This new-generation AR Gaming System breaks the mould for traditional gaming equipment. Compatible with most iOS and Android-based smartphones, this gun connects via Bluetooth and lets you shoot virtual baddies in the real world. Download the gaming app, clip your phone into the bracket, activate Bluetooth and start playing!
With a range of games available, and more being added, this rig will never lose its appeal. Available in Dark Grey, Desert Tan and Camo Green designs, this comes with a rechargeable battery pack, a set of 'AAA' batteries for the Bluetooth transceiver, as well as a USB charging cable.
My husband and I are very competitive when it comes to games and as soon as I saw this I knew we could have hours of fun playing with it. I left it for him to set up and as soon as he got home he opened the box with a look of glee. The next thing all I heard is 'its not working' 'it is broken' 'it is a dud' and so on and so on. He had downloaded the app with his phone and there was no indication that it had actually worked so I then suggested my smart phone and again we had the same issue. The following night he came home with his works broken phone and next thing I heard 'yippee' as the sound of gun fire filled the room. There is no lights on the gun to indicate that it is on or that it is operational and also the instructions are very minimal and do not help at all.
The girls and I watched as he ran around in circles and then he asked me did I want a go with Death Shot. The first thing I noticed is my heart rate went up a millions miles per hour and my palms were sweaty. I walked around looking for the bad guys and next minute I saw one and let out a scream. Then there were more and all I can say is I was pumping my finger and shooting them as I ran around in circles screaming each time. I instinctively kept walking backwards and my husband pointed out that there is no sensor besides turning and it does not recognise if you walk backwards, which is a shame. There was a lot of laughter and then a lot of yelling by me whenever the in game character decided to reload as it was always when I was surrounded by the bad guys. Finally I died but my score was 69 where as my husbands was only 43. It turned out it was just the tally of the combos you done not your total kill tally which is a shame as would prefer the total kills final number. Well that set his competitive nature off and I walked away to do something and next minute he was telling me he had 72.
The following night a fellow KIWIreview member listed how to sync it all and so again we tried with the other phones. My husbands worked but it kept freezing, where as mine just refused so we went back to the broken screen. We decided to play some other games and I found Fruit Ninja which we love as a family. The problem was I kept dying and there was nothing on the screen it took me ages to be in the right position to have it show up on my screen. It is not like the Xbox 360 Kinnect and I kept missing and subsequently dying so I ended up giving up. The rest of the games were either unimpressive or rather glitchy. My husband does enjoy Air Craft Wars but we just hope some new games come out soon.
It does have the capacity to load gel balls and after playing around with it some we figured out how to load them by attaching the magazine to the top hole but again there were no instructions so I am not sure how you would know that unless you found be accident like we did. The other issue, if I had not seen on the KIWIreview site is that the battery pack is only for the gel ball shooter and the AAA battery is for the blue tooth.
Where as it is fun in a limited manor, I think - it has the potential to be really cool but it has a long way to reach it. If a sensor light was added the ability to record your moving like with the kinnect and better games it would be awesome. Even the ability to keep a proper score would be a welcome addition but as it stands I think, the kinnect offers a wider variety of choice for us. We have had for a couple of weeks now and we have played half a dozen times. I find my finger is aching by the time we have finished and my arm is rather tired but it is a good laugh and gets your heart beat up.
This gun is very pleasing to the eye and looks awesome but don't let that deceive you of its capabilities.The first thing I went to on this gun was the instructions and I know that this is unbelievable being I am a male and naturally think I know better but I fought of that urge and decided to read them anyway. I was disappointed to see that the manual was very vague and offered little help or information so I resorted to just trying to get it to work on my own terms. I downloaded the required app listed and proceeded to load it up and tried to get my phone to sync with the gun via Bluetooth to just be bombarded with error messages saying that the gun denied pairing. After ten or so minutes of trying different ways, I just loaded up the app to see what would happen and to my surprise, it was working. At least that's what I thought until every time I tried to play the game it wouldn't respond to the gun's trigger. At this stage, I was becoming frustrated and decided to go against my male know it all attitude and seek help through social media.I received advice on the sequence to get it operating correctly and after following this I was away.It was up and running and I was blasting away orcs for the next 10 minutes until it became very repetitive so I tried out the other games and found they suffered the same flaws.
I decided to try out the other feature of the gun which was the firing of gel bullets (pictured).I loaded up the magazine clip through the spring back tab and filled it to the brim, then I lifted the container cover, slid the magazine tab over the filling hole and stocked the gun up with gel bullets. I aimed the gun at my fence and pulled the trigger ready to fire a rainstorm of gel bullets and again was met with disappointment.The gel bullets just exploded as they left the barrel and only one in every ten would fire out clean and whole.I couldn't put my hand on my heart and say this is the gun's fault as it could be the quality of gel bullet so I will need to further investigate this more.
The gun itself is very lightweight and comfortable to hold but I feel that this product has been released too early.It needs a lot of improvement for it to be of value for its one hundred dollar price tag.I hope that the games that will be compatible with this gun are improved in the future.I believe this gun has a lot of potential, but at this point in time is lacking any real substance.The best thing I like about the gun that gave it a more personal feel to me is on the side of the gun it is marked with 886 (pictured) which are the first 3 numbers of my hometown's phone numbers.
Doing the job I do I get to spend a lot of time basically on my own after hours. I work on the road and live out of a small caravan. Often it is just easier for me to camp out on the work site so I end up getting a lot of evenings to myself. I was really happy to be given one of these guns to review because it might provide me with more entertainment than a few books or a small TV with lousy reception. I mainly thought this because it works in small spaces.
So the first week after getting this, I didn't have much time to give it a go, and when I did I was having all sorts of issues. Turns out, I was making assumptions about how it should work. Thinking it was like a pair of bluetooth headphones or a keyboard, I thought I had to pair it using the phone settings. Not correct. Turns out that the app you download handles all that directly, sort of bypassing the phone's internal bluetooth connection. Not sure why that is, or how its a good thing but that is the way of it and who am I to argue. I had to get help from another reviewer to get it working, so I think the gun fails a bit in the 'easy to use' area. Good thing thats not one of the scoring options.
After getting it going, I played a few of the games - some were fun for a while, some were just annoying or silly - but after maybe 6-7 hours I was getting a bit bored with the AR games. Having been told that it also fired gel bullets, I drove into town to buy some. Do you think I could find any? Nope. Talking to the guy at one of the sporting stores, he asked to see the gun and between us we figured out that it would also fire the little plastic BBs pretty well. Really well in fact. He did warn me though that "the cops around here aren't big fans of electric BB guns, so don't do anything stupid with it." I bought a bulk pack of 5000 BBs and headed out the door planning all sorts of insane but fully legal activities.
I was pleased to see these guns were fitted with standard tactical rails, because it meant that I could mount my flashlight onto the gun directly, which meant that an evening of shooting coke cans off the diggers was a lot easier. I also had some paper and cardboard targets set up around the site, plus an invading possum was going to get a fright. Look, I would NEVER shoot an animal for sport, so the possum never came in contact with even a single BB, but popping a dozen or so off the roof of the loader beside him, and throwing a few dozen into the ground behind him as he ran was enough to send him scurrying away, unharmed but well aware that perching on our gear and scratching the paintwork with his claws is not going to be OK any more.
As a virtual gun, this is a bit tame but they say there are more games on the way and the app will update with more over time so there is some hope this side of things will improve, but as an electric BB gun with a magazine that will hold over 300 plastic pellets, for a hundred bucks, it's pretty good actually. I liked that the battery pack was easy to recharge. Any USB port will do the job thanks to the supplied cable. I wasn't pleased that the bluetooth connection used a separate set of batteries that were not rechargable though. That just struck me as a dumb decision.
Also with dumb decisions, I think it would have been simple and smart to have had a 2-position switch on the two battery cables, so you could have them both in the gun, but disable whichever one you were not using. It took me a bit to realise that when I was doing the games on screen, I was also dry-firing the gun which is really not good for it, as the guy from the sporting store told me. Better yet, replacing the power switch with a 3-position switch would be even better. Front is AR, middle is off, back is BBs. If they wanted to be super cool about it, move that to the firing selector switch position instead! Single-fire is AR and full-auto is BBs. That would have been cool.
Would I buy one of these? Possibly. Mostly for the BB gun side of it though. I have gone and bought one of these for my nephew though. He's going to love me at Christmas time, even if his Mum wont thank me for it. hahahaha.
Prepare yourselves for a rather long review. I'll use caps to make it easier to find the different topics to discuss, and for those that want a really concise review, you'll find a tl;dr (too long; didn't read) abridged version at the end of the review.
GUN. The product itself is light-weight, made from ABS plastic, and weighing in at only 1.5kg. Despite the light characteristics of the product, the product feels well made. The joints are strong, and the stock can be adjusted in length (by about 6.5 cm or 2.5 inches) with ease and doesn't feel like a weak point where the gun will break. There is also a removable plastic magazine piece, however, it holds no function beyond aesthetics of the gun. Along the top of the barrel is a piece that you can lift up, which reveals the compartment for water jelly balls or BB pellets could be inserted to be fired out of the gun. At the end of the barrel, atop the gun (above the "magazine") is where the mobile phone bracket is located. The bracket uses an internal spring system to hold the phone in place and has a rubber/vinyl lining to prevent the mobile device from slipping. The bracket stretches to around 9 cm (or 3.5 inches), so if you have a mobile device that happened to be wider than that, you may be out of luck (doesn't currently seem to be an issue with any current large phones, the Samsung Note 8 and S8+ are only 7.48 cm and 7.43 cm wide respectively, and the Apple iPhone 8 plus and iPhone X measuring in at 7.81 cm and 7.09 cm wide respectively). Testing it with both the Samsung S6 and S7, the phones did not wriggle or budge an inch. The only issue being I couldn't have the phone centred as the bracket would push the buttons on the side of the phone, so it would have to sit askew.
BATTERIES. There are two types of batteries involved in the gun; the AAA batteries that power the Bluetooth rig in the device, and the larger rechargeable battery pack that powers the pellet/gel ball firing portion of the gun. As far as using the AR (augmented reality) capabilities of the gun, the larger batteries do not need to be hooked up, as the on/off button located on the base of the grip of the gun does activate both battery sets. Personally, I didn't hook up the larger battery set, but as the AAA batteries had a tendency to rattle when I moved the gun, I still left all batteries in the gun. The batteries are located in the forend of the gun, and do fit in perfectly if you position them correctly; putting the AAA's in first, followed by the rechargeable set, with all wires kept to the side slot. In my case, the AAA batteries didn't seem to be working correctly, so I had to replace them immediately.
CONNECTING BLUETOOTH. The first real challenge with the product after downloading the app, was getting the gun and my phone to connect via Bluetooth. After several hours of attempting, I ended up having to contact the Idiya facebook page for help, and they provided a pretty straightforward step-by-step method to connect it up. I don't know why the sequence needs to be followed, but on several occasions where the phone has failed to connect to the gun (generally providing an "AR gun rejected pairing" error), the process had helped reconnect. The sequence is as follows:
1. Remove the AAA batteries
2. Make sure the app is closed on the phone
3. Put the AAA batteries back in
4. Turn on the Bluetooth on the phone (no need to try to connect to anything. Just turn the Bluetooth on)
5. Switch the AR gun on
6. After 5-10 seconds, open the app
7. When the Bluetooth symbol pops up on screen squeeze the trigger a couple of times
All going well, after that you should be connected
INSTRUCTIONS. One of the reasons why I am going into step-by-step detail is because the product is severely lacking in instructions. It tells you very basically where to put the batteries and magazine, and tells you to "download the app" and "shoot the screen to connect". Otherwise, you are left to figure it out yourself. There are no troubleshooting or FAQ booklets, or info online. You either need to try to do your own research, figure it out yourself through trial and error or do the most hated act of all...contact the customer service (by no means am I saying their customer service is poor, I just really hate having to talk to people). When you get everything connected, the games have just as much information and instructions, which is rather frustrating.
GAMES. There are currently 8 games on the app ready to play. "Aircraft Wars" gives you a level select screen and that's all the info you get. You can only pick a level once you have completed the previous levels to unlock it. The game simply consists of shooting down helicopters and other aircraft against the backdrop of whatever room you are in. With the amount of movement and things in the background of my rooms, the game is much more straightforward in either an empty room, outside on a clear day, or best results in a dark room. A reasonably easy game that has you searching 360 degrees up and down for aircraft.
"Genetic" looks like an interesting game. A zombie survival game but I was unable to figure out how to move, so all I could do was stand in one spot and fire bullets at nothing. It was at this point that the novelty was starting to wear off.
"Deathshot" was a very simple game but probably one of the more difficult ones. I again don't know whether moving is an option in this game as I never moved, but being attacked from all sides by a non-flying enemy meant I was just slowly spinning around in circles. I don't know whether it was because I lost, but every time I was getting attacked by several enemies at once, the app would crash. So whether there are other levels, or whether it is just one continuous survival game shooting in one spot, I can't tell you.
The rest of the games were more "fun" games that made use of the motion control to move and direct objects. The speed at which the games run gives very little opportunity to get used to the sensitivity of the gun, and as such, these latter games are often much shorter as you lose that much faster. I should mention that in shooting games I am generally a shotgun-wielder, not a sniper or marksman, so I am naturally going to do badly at anything that requires precision.
The games on a whole are glitchy and have no long-term appeal. They need an effective level system, difficulty settings, or simply tutorial sessions to provide an opportunity to practise and learn the game before being thrust into the thick of it. Personally, after 10 minutes of each game, I was bored of them. There were no achievements, no progress, minimal levels, nothing to unlock; in other words, no reason to continue playing.
TL;DR It can be difficult to set up, and once set up, it has a limited shelf-life with both quantity and quality of games lacking. For $100 I could get a console game that would keep me busy for hours on end. The battery-powered pellet/gel ball shooter is likely the highest value component of the product.
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Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)