The New York Times Launches a Crossword Puzzle AR Effect on Instagram

The New York Times launched an augmented reality game on Instagram called Shattered Crosswords, which was built using Facebook’s Spark AR platform.Shattered Crosswords is a twist on The Times’ daily crossword puzzle. Users can play the game by visiting The Times’ Instagram profile, tapping on the Effects tab and then tapping the game (or effect) they want to play.When users activate the effect, they can place a small crossword puzzle on the ground in front of them through augmented reality. Then they’re presented with a clue. The answer to the clue appears in the air in front of them, though the letters are broken into multiple pieces.Users can move around their real-world space to view the fragments from different angles, and they can also use touch controls to rotate the fragments on the screen. When users view the fragments from the correct angle, the pieces will line up to form the answer, which is then placed into the puzzle. Users can repeat this process to solve the remaining clues and finish the crossword.This isn’t the first AR Effect The New York Times has launched on Instagram. The Times’ Instagram profile also offers AR Effects related to women’s suffrage, the effectiveness of face masks and more.


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