Nerf Laser Ops is more than just a typical laser tag game, it’s an entire system that encompasses competitive play, team play and solo play in a sophisticated and engaging experience. The centerpiece of the system are the blasters. The blasters work on infrared, and one of the key elements of the play is that opponents are trying to tag the blasters rather than each other.
The Alphapoint blaster, like all Nerf blasters, is excellently designed and well balanced for active play. Each blaster takes 4 AA batteries. After you’ve installed them, turn on the power, select indoor or outdoor play, and you’re ready to go. (The indoor/outdoor feature makes the most of the infrared beam that powers the competition.)
Choose the mode in which you want to play by hitting the reload button on the bottom of the blaster handle to cycle through your options. You’ll see the color in the indicator on the top of the blaster. Purple is free-for-all, or you can choose to play as the red team or the blue team. This is great for multiple players. Once you’ve selected your play mode, pull the trigger to start the game. Then, get moving. The blaster fires an infrared (IR) beam, and it’s got great distance and accuracy. As noted, it’s designed for indoor or outdoor play, and while many IR toys don’t work well outdoors, we found this one to be very satisfactory.
Since you’re tagging the blaster, rather than other players, you have to be quick and strategic. Your goal is to hit the red receiver dome on the top of your opponent’s blaster, and you’ll see it light up when you score a hit. You’ll be able to see your health and ammo levels from the indicator on the back of the blaster. When you’re out of ammo or health, hit the reload button to set yourself up again. You’ll be able to see the health and ammo levels in the screen on the top of the blaster. If you run out of either, hit the reload button to reset.
If you want to significantly expand your play–and why wouldn’t you?–download the free Laser Pro app that works with select iOS and Android devices. When you open the app, you can connect your blaster to it by bluetooth. You’ll name your blaster from the pre-selected list. There’s a lot going on here, too, and the app introduces a feature we’ve never seen in laser tag before–solo play.
Attach your phone to the blaster with the solo attachment and the armband, and start it up. The solo game uses augmented reality, so your goal is to take out attacking drones on increasingly difficult levels right in your living room, or wherever you’re playing. As you reach higher levels in the game, you unlock more features in your basic blaster.
For team play, choose the multiplayer option. You can pull together as many as 64 players in one game lobby, identify teams and choose the length of the game. And, not all players need to have a smart device in order to play. For those who do, put the armband on the opposite arm than where you’re holding the blaster, and you’re ready to go.
This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the level of fun and engagement this system delivers, but this is a rich laser tag experience that delivers a great play experience powered by elegant technology and an excellent value.
Fans of laser tag will be very excited to get their hands on these blasters. The combination of great technology and outstanding gameplay make this the best home laser tag system we’ve seen yet. The blasters are great on their own, and the addition of all the bells and whistles (and beeps and buzzes) in the app add dimension to the competition.
We particularly like the app feature that leaves players disabled after they’ve been hit a number of times, and the ability to set the length of games. Plus, you won’t get any arguments about who was hit or not; the app knows everything.
The solo play element is ingenious. The game is fun, and it allows you to upgrade your blaster, giving kids a reason to play, even if they can’t get other players at any given time.
Nerf Laser Ops Pro is intended for kids ages 8 years and up.
We think that it will appeal to any laser tag fan who is looking for an outstanding play experience. We can definitely see this appealing to older kids, college students and even adults.
In play testing, parents were happy that the play requires kids to tag the blasters not each other.
The armband can be a little awkward to put on, you may need help from a friend, but once attached, it’s very stable. As always, there’s an element of risk when you use a device in active play, but this one works very well. The silicone-like construction is stretchy secure and comfortable. It fits a wide variety of devices. When you put your device in, be careful of where the straps hit the buttons, and make sure that it’s tightly connected before playing. There is always an element of risk involved when playing with a device in this way. We were able to attach our phones with the protective covers on. The app works with select Android devices and iPhone 6 or later.