Technology makes a big difference to how families can play games together. Breakthrough moments with the Wii Remote controls, Kinect and PlayStation Move have fundamentally changed how we play.
A new game from Disney has just been announced that uses your Smartphone slotted into a special headset to create an Augmented Reality experience. Unlike VR where all you see on the screen is the virtual world, AR combines the virtual and the real.
The Jedi Challenges experience comes with a physical Lightsaber that in the visor looks like it extends and glows. The game can then use this to get you to battle virtual characters that pop-up in your living room. It’s an experience I had the chance to try out with the family and we were surprisingly impressed.
But it wasn’t just the technology that won us over it was that we didn’t really need to worry about what the tech was doing and could simply get on and play the game. It also worked for a range of ages. All our kids took turns playing and me and my wife also had a go.
The straps on the visor adjust to ensure a snug fit and the kit was able to accurately orient itself in the room so that the augmented aspects of the game were believable. The game will be available later this year. It will offer three different modes:
Lightsaber Battles -With their very own lightsaber, fans can train against legendary dark side villains like Kylo Ren and Darth Vader.
Strategic Combat – Players marshal the forces of the Republic, Rebel Alliance, and Resistance against the might of the Separatists, Empire, and First Order in epic battles across their living room floors. Players can hone their skills in strategy and tactics as they engage in battles.
Holochess – Perhaps one of the most iconic board games brought to film, Holochess first leapt into moviegoer hearts when it was played on the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars™: Episode IV – A New Hope™. It has now been brought to life in Jedi Challenges. Fans can direct their holographic alien pieces across the board, wrestling for territory and control.
Already it looks like a great way to get the family to play together.