1 December 2011

Great fun for all the family! Light Strike Interactive Battle Game Review

Last month I was contacted last month by a PR for WowWee toys asking for bloggers to review their new Light Strike Interactive Battle Game - a laser quest type game you can play at home.

I jumped at the chance - the Curly one loves gaming, as do her Dad and her brother, and with the move to our new house imminent, it seemed like the perfect toy to get everyone off their computers and outside to enjoy the space in our new garden.

We tested the following kit:
First impressions:
The boxes arrived looking really exciting. Although the packaging is clearly aimed at teen/tween boys, none of us were put off by it, and it clearly appealed to all the kids, who couldn't get the boxes opened fast enough. As our brood ranges from age 2 to age 18, that's pretty impressive in itself.

On opening, we were a little underwhelmed, as the stickers on the guns and attachments didn't live up to our expectations, making the toys look a bit cheap, despite good build quality.

Happiness was restored when we discovered that every "button" on the stickers actually worked - with ID scanners, rapid fire, shields, team and weapons selects to investigate, who cared about the stickers?

Playing the game:
What can I say? It's brilliant! It's very versatile, allowing you to play individual challenges, fight battles one on one or play as teams for a full laser quest experience.

We all had a go with the guns, playing against each other. Small one (2) loved the flashing lights and funny noises, and Curly (11), Lumpy (18) and the rest of the assembled family friends loved just about everything - the strategy, the targetting, the action, the general silliness, especially playing in the dark, where the game really comes into its own.

The older boys even borrowed it for a quick late night game in the local park. They came back grinning inanely, and assure me that the range is "awesome" (at least 150m).

What did we like?
  • This is a toy that works for all ages and a game that the whole family can get involved in even if, like me and the small one, you don't entirely get all the functions and strategy.
  • It's perfect for persuading diehard gamers into leaving the house and getting some fresh air and exercise!
  • It is equally playable indoors and out, as long as you have plenty of places to shelter and regroup.
  • While it does involve weapons, the emphasis is on strategy, stealth and targetting, so it doesn't feel inappropriate for younger children.
  • There are no projectiles or small parts to fall off so it's soething that older kids can play without risk to younger members of the family.
  • The guns are great in the dark and low light, with lights and sounds taking over from stickers to make them look really cool.
  • Although there's a lot to learn if you want to play seriously, you don't need to learn it all at once (or at all) to enjoy playing.
What didn't we like?
  • There did feel like there were a lot of batteries involved when we were getting set up. Having said that, the battery life seems to be good and we haven't had to replace any yet, so not as bad as we feared.
  • The stickers - it's a minor point, and the game is clearly meant to be played in low light, but they really could be better. It's the only thing that lets a fab toy down.
The final verdict:
This would make a great individual gift for kids aged 8+, teens or adults who haven't grown up yet (us), but I would really recommend it as a family gift. I can't tell you how much fun we have got out of these, and unlike console games, which get completed and discarded, Light Strike is going to be a favourite with our kids for years.

If you do have tweens or teens, I have to caution you that you may temporarily end up with more in the house than you thought you owned. On the bright side, other peoples teenagers appear to happily wash up, clean and move boxes on request - result!

Basically, if you've got an excuse to buy one, do - there is nothing nicer than hearing kids (and adults) giggling helplessly in the garden as they zap each other with pretty coloured lights and bicker over who gets to use the rapid fire system...

Disclosure: I did not get paid for this post but I did receive a product sample to test and keep. I follow the Britmums Blogging with Integrity Guidelines – I always write honest and truthful reviews and disclose any perks I receive!

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