What is it?
If, as a youngster, you ever went along to a sizable professional building next to a bowling alley to perform around at night trying to shoot your pals with a flashing toy space gun (or if you’ve taken your kids to do a similar thing) you’ll understand the idea here.
Laser X can be an attempt to provide you with an identical experience in the (sweaty, frantic) comfort of your home/back garden/neighbourhood.
What does it appear to be?
The two-player pack comprises a set of long-barrelled white ‘laser’ guns with flashing lights and a slightly kitsch 70s sci-fi vibe, each linked by a wire to a light-up target that straps to your chest.
So what did it do?
Laser X provides good approximation of the professional laser tag experience but it’s also nearly the same as finding yourself in the live action version of a video arcade machine.
Every time you’re hit you lose some ‘life’ energy, together with your health indicated by the color of your chest plate, from sprightly green to death’s door red. Ten hits and you’re out but for each and every minute you survive without having to be shot you get yourself a hit back.
Your gun has ten shots before it runs out of ammo and exactly like within an arcade you reload by pointing it at the bottom while holding the trigger and shaking it along, which produces a satisfying ‘lock and load’ sound.
There are equally satisfying sound files when you fire your blaster and hit your target, in addition to optional music and a battlefield ‘voice coach’ mode, which increases the gaming feel by letting you know when you’ve been hit, just how much life you have gone, if you want to reload and giving you convenient advice like “escape here!”. You can change the coach off with the flick of a switch or plug in headphones to listen to it which means that your opponents can’t.
The guns are very light and plasticky, lacking the heft of the pro versions, but that’s and then be expected as of this price range and is really far more befitting a home setting.
The elasticated straps mounted on the breast plates mean they stay firmly set up on adults, even if you need to make some adjustments for smaller children.
The blurb for Laser X claims the guns have a potential selection of an enormous 60 metres. Although I wasn’t in a position to test them at quite that distance, I came across they registered from as a long way away as I possibly could get and they were satisfyingly accurate – aim straight at the mark and I generally scored popular, aim slightly high, low or even to one side and I missed. The infra-red beams (n0t actual lasers!) also permit you to shoot through windows and – particularly good fun – aim shots to rebound off walls and mirrors going to your opponent.
The game doesn’t need to visit one-on-one combat either – you can include as much extra pairs of guns to the fray as you prefer, playing as two teams or in a complete free-for-all where it’s everyone for themselves. Switch the selector on the prospective to the red team and the barrel of your gun turns red, switch to blue and it turns blue (and only your enemies’ hits you will register, avoiding any embarrassing ‘friendly fire’ scenarios), switch to ‘rogue’ and the barrel flashes between your two colours and all hits count.
What are the problems to consider?
There’s one issue with the Laser X guns that’s pretty hard to ignore: they emanate a loud, repetitive beep which, inexplicably, can’t be switched off or confined to headphones, unlike almost every other sound effect. While this does arguably improve the tension as you move nearer to your opponent, in addition, it just about kills any stealth aspect to the game. For me personally, trying to sneak through to persons is half the fun of something similar to this therefore i found it quite a major problem. One solution could possibly be for all players to wear headphones in order that the music/effects filter opponents’ bleeping. But if you’re playing outside instead of in the close quarters of a residence, it’s apt to be less of a concern anyway, and it really appears to be a thing that bothers some persons a lot more than others.
Reloading the gun isn’t always quite as straightforward as suggested and may require somewhat of learning from your errors, making things extra frantic in a combat situation. Top tip, though: just holding the trigger down and shaking the gun laterally is normally quicker and far better than moving it along.
The guns each require three AAA batteries and you’ll need a tiny Philips head screwdriver to find yourself in the compartment. Make certain it’s the proper size too, or you run the chance of stripping the screw. In general, a compartment you could slide open and closed could have been easier.
So what’s the verdict?
Laser X is a great, frantic, energetic game filled with atmospheric light and sound files, and boasting impressive range and accuracy because of its £44.99 price (for a couple of two guns).
It works outdoors or in (offering you stay away from grandma’s valuable vase) and for virtually any mixture of ages.
Having the capacity to expand your battles with the addition of extra guns is invaluable – regardless if some will find the shortcoming to carefully turn off that frequent bleeping, well, a switch off.