Southern Brisbane Nerf Club

Monday, 26 August 2013

REVIEW: Nerf Blaster Challenge App

Aahh the mobile mini game. Video games for people that don't like or understand video games. I would consider myself a gamer, but nowhere near has hardcore as others. And with just about every company that ever existed releasing apps or mobile games of some sort, I thought I'd take the time to have a look at one of Hasbro's offerings, Nerf Blaster Challenge.

This is an augmented reality FPS (first person shooter) game of sorts. Once you've selected your blaster and start playing, we see a HUD (head up display) and a 3D rendered model of your selected blaster over-layed a live camera feed. There are different coloured HUDs and the colour of the HUD depends on which line the selected blaster belongs to, N-Strike - yellow, Elite - blue and Vortex - green. The 3D models of the blasters are not the like of which you'll see (quality wise) in Call of Duty or Medal of Honour. If I had to compare the quality of the 3D models to any game it would be Quake 3 for PC. There is an ammo metre on the right, a radar on the bottom left and a pause button in the top right.

N-Strike Blasters...

Elite Blasters...

Vortex Blasters...

The main menu is as basic as it gets...

PLAY = play the game (duh!)
SEE THE BLASTERS = basically advertising material for the blasters featured in the game
SCAN FOR MORE = some of the games features are locked and can only be unlocked by scanning the barcode from a blaster's box
OPTIONS = adjust the volume of the SFX and BGM (you'll want the BGM off, trust me on this)

After you hit play you get this menu...

Now onto gameplay. It's simple enough, tap the on screen "fire" button to shoot, "pause" to pause and bring up the pause menu and tap the ammo meter (on the right) to reload. The game is fairly good at maintaining the virtual position of the targets as you move around. But, something is up with the colour mapping, have a look at this screen shot from "Scan" feature...

as you can see the blue of my headphones is offset to the headphones themselves. This is for all colours, not just the blues. This is the reason I've not shown you screen shots until now.

This is a fun time filler. But you won't find me playing on the bus or train for a couple of reasons:
1. moving the iPod/iPhone around in a manner that looks like you're taking photos of walls, floors, ceilings and random people on the train will make you look strange
2. all of my devices run Android and this app was made by people who think the world runs on iOS... fail

The only place you could play this game (and not get committed to an asylum) is at home, where your PC or console of choice would be. So, why would you play this, when proper FPSs are just an on button away?

~ Rob

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