Today we’re having a look at a gun. Now, before you call the police, this is a toy gun. I’ve actually got one of these for my 9-year-old nephew and he loved it, so I figured it was worth a review.
We all know that kids love iPhones, iPods, iPads and smartphones. The people at AppToyz have realised this and have built a range of toys which interact with your device and let you use it in a variety of new ways. There’s a toy to help you fish, one to help you sing karaoke and even one to help you fly a helicopter. There’s even more on their site but today we’re looking at this – the appBlaster. It costs £24.99 and … well, let their promotional video give you an idea on what this does…
The appBlaster works with iPhones, iPods and most Android phones (I couldn’t quite get the Samsung Galaxy Note into the cradle on the top). To start you simply take the gun and the cradle out of the box. Putting your phone or media device into the cradle is easy enough – just slide it in, line up the device and the soft padding inside the cradle will cushion the device. You then slide the top of the cradle down and use the locking button on the back to click it into place. Once you’ve done that it really does hold the device tightly and securely – there’s no chance of it flying out.
The cradle itself connects to the gun and there’s two triggers to pull. These move two small buttons which tap the screen on the device. You then download an AppToyz game, like Alien Attack. This one is free, but you may find that other apps like Tin Can Alley are paid for, and there’s a few other paid-for apps if you’ve got an iPhone or iPod.
So, getting down to the brass tacks. Once the app is loaded you have to shoot the aliens (in Alien Attack at least) that slide across your camera viewfinder. It’s basically augmented reality – there’s a “radar” which tells you which direction the aliens are coming from. You then run around the house / garden like a mad-man going “PEOW! PEOW!! TAKE THAT ALIEN SCUM!!!”
Well, I did…
As you move the gun around the g-sensors and in-built compass kick in. They figure out which way you’re moving the phone and those aliens become real – as you move the gun they stay in the air, just as if they were really in front of you.
I’ve filmed, and I must apologise in advance (I had serious man-flu) a video showing you this in action…
Overall, I was already pretty impressed, but what impressed me more is how much a 9-year-old liked it. If you know someone who’s hooked onto an Xbox or iPod all day long, get them one of these. They’ll at least be running around the house rather than slumped on the sofa. I was impressed with the build quality, the simplicity and how well it held the phone. It really stood up well to my … err.. I mean, my nephew and running around the house shooting aliens.
Link – AppToyz v2