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Now reading: Hands-on Review of the Recoil Multiplayer Augmented Reality Starter Set
Recoil has taken laser tag to the next level! Imagine traditional laser quest plus 3d positional audio and an augmented reality battlefield to enable crate drops, airstrikes, health pick ups and a live radar.
Thanks to the free Recoil Game companion app (available in the Play Store and App Store), which worked great on both iOS and android devices, you can transform any setting into a virtual battlefield. Using the phones built in GPS, the app can dynamically map the game into your environment, showing you where your opponents are, spawn crate drops, ammo drops, health pick ups and more.
You can either engage in Skirmish and get as many kills as possible or play Capture the Flag by getting taking your flag from the enemies base back to your camp without getting killed.
Using either the compass or radar display, you can navigate your way to nearby crate drops. Once collected, your phone will reveal what you've acquired and they will be added to your inventory. You can expect everything from lethal rounds, to body armour, to landmines that you can discretely deploy and targeted airstrikes or radiation attacks that give your opponent only a few seconds warning to escape.
Although not mandatory, using headphones is highly recommended for a more immersive experience. With two audio channels, you are given a surround sound experience, allowing you to determine what side the fire is coming from, even if you haven't seen your opponent yet.
Note: I tried to use wireless headphones but was unsuccessful as the phone uses bluetooth to communicate with the gun and could not connect to my headphones at the same time.
The RK-45 Spitfire makes for a great, light-weight and compact pistol style weapon. With self illuminated sights to help with accuracy and haptic feedback in the form of recoil (that actually has a good kick to it!), firing a shot on a laser gun has never felt more real. Reload with the tap of a button on the bottom of the clip and request cover from your team as you do it using the voice chat button on the back of the gun.
You can also purchase grenades and the SR-12 Rogue Recoil Weapon to add more firepower and grow the size of your teams. You can have up to 16 people playing in any one game!
Just like traditional laser tag, the weapons fire infrared beams that you have to land on an opponents target to cause lower your opponents health. With the help of the sights I found the accuracy to be pretty good. From about 5 meters away, the accuracy of the blaster was about 20cm then at 30 meters it was still had a tolerance of around 50cm.
The smartphone cradle can be mounted to either side of the gun depending on if you are left or right handed. The cradle uses a screw clamp design to tighten the grip on your phone. The screw used is rather fine which means you have to turn the screw quite a lot for it to cover much distance. Having said that, it does grip the phone incredible well and I had no worry about it falling out when running around and jumping off and over things.
On the underside of the RK-45 Spitfire is the classic 3 prong GoPro mount to allow easy attachment of your action camera to capture every second your combat experience.
Using the voice chat button on the back of the RK-15 you can communicate with your team mates to launch attacks or trash talk your opponents, wherever they are on the map.
The Wifi Game Hub is the facilitator or this new revolution of laser quest. By creating a WiFi hotspot, each players phone can connect to it to relay all the real time data needed to create a seamless battle experience.
It claims a range of 250ft (line of sight with minimal wifi interference). In our testing we were able to get around 200ft before getting an 'out of range' notification. We were still very happy with this as we had the hub placed in the centre of our battlefield, giving us approximately 400ft edge to edge.
Don't have a gun but still want to be involved? Although you can't battle, you can enter into spectator mode using the Recoil Game app. We didn't have a spare smartphone but were pleasantly surprised when we found the app is also available for iPad for larger screen viewing.
Raining outside or just don't fancy leaving the house? Try out Indoor mode! Even without GPS, you can have a game of Skirmish to see who can land the most amount of kills within a time limit or first to reach a set kill count.
A lot of the features in this game are reliant on GPS so, when playing indoors there are a few limitations:
That aside, there's still plenty of fun to be had! Like with outside, pop the wifi hub in the middle of your house, and you're good to go. Despite having multiple walls between the gun and the hub at times, we didn't have any issues with connection at all.
You can buy the Recoil Starter Set on our web store today and have it delivered by tomorrow! We'll soon be taking stock of the SR-12 Rogue guns and the Recoil Grenades as well so you can begin to expand your armoury.