Tuesday, September 05, 2017

RECOIL: THE WORLD IS NOW (available at Target and other retailers!) Game

Nerdist/Geek & Sundry just did such a great job with an overview:

Sponsored content brought to you by Recoil!


RECOIL: The World is Now Game - a new and really intriguing take on Augmented Reality, mixing it with laser tag, implementing perks/power ups from video games, a heads up display (HUD), mobile gaming, scorekeeping, a life bar, and just a whole lot of features other systems have tried before and didn't excel in. Recoil though, is a little different!

I haven't tried the game play yet (that's coming in a future installment, the game doesn't have a single player feature and I need to wrangle some willing victims) so let's talk about what each kit in the line comes with. For now that entails the Starter Kit with Game/Wi-Fi Hub, The Recoil RK-45 Spitfire, the Recoil SR-12 Rogue, and the Recoil Frag Grenade.

FIRST - The Starter Kit.


RECOIL Multiplayer Starter Set
·       Real-time player tracking up to 16 players
·       Location based gameplay powered by GPS
·       3D positional audio for ultimate battle awareness
·       Real time voice chat between players
·       Unique gameplay modes for outdoor & indoor play
·       Add-on mobile players
·       Location-based pick-ups and virtual weapons
·       Height: 7.75” Length: 11” Width: 1.7”  
·       Ages 12+, SRP $129.99
Requires 12 AA batteries (4 for the Spitfire x 2, 4 for the wi-fi hub)

The largest investment you're going to have in the system, both in cash and batteries. BUT, the wi-fi hub has a range of 250 feet in any direction (500 both ways!), and a whole new Augmented Reality system to play. The game involves air strikes, land mines, actual respawn points and bases via the app, which leaves a whole slew of new avenues to raise your laser tag game. You get a lot of bang for your buck in experience, not to say about the robust build of the toy blasters themselves. Batteries are not included with any Recoil game kit and this requires 12, so rechargeable batteries could be a good idea.

The Game Hub is a neat piece of technology. You fire it up and use your mobile device to connect to the wi-fi signal generated by the hub (no internet, obviously. It's just enough to allow the mobile phones to run the app and interact.) A hub can support up to 16 people to play at one time and generates the game, maps, etc. to get set up and play. One tip Skyrocket offers is that you hit airplane mode on your device first, THEN activate wi-fi (and connect to the obvious Recoil network), followed by bluetooth and location services. That will make connecting to just the hub and blaster units easier as it eliminates any rival device signals. 16 people only! Stacking Game Hubs does not equal a larger field (but man, that would be cool.)

The Recoil App is free to download (and you don't need the blasters to play, you can just connect to the hub and game with your phone if you are the odd person out from the starter kit) and you can still play in the game.  Setting out mines is an option as is supplying teammates with ammo. Skyrocket really made sure to make the game highly inclusive if you just get the starter pack.

The app uses GPS signals (at least for outdoor play; at the time of this article an inside version of the skirmish game had not been released yet but was in the works) that show up mapped during gameplay on the app. From there players can locate each other, bases, see the results of damage from airstrikes, grenades, see the time left in a round, scoreboard, and life bars. The game also comes with scannable AR tags that you can use during gameplay for powerups. This will all be displayed in an upcoming gameplay video ;) The following are some screencaps from the app itself. It's really interesting to see just how much you actually have to offer once you get a game going.

Max game settings - they weren't playing that long


Find your respawn.

To my knowledge you can't expand a game past 16 people and I am not sure how well this would operate from an elevated position (say in a park with some staircases or on a jungle gym) but I am still very taken with the promises this toy line is making, and just from the little testing I've done outside of a full game there is a lot of good stuff here to take away after that initial buy. There's just so much you can do that relies on the "honor system" anywhere else. Another note, it looks like you can only connect one bluetooth blaster to your phone at a time, so no complicated loadouts. With the easy reloading though, that makes sense to not have to carry a primary and sidearm, I think.

Another feature is the environmental sound of the game; as gunfire sounds off around you in-game, you hear it directionally through your head phones based on your position vs the position of other players. It's recommended you wear headphones when playing in order to achieve the full surround sound effect. Also, the push to talk buttons make sure that when you tag/get tagged, you can communicate your enthusiasm or lack thereof to your victims/enemies. Also, makes sure you know who to get revenge on later.

Then comes your pistol - 
Recoil RK-45 Spitfire

RECOIL RK-45 Spitfire
·       Compact, versatile and effective in all battle types
·       Fully automatic with quick ammo reload
·       Push-to-talk button for real-time player chat
·       Dynamic force feedback
·       High-powered IR transmitters
·       Manual reload mechanism
·       Camera mount
·       BLE enabled for smart phone connection
·       Body-mounted sensor for full coverage
·       Includes: Direct Bluetooth connect and downloadable mobile game app
                 Ages 12+, SRP $49.99 

What's really cool about the Recoil blaster units is not the bluetooth connectivity to your mobile device, or interfacing with the game, but the tactile feedback from the tagger units! I didn't realize this when I first learned about the Recoil game, but the blasters flash red and make firing noises like some old school toys I had that did the same thing. That right there can be a lot of fun, but given the price you do need a little more, which Recoil definitely promises and delivers. ;)

The Spitfire requires 4 AA batteries, has a push to talk button on the back of the blaster, and three hit sensors on three different sections of the front of the blaster. A fourth sensor is plugged into the bottom handle and placed in your back pocked or the back of your shirt collar in order to set you up to be shot from behind. Less scrupulous individuals need not apply that won't use the 4th sensor. Still though, it's a very solid toy, good plastic and has some heft. The futuristic styling is cool and reminiscent to me of some video games. The phone mount is on the side, so it doesn't obstruct my natural tendency to aim down the sight of a blaster. As far as intro weapons go, this is a winner on aesthetics and feel. 

A little bit louder now with a rifle (higher ranges than the Spitfire supposedly, requires further testing)!

Recoil SR-12 Rogue

Battery compartment

RECOIL SR-12 Rogue
·       High fire-rate, magazine capacity and damage output
·       Fully automatic with quick ammo reload
·       Push-to-talk button for real-time player chat
·       Dynamic Force Feedback
·       Improved rate of fire and range
·       High-powered IR transmitters
·       Manual reload mechanism
·       Camera mount
·       BLE enabled for smart phone connection
·       Body-mounted sensor for full coverage
·       Includes: Direct Bluetooth connect and downloadable mobile game app
·       Height: 9” Length: 26.875” Width: 3” 
·       Ages 12+, SRP $79.99

For a few dollars more, you get a higher ammo capacity and range in the Recoil SR-12 Rogue, moreso than you get out of the Spitfire. No mods to do here either, what you see is what you get. It requires 6 AA batteries as opposed to the 4 the Spitfire demands, but you get the added boosts as well. The Rogue feels solidly built as well, and features a phone mount spot on both sides of the blaster (depending on your dominant hand). More of the same with three hit sensors and a wearable fourth, good weight distribution, and sleek look. The tactical rails make me wonder if any future plans are in motion but that's a post for another day. If I had any nitpicks (and this is a minor one) it's that the push to talk button is only on one side of the blaster. But even with that, the button is easily reached with whatever hand is not on the trigger. Given the added firepower you get from the Rogue that's definitely not a deal breaker.

And now, A GRENADE. Again, similar technology in past products from other companies but this syncs up with your weapon as well in order to give you credit for your kills! 

Frag Grenade

I appreciate the detail at having a little clip to attach.

RECOIL Frag Grenade
·       An explosive addition to your arsenal
·       High damage output
·       Large blast radius
·       Simple 1 button design
·       Time-delay explosion
·       Includes: (1) Frag Grenade
·       Height: 3.7” Length: 2.6” Width: 2.6” 
·       Ages 12+, SRP $14.99

The Recoil Frag Grenade is pretty cool because it has a couple of ways it works- you can sync it up with your blaster  to identify to anyone you used it if it took them out or give it a quick prime and throw for anonymous damage. The housing has some rubber on it to cushion it from impact, but definitely don't throw it directly at someone, it's still a hunk of plastic and electronics! This toy provides a radius of damage to opposing Recoil players, there's no need to hit someone directly with it. Just need to lob it in the general area and let the timer do the rest. I don't know how well the frag grenade takes impact against grass or hard surface from a high height or concrete but it definitely feels and looks like it can take a beating. It's a very good mechanic that has been missing in a lot of blaster games, and this just might be one of the better ways to implement a splash damage mechanic, one I am really looking forward to exhaustively experiment.

And that's the Recoil line for now! It's a really exciting line, and I can't wait to see what they might have planned for the future. There's a lot to do between up to 16 people and with Recoil The World is Game for as long as people want to make their backyards, parks, parking lots, garages, and offices (in the future) into competition areas. Available now, The World is Now Game. Make sure to try this out and see what the future of laser tag holds!

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