Hasbro, we love you for bringing a childhood fave home in such an amazing fashion. While the classic game of laser tag isn’t new to the retail shelves, it’s been completely reimagined by Hasbro and now uses iPhone and iPod touch to deliver an awesome single player and enhanced multiplayer gameplay. Yippee!
What better way to put the Hasbro Lazer Tag guns to the test then handing them over to my 10 and 12 year old cousins? Within minutes, and without directions, they were in an all-out battle, running around and getting power ups and weapon upgrades. When it was time to come inside, they each set up single player mode where there are digital enemy drones in an augmented reality setting created by the iPhone and camera. Lucky for the living room there’s no running around in single player, just a lot of turning and shooting.
I’m 25 years old and have to admit, this Lazer Tag package is really cool. Adding iPhone or iPod touch into the mix adds an amazing level of realism. Through the iPhone/iPod display, you’re looking at your own environment whether its the living room or patio, but you can see the blast out of every gun shot, you can see lasers coming at you, and the explosion of enemies. The special effects are really awesome.
All the Laser Tag technology is built into the blaster gun, they don’t rely on iPhone, they’re enhanced by it. There’s no Bluetooth or WiFi required. The guns each take 6 AA batteries (not included), they all have sensors, IR emitters, LEDs, and a speaker. The gun communicates with iPhone via the headphone jack and the LazerTag app does the rest. The blaster gun is pretty amazing. It has a trigger, shield, and reload button which all feel very natural to use. The weight with iPhone is very manageable for anyone.
iPhone sits inside of a cradle and while there’s no screen protection, it’s sunken into the holster so it’s pretty protective. The guns come with a rubber jacket for both iPhone and iPod touch. This inner casing helps provide shock absorption and the perfect fit. While we really love the whole package, we did have a few gripes. Firstly, when the iPhone cage is mounted to the gun, it’s not removable. This makes the guns much harder to travel with. When iPhone is locked into the holster, the sleep button is inaccessible and it’s also tricky to register touch on the sides of the screen. Lastly, the app was a little buggy and didn’t always register that the gun was turned on. This is an easy fix for a software update… which is another important feature; Hasbro can continuously enhance the gameplay through app updates and add-on packs.
We really love Hasbro’s twist on Laser Tag and appreciate them keeping costs down by using your own iPhone or iPod touch. With that said, it can be an investment. It works with iPhone 3GS/4/4S and iPod 4th generation. Augmented reality adds a lot of value to the Hasbro Lazer Tag, we also love that there’s a single player campaign as well as multiplayer campaign and team battle. The Hasbro Lazer Tag Twin (2) Blaster Pack can be purchased for $76.90 on Amazon. Each gun can be purchased for just about half that at $37.98 from Amazon. The app supports up to 24 players.
The Good: Fun for all ages! Easy to use/setup, Single player and multiplayer, Augmented Reality, Encourages kids to get outside and run around, Up to 24 players
The Bad:6 AA Batteries per blaster (not included), Can’t remove iPhone holster, Can’t put iPhone to sleep, Buggy app