The New York Times Uses Augmented Reality to Upgrade the Crossword Puzzle on Instagram

The New York Times Uses Augmented Reality to Upgrade the Crossword Puzzle on Instagram

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The New York Times has found another interesting use for augmented reality by reinventing the classic crossword puzzle into an immersive game on Instagram.

The leading media company published its December 22 mini-crossword puzzle as Shattered Crossword through the Spark AR platform for Instagram.

The yellow-colored pieces belonging to the correct answer are splintered and scattered along with the other potential letters in the space above the puzzle. It gives a different look to the puzzle as opposed to viewing the entire puzzle in AR.

The players can walk around, crouch down, and manipulate the puzzle using on-screen gestures while constantly changing their perspective to try out various combinations of the letters. Upon solving a line, they need to tap on the puzzle to view the next clue.

The feature is available on Android and iOS Instagram apps within the Effects tab on the @NYTimes Instagram page. Just search for Shattered Crossword within the Effects gallery, and you can try out the game for yourself.

Puzzler, an AR game for smartphones and headsets, also offers a very similar experience keeping the player’s perspective while solving puzzles as the focal point.

Ever since debuting its AR news features in 2018, the media giant has been a leading innovator for the technology. Apart from these, the publisher was also one of the first adopters of Magic Leap and even collaborated with Google to experiment with AR-enabled print ads for Stranger Things via Google Lens.

This doesn’t really mean that Instagram will be the only platform for you to try out the Daily Mini. It’s still going to be available for you to play on the New York Times Crossword app for iOS and Android, but AR does provide a fun alternative.

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