Magic Box: Lenovo Star Wars Jedi Challenges

Just. Wow.  I can’t think of a better way to kick off a 2018 full of fun reviews than with the litlgeeks favorite…and my favorite Christmas gift!  mommygeek really came out of left field to surprise the family with this incredible gem.  Totally unexpected, she’s the best mommygeek ever, and the litlgeeks are the luckiest kids ever.  The Lenovo Star Wars Jedi Challenges app-enabled, augmented reality experience. I don’t know what else to call it. It’s mainly a collection of games, but the way they are presented makes this a truly incredible interactive experience.  Let’s see what the litlgeeks thought.

Magic Box: Lenovo Star Wars Jedi Challenges

What to expect

An incredible entertainment and play platform.  The package includes the AR headset, which has a camera on it to capture motion and other game related info.  There is a tracking beacon that runs on two included double A batteries, the lightsaber, a few adapter cables, a charging cable and wall plug, and inside the headset is a really well thought out, well made tray for your smart phone.  

You will need to charge both the headset and the lightsaber.  This is done over a micro USB cable.  They were both charged enough to play a little out of the box, and a full charge took I think an hour or two.  

This is an AR experience, you are wearing a headset, so you shouldn’t extend your play sessions for too long to avoid…whatever doctors want you to avoid by playing too much AR stuff.  Also, they recommend keeping this away from kids under 13.  litlninja is desperately a Star Wars kid, so…good luck with that.  We do limit his play time to 30 minutes or less, no more than once a day.  Since setup is a little rigorous and does require a phone, it’s not like it’s something he immediate has access to without daddygeek and mommygeek.  Speaking of setup….

What do you need to play it?

What’s in the box, for $199.99 is only half of what you need to dive into the world of being an augmented reality Jedi.  You need a phone, a reasonably well powered one at that.  The box recommends iPhone 6 or higher (we used the iPhone X and had no problems, it fits fine and runs the app like a boss).  For Android, you’d want a Galaxy S7 or higher, a Google Pixel or higher, a Moto Z Force, an LG G6.  You get the picture.  The box indicates that this was made for iPhone, so expect a smoother experience on that platform.  The Jedi Challenges App is available for both Android and iOS in their App stores, the app is free.  I’m sure there will be some paid add on content in the future though.  

Setup

This is our only real gripe.  Setup is a process.  First, you have to make sure your phone is unmuted, volume up, and make sure the screen is nice and bright.  You have to start the app and go through some syncing with the lightsaber, and get to a point where you are told to put your phone in the tray. You take out the smartphone tray from the headset, get your phone in, adjust the space sliders.  Close up the tray, connect the headset adapter cable.  Slide the tray into the headset, connect the cable to the headset, close it up.  Turn on the beacon, put it in the floor of a clear space, break out the lightsaber, now you are ready to go!  To note, if your phone is in a case of any kind, you are likely going to have to take it out.  The tray is very good at fitting tall and wide, but doesn’t have much wiggle for thickness.

It should also be noted that the headset is fitted with velcro straps.  This is one of the best fitting VR headsets I’ve put on, it’s also nice and light!

Graphics

  • Just unreal it’s all animated, but looks like there are Jedi to fight inside of your living room.  You are presented challenges in a manner of training, so the look of holograms makes perfect sense.

Gameplay

  • Ever been a Jedi?  This is about as close as you’ll get. 
  • Fighting is intuitive, smooth and fun!
  • Slash your opponent to damage them, and follow the guard guide rails to block incoming saber attacks.
  • Deflecting laser blasts is some of the most fun I’ve ever had in a game.  
  • Strategic Combat is a fun game mode where you place units with your lightsaber to battle it out on a virtual battle map.  It’s intuitive and challenging.
  • HoloChess is a …well, remember when Chewie played R2-D2 in A New Hope?  You play that!

Availability

litldecision

litlninja is in love with this game.  I am in love with this game.  litlzombie, at 5, is just a hair too little yet, but he’s warming up to the idea of it.  We give Jedi Challenges two lightsabers way up!

 

This set is not recommended for ages under 13.  This post / video is for entertainment purposes only.

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