Thursday 22 December 2011

Light Strike review

I think you can tell by the look on Sophie's face, she actually felt a bit intimidated holding this enormous gun ! I reassured her, explaining that it wasn't a real gun or one like the boys next door have (an air pistol that fires out really hard little pellets), this is a special laser gun that couldn't hurt you. This didn't really have the reassuring effect that I hoped because she piped up with "oh, like a Tazer ?" !! Ermm no, not quite like that either !

As you can tell, 10-year-old Sophie is not from the laser-gun generation ! When I was a teen, I remember the amazing excitement when a Laserquest centre opened up in Hastings, followed by Qasar, where people could run around, shooting at each other with laser guns in sci-fi type labyrithine warehouses. The whole Light Strike concept immediately made me think of that but for the modern day kid who has been born into the cyber generation, it promises to "bring video games into the real world, live and in colour".

For the basic weapon, you can choose between a Light Strike Striker or Light Strike Assault Striker. Now, although I have a 2-year-old son, I've been more used to playing with Barbies and Hama beads with the girls for the past ten years so I admit that a lot of this goes over my head, therefore I'll just copy and paste the official blurb for you ! For the Assault Striker, costing £39.99, : "Seriously awesome, exquisitely detailed humanoid, alien or robotic strikers with “Touch Tech” activation ; Features fingerprint ID, choice of weapon style, health bar, ammo load, 30 second shield function and instant reload for fast-paced action ; Practice blast skills with included light-up and sound FX Target ; Ultimate battle games with unlimited players in up to 4 teams, each with their own colour ID used to blast opponents". For the regular Striker, costing £29.99, : "Three cool Strikers, team selection, weapon choice, essential health meter and instant ammo reload to keep you in the middle of the fun ; Conquer individual challenges with the light up target or create the ultimate Light Strike team battle with friends."

As well as the huge rather intimidating/impressive (depending on your point of view !) guns, you can also buy a range of very hi-tech sounding add-ons to customise your Light Strike Assault Striker. There's a Scope, Enemy Scanner, Rapid Fire System and Refractor Launch System. I can just see grown men rubbing their hands with glee and phoning round to organise a boys' weekend comparing their latest buys !

The final item that we discovered was the Light Strike Intelligent Targeting System (ITS), designed for the ultimate Light Strike gaming experience because it allows you to create team battles. You can blast the ITS to store your colour and defend it from your enemies and choose the mode - medic mode will boost your health, sentry mode will detect and blast enemies and bomb mode will blast your nearby enemies. It costs £24.99 which is quite expensive for an add-on but this does sound like an integral part of the kit if you really want to play properly.

The Light Strike toys are marketed for age 8+ but, given the price and the rather adult nature of the gameplay, I would actually see these as more oriented towards grown-ups or at least teens. Those who are used to playing strategic shooting games on computers and consoles will love the possibilities that this equipment opens up in the real world, but for the moment, the Madhouse kids found them all a bit daunting, to be honest ! If you have a son or husband (or, let's not be sexist, daughter or wife) who spends far too much time sitting inside playing video games, this would be a great way of getting them outside and back into the real world. It is expensivence you add up all the individual items - this little lot would have set us back about £150 - but once you've bought the whole kit, you can have hours and hours of fun with them, especially if you get together to create a team who play regularly at weekends or after work.

star rating : 4.5/5 (not for us but definitely fun for adults and teens)

RRP : £29.99 for a Striker, £39.99 for an Assault Striker, £9.99-£12.99 for the add-ons, £24.99 for the ITS

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