Halo 4: King of the Hill

Xbox 360 owners who migrated to Windows Phone have long lamented the lack of a proper Halo mobile game. Sure, we have Halo WayPoint and its SmartGlass-style connectivity with Halo Reach, but Microsoft has yet to show us the proper love of an actual Halo videogame. Hey, pretty soon that’s going to change… Sort of… Thanks to Halo 4: King of the Hill, an upcoming augmented reality app developed by AR specialist Ogmento and sponsored by 7-Eleven and Mountain Dew. Yup.

Okay, so Halo 4: King of the Hill is more of an advergame than a proper game. The augmented reality portion revolves around launching the app and walking into a 7-Eleven Convenience Store (which we don’t even have in my part of Texas). Yes, that makes it something of a niche app if you ask me.

You then walk around watching your phone’s camera display, looking like a goon, and trying to locate the store’s Mountain Dew and Doritos products. Remember, Microsoft has a promotional campaign going in which purchasing these beverages and snacks gets you codes for double XP time in Halo 4. After scanning said products, you’ll gain supplies for the ‘game’ portion of the app.

Yes, there actually does appear to be some first-person shooting gameplay in King of the Hill. The brief trailer shows two players shooting at each other in a very simplistic 3D environment. Whether both players need to be in the same actual location or not remains to be seen, but I’d guess so. The game’s description says players will compete on a local and national level, which could simply mean results are compared on a leaderboard.

Why would you want to put up with in-your-face snack advertisements in order to play a dinky game at a convenience store? Prizes for Halo 4 on Xbox 360, of course!

Halo 4: King of the Hill

Halo 4 In-game prizes include:

  • Double XP Matches
  • Exclusive Custom Locus Helmut (SIC) (US Only)
  • Ghost Prop Avatar (Canada Only)
  • Bulletproof Emblem
  • War Games Longbow

Considering how popular Halo 4 is among Xbox 360 gamers, unique emblems and such are actually a cool way to differentiate yourself from other players. Nobody wants to look just like everybody else.

The down side

Halo 4: King of the Hill

Okay, I’m philosophically opposed to a game that’s geared towards advertising the trifecta of 7-Eleven, Doritos, and Mountain Dew. That’s called money grubbing, and it doesn’t have your dietary well-being in mind. And I’m also annoyed that I couldn’t possibly make use of Halo 4: King of the Hill if I wanted to, since 7-Elevens aren’t everywhere. Besides, we still deserve a real mobile Halo game, and this doesn’t look like it.

But the biggest rub may be that Halo 4: King of the Hill is out right now on iOS, Android, and… that’s it. This page on Ogmento’s website lists it as coming soon to Windows Phone, while another page on their site makes no mention of our platform of choice. Sure, the delayed WP release is most likely due to the well-known difficulty in porting games designed for other platforms to WP7, but that’s little excuse.

Microsoft and Ogmento have effectively created a Halo game (albeit an ill-conceived one) for Apple and Google’s platforms first, and Windows Phone last. Unless the Windows Phone version is only days away, that doesn’t look good. We’ve reached out to Ogmento and will update with further release dates when they become available.

Thanks to Karl for the tip!