Augmented Reality Audio Games (ARAG) enrich the physical world with virtual sounds to express their content and mechanics. Existing ARAG implementations have focused on exploring the surroundings and navigating to virtual sound sources as the main mode of interaction. This paper suggests that gestural activity with a handheld device can realize complex modes of sonic interaction in the augmented environment, resulting in an enhanced immersive game experience. The ARAG “Audio Legends” was designed and tested to evaluate the usability and immersion of a system featuring an exploration phase based on auditory navigation, as well as an action phase, in which players aim at virtual sonic targets and wave the device to hit them or hold the device to block them. The results of the experiment provide evidence that players are easily accustomed to auditory navigation and that gestural sonic interaction is perceived as difficult, yet this does not affect negatively the system’s usability and players’ immersion. Findings also include indications that elements, such as sound design, the synchronization of sound and gesture, the fidelity of audio augmentation, and environmental conditions, also affect significantly the game experience, whereas background factors, such as age, sex, and game or music experience, do not have any critical impact.
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