REVIEW - Star Wars: Jedi Challenges. Multiplayer Option Is A Blast.

Star Wars: Jedi Challenges

Can Star Wars: Jedi Challenges Make You Feel Like A Jedi?

Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is a neat all in one AR (Augmented Reality) package for your phone that will put you in the Star Wars universe right from the comfort of your living room.  The New Multiplayer Option Allows Jedi battles between loved ones.

What's in the box?
Star Wars: Jedi Challenges has landed on my doorstep and I couldn't wait to get my hands on this exciting bit of tech.  I'm a sucker for things that come in good packaging and straight away Star Wars: Jedi Challenges gets top marks.  All the kit is neatly packaged in one box with a pleasing feel to the whole thing.  It projects quality.  A good start.

Star Wars: Jedi Challenges box
That box was satisfying to open

In the box you get a decent mock up of a nice shiny lightsaber.  It's a little on the light side (weight not Force.)  Out of the box it was three quarters charged which was convenient because you soon realise there are three things you need to charge.

The shiny lightsaber
The shiny lightsaber
The headset is the other main item and of course this is one of the three things you need to charge.  As headsets go, its not bad at all.  Robust and easily adjustable.  The front is where you put your mobile phone (the third item you need to charge) and although this at first can be a little daunting, I found that once I had the app up and running, it was there to assist me step by step with handy diagrams.  More on that later.

The headset is good quality

The other main item in the box is the tracking beacon which you place on the floor.  This little ball of light is powered by two AA batteries so no charging for this little device.

Other items in the box are the necessary charging cables which will see most phones covered.  There is also a mains plug and instructions.

The other items in the box

Setting it up
I was eager to get going.  I knew this bundle of joy was on the way so let me give you a tip.  If you order this, download the app in advance.  It's 700mb and I had to delete a few things off my phone first to get the app to download.  Since I had done this already I was ready to start setting up the hardware and acting like a Jedi.  Powering up the app and it takes you to pairing the device.  That was easy enough.  A press of a button on the lightsaber and done.

Then the most complicated part (for me) was getting the phone in the casing that slides into the headset.  I do recommend taking your time at this point.  I was eager to play but the step by step guide on screen was definitely there for a reason.  As Yoda teaches us "PATIENCE YOU MUST HAVE my young padawan."  Believe me, once you do this part once it will be second nature but the first time is a little daunting.  The diagrams on the screen helped.  Once inside the headset you adjust the screen into position.  I was using a Motorola G5 by the way.  It did fit but was slightly off centre even after using the sliders to adjust the screen in the casing.  The actual list of phones this is compatible with is below but keep checking the official site as they are adding new models all the time:

iPhone® X, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S7, Google Pixel XL, Google Pixel, Moto Z² Force Edition, LG G6

Lets Play
Lightsaber on, app running and headset on my head.  I was ready to go.  The first thing you see is a character standing in the middle of your room.  Don't forget this is augmented reality not virtual reality so your surroundings will always be in view.  There was a woman in Jedi robes standing in my dining room.  My first words were "This is so cool."  That screen slightly off centre didn't seem to distract from the experience.

The Archivist is your guide and teaches you how to hold your lightsaber.  We first head to Naboo to have a tutorial.  Waves of droids are cannon fodder as you dodge their blasters and slice them into little pieces.  It really is entertaining and you do feel like you are an all powerful Jedi.  The reality is like a hologram in front of you.  You are aware that you are standing in your room but with another level of reality thrown in.  Darth Maul is your ultimate goal on this level.  Time to slice him in half...Again.

I'm a kid again...Also a Jedi

There are other games included, you can play Holochess in your living room and you can actually walk around the table.  There's also a well executed Star Wars tower defence game.  Updates are happening on a regular basis.  Lenovo, I can tell are really behind this product.  A recent update saw content from The Last Jedi including those lovable characters, Porgs.  Yes, you can have live Porgs in your living room.  That's got to be worth the asking price alone.

Multiplayer
Backing up my claim that Lenovo love this product, one important update that has hit Star Wars: Jedi Challenges just this week is the the much demanded multiplayer option.  Yes, this means that if you have two of the devices then you can play against another player and recreate iconic scenes such as the lightsaber battle between Ben Kenobi and Darth Vader.  That is exactly what myself and my wife did in the comfort of our dining room.

The equipment you will need for multiplayer
I was slightly daunted by the idea of setting up two of these devices and getting them to communicate to one another but it was easy.  I was seriously impressed by the software guiding you through each step.  Your two phones need to be on the same WiFi otherwise they won't talk to each other.  We had to place both tracking beacons on the floor, about three feet apart from one another and to make sure that they're not the same colour (There is a switch that changes the colour from purple to blue.)

Dueling in our dining room was so much fun

Once we put our phones in our headsets, we were ready to go.  It was that simple.  The apps on our phones were detecting that we were both in the room with our lightsabers on and as I swung my lightsaber my wife's display would suggest a move accordingly such as a block.

Watch the video below to see how bad my Jedi skills are.  They are shockingly bad.  Also, my wife and I have a duel.



We were battling each other with lightsabers in our dining room, a surreal moment but so much fun.  The game procedurally generates a simulated battle and will guide you where you should place your lightsaber.  This kind of prevents each opponent from just jabbing each other.  I was super excited but I soon discovered that the calm nature that my wife adopted suited the Jedi way and soon was showing that if you are one with the Force you can take anyone down.  She beat me.

My wife is strong with the Force

Conclusion
I love this gadget.  I really do.  Once you get passed the initial setting up of the headset and your phone, this is so much fun.  Don't expect a full on VR experience but then it's not being pushed as this.  It's a full on augmented reality experience.  The new multiplayer option is a must if you know someone who also own the kit and it was surprisingly easy to set up.  Playing with a friend adds a whole level of fun.

Star Wars: Jedi Challenges brought a huge smile to my face.  When I was a kid I genuinely thought I had the Force, after player Star Wars: Jedi Challenges I felt like I did again. You get to see and play Star Wars in your own room and feel like it's right there in front of you.  I am a Jedi and ready for more challenges. I love it.


Find out more at www.jedichallenges.com

Rob Wainfur
@thebeardedtrio




The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Williams and a whole lot more.

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