her phone indoors. 

Langlotz said that was the whole idea of Magic World, tapping into the millennials' addiction with mobile phones and turning it into something positive.

New Zealand Recreation Association chief executive, Andrew Leslie, said combining outdoor play with technology motivated kids to get off the couch and be more physically active.

"Kids love playing mobile games outside, because they get to run around and have fun in a more engaging way," said Leslie.

Magical Park can be played until the end of June.

Melanie explains how the idea for Magical Park was conceived.