Lazer Tag: Officially a really cool app

(Video courtesy of Mashable)

Back in the day when kids were growing up, before Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, playing laser tag or with Nerf guns was almost like a right of passage. I can remember playing for hours on end with friends and cousins, building forts in the basement and then having all out war, of course with time out at the end to collect the Nerf darts and ammo scattered across the carpeted floor, only to start again when all the ammo was retrieved.

Well luckily it’s 2012 and technology is helping to bring the child back out of us through iPhones and iPod touches. Hasbro has come up with a way for people to play laser tag in an augmented reality on their phones, through the official Hasbro Lazer Tag app available in the app store.

Yes, as of August 1st, Hasbro has released the official Lazer Tag app FOR FREE in the Apple app store, sorry Android users, the app is only compatible with iOS software as of right now.

This app is absolutely incredible, a one of a kind type of app that will hopefully start a chain reaction to bring more app’s that allow you to play and do things in an augmented reality.

When you start the app and you go into a game mode, lets say single player, the app uses your camera to show you your surroundings and provides crosshairs in the center of the screen to help fire at your enemy. There is a “fire” button on the bottom right hand corner of the screen that you hit to fire at incoming “drones,” which look like sentinels from the Matrix. The bottom left hand corner of the screen gives you a map with the location of the incoming drones, along with arrows pointing in the direction of the next set of incoming targets. Don’t take the drones lightly, they do fire back and the more you get hit the more the Heads Up Display, or HUD, shows cracks in it, which is pretty neat.

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As you play you acquire points and you can spend those points on upgraded weapons, special attacks like an airstrike, or upgraded health or shield, which you can use to help protect yourself from oncoming enemy fire.

There are two ways you can play this game, single player or multiplayer, and yes I did say multiplayer. The single player mode is fun, you start off fighting waves of incoming drones and when you defeat a level, you move onto the next one, giving you more drones to fight along with different more difficult enemies to try to blast out of the sky.

Multiplayer mode is a little more exciting to say the least.  Instead of playing against computer generated drones or enemies, you can play against your other friends who have the app, making them the enemy to shoot at.  Unfortunately you can’t play multiplayer with just your phone, in order to play against your friends (up to 24 total people can play at once in up to 250 feet) you need to go out and buy Hasbro’s new Lazer Tag Blaster.

The Lazer Blaster is $40 and is pretty cool. Looking like something Nerf would make, you put your phone horizontally in the HUD shown in the picture above, and you have a trigger to pull to fire and you even have a reload button you have to hit in order to cycle in your next round of ammo, which is unlimited.  A $40 price tag isn’t terribly expensive but it’s one of those things you really want to buy if you plan on playing with a bunch of your friends.

You can use the Blaster in single player mode to take out those pesky drones but it isn’t mandatory, if you just have your iPhone or iPod touch, you can just use your phone horizontally. If you want to play against your friends in multiplayer mode you need to own a Lazer Blaster, which I can see using a blaster as to adding to the excitement.

If you want to download the free Hasbro Lazer Tag app, just click here

Let me know what you think about this new app, is it the future of gaming on smart phones?

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