Facebook has launched augmented reality games for its Messenger app. The new AR-based games will allow user to play with their friends through video chats, just like Snapchat’s Snappables game lenses.

“Today we’re excited to make connecting with your friends in video chat even more fun – and competitive! – with multiplayer video chat AR games. You can play with up to six people at a time, making the gaming experience much more interactive and social,” Facebook Messenger product manager Nora Micheva said.

As of now, there are currently only two AR games available to play in the Facebook Messenger app. The first game is called “Don’t Smile,” which appears to be a more high-tech version of the classic staring contest, according to Engadget. The second game is called “Asteroids Attack” and it will have users control a spaceship using their nose to navigate through obstacles.

Facebook is also planning to release more Messenger AR games in the coming weeks and months. The company has already announced two upcoming games. One of them is called “Beach Bump” and it will let users pass around a ball back and forth. The other AR game is called “Kitten Kraze,” which is described as “a matching cat game.”

“To try these out yourself, make sure you have the latest version of Messenger. Open an existing conversation or find the person or group of people you’d like to chat with and tap the video icon on the upper right corner of the screen. Then simply tap the star button and select one of the AR games – the person or group you are video chatting with will get a notification indicating it’s time to get your game on,” Michevas said.

It’s pretty obvious that these new AR games for Messenger is Facebook’s answer to Snapchat’s Snappables gaming platform that was launched in April. TechCrunch described Messenger’s AR games as being “less polished” than the launch titles of Snappables.

Snapchat’s AR games seem to be more immersive since the whole smartphone screen is covered with augmented reality elements. Meanwhile, Facebook Messenger’s AR games only adds a layer of visual elements to the screen. Another distinction between the two is that Messenger’s AR games are designed for split-screen multiplayer, while Snapchat’s games aren’t.

Facebook adding AR games to Messenger shouldn’t be a huge surprise to many since the company has been experimenting with the technology for some time now. Facebook even began rolling out augmented reality ads to the News Feed earlier this year.

AR Games Facebook Messenger now comes with AR games that allow users to play with their freinds. Photo: Facebook