My parents never let me play with them as a kid because they were afraid I’d get shot by a trigger-happy cop, which is perhaps why, to this day, I get a little giddy when I hear or read the words “LAZER TAG,” and feel myself ethereally tugged away — John Carter like — to a distant world where I am a member of the Lazer Team, policing the galaxy for perps who can be non-violently terminated by aiming my ray gun at the conveniently placed sensors strapped to their back, head and torso.
So when I saw that Hasbro has just announced the next update of their Lazer Tag guns — and that these sets actually use an iPhone or iPod touch as an augmented reality display and HUD — I immediately got excited, then disappointed as I remembered my parents wouldn’t let me have one. But wait! I’m an adult now, and as an adult, I can wave around as many plastic toy guns as I want! Hooray!
To use the Lazer Tag guns with your iPhone, you need to download a free app from the App Store, which allows you to keep track of your power levels and your gear in both virtual matches and real ones, as well as set-up multiplayer games with up to 23 other players. According to the press release:
Using either single or multi-player mode, players can engage in a LAZER TAG match featuring either real life worlds or virtual opponents. Each LAZER TAG blaster equipped with a device has a virtual firing range of over 250 feet and contains a ‘Heads Up Display’, or HUD, which allows players to keep track of their gear and remaining power, while also providing a view of the augmented reality targets and enemies in the area. A virtual leaderboard keeps track of each player’s profile and, with every successful mission, players will gain in-game access to upgradeable attacks, missions and gear.
Sounds pretty rad to me, but unfortunately, these bad boys are a long way off: the guns won’t be available until August of this year, and each gun will cost $39.99.