Toyota Israel launches AR mobile game to drive Land Cruiser

While Israelis are confined to their homes during the third coronavirus lockdown, they can still experience an off-road adventure.

The Toyota Land Cruiser, the company's flagship off-road SUV. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The Toyota Land Cruiser, the company's flagship off-road SUV.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
As Israel's third coronavirus lockdown keeps many Israelis home for the holidays, it is still possible to enjoy a drive through various scenic environments from one's own home, thanks to a new augmented reality (AR) game launched by Israeli Toyota importer Union Motors.
Titled Land Cruiser 5 Continents, the game sees players use their smartphones to create AR environments for the titular Land Cruiser car.
The game, available in Hebrew and English, functions by merging different terrains – ranging from deserts, mountains and even frozen tundra – into real-world environments through the smartphone.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is seen being driven in an AR desert terrain outdoors. (Photo credit: Toyota Israel)The Toyota Land Cruiser is seen being driven in an AR desert terrain outdoors. (Photo credit: Toyota Israel)
Players take control of the Land Cruiser SUV and face a variety of obstacles and challenges, driving both on- and off-road. As players continue, they can unlock new maps, but they have to remember to drive safely or else the car might turn over.

The use of multiple terrains, obstacles and off-road driving take inspiration from the real-life Land Cruiser, which, as described on Toyota's website, has long been the automobile company's flagship off-road SUV.
"Now, after proving its prowess and abilities to conquer any terrain and overcoming any obstacle, the Land Cruiser is about to conquer the digital space," Toyota said in a statement about the game.
A Toyota Land Cruiser is seen being driven in an AR desert while at the beach. (Photo credit: Toyota Israel)A Toyota Land Cruiser is seen being driven in an AR desert while at the beach. (Photo credit: Toyota Israel)
While this is Toyota's first official foray into mobile gaming – and in fact is among the first official forays of an automobile company into producing an AR game – the company was helped out thanks to a partnership with Immersion, a leader in developing AR and virtual reality (VR) games. The firm has numerous successful projects to their name, most notably the Emmy-nominated Apollo's Moon-Shot AR, a game developed in partnership with NASA and the Smithsonian in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
Nonetheless, the field of AR gaming is still new ground for the automotive industry, and it allows Toyota to showcase one of its most iconic cars to people all over the world – even if plenty of people aren't driving because of the lockdown.
“It's a true pleasure to see how Toyota is leveraging the world of gaming and using it to create a special off-road driving experience from our living rooms," commented Eitan Reisel, founder and managing partner of VGames, Israel's first gaming-focused venture capital fund that has helped many Israeli mobile game developers grow in recent years.
"The gaming industry is among the fastest growing industries, both prior to and during the COVID-19 era, and the way Toyota brought the automotive and gaming industries together into a single world is an innovative, special and very impressive step."
A Toyota Land Cruiser is seen swerving in an AR environment indoors. (Photo credit: Toyota Israel)A Toyota Land Cruiser is seen swerving in an AR environment indoors. (Photo credit: Toyota Israel)
As part of the launch, Union Motors is holding an online contest for players to take interesting and creative screenshots from the game and share them online, with the winner receiving a Land Cruiser for the weekend and a guided off-road tour. More details can be found here: https://landcruiserapp.toyota.co.il/
The app is currently available to download on Google Play and the Apple App Store.