Augmented reality (AR) has evolved from research projects into mainstream applications that cover diverse fields, such as entertainment, health, business, tourism and education. In particular, AR games, such as Pokémon Go, have contributed to introducing the AR technology to the general public. The proliferation of modern smartphones and tablets with large screens, cameras, and high processing power has ushered in mobile AR applications that can provide context-sensitive content to users whilst freeing them to explore the context. To avoid ambiguity, I define mobile AR as a type of AR where a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) is used to display and interact with virtual content that is overlaid on top of a real-time camera feed of the real world. Beyond being mere entertainment, AR and games have been shown to possess significant affordances for learning. Although previous research has done a decent job of reviewing research on educational AR applications, I identified a need for a comprehensive review on research related to educational mobile AR games (EMARGs). This paper explored the research landscape on EMARGs over the period 2012–2017 through a systematic literature review complemented by two case studies in which the author participated. After a comprehensive literature search and filtering, I analyzed 31 EMARGs from the perspectives of technology, pedagogy, and gaming. Moreover, I presented an analysis of 26 AR platforms that can be used to create mobile AR applications. I then discussed the results in depth and synthesized my interpretations into 13 guidelines for future EMARG developers.
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