Lazer Tag Augmented Reality -|- Lazer Tag Phoenix LTX -|- Lazer Tag Team Ops

Lazer Tag Augmented Reality

Codenamed "LTAR" for Lazer Tag Augmented Reality, this tagger was announced in early 2012 for release in the fall. It enables the use of a smartphone (iPhone/iPod Touch at first) as a "window" into the augmented reality world created in the single-player mode, or as an enhanced sight for multiplayer battles. The smartphone allows games hosting, and shows vital player and game data during a match. There is quite a bit already known about this tagger, all faithfully collected by WindJammer on his LTAR Info Page. Go check it out! When I get some hands on with the product, hopefully this summer, I'll post my pros and cons below.


Lazer Tag Phoenix LTX

In summer 2008, Hasbro debuted a revamped Lazer Tag called the Phoenix LTX, sold in a set called the Multiplayer Battle system, previously known as the LazerTag 2-in-1 System. This tagger has some great new features, as well as backward compatability with LTTO equipment out of the box in LTAG mode, a new selectable Team Tag mode, and the ability to join LTTO hosted games. The Phoenix LTX also has a new look, with a promising new feature that will enable unique, cool, new official accessories as well as useful homebrew accessories and game types. Visit my aStore for a hand-picked selection of products to enhance your lazer tag games, including the Phoenix LTX>

The Phoenix LTX

- PR Photo of set -

Description: The Phoenix LTX is the first tagger to be released in the revamped Lazer Tag line from Hasbro. It includes the basic Phoenix LTX pistol, a Shot Blast front accessory, and a plug and play Video Game front accessory for solo play. The Phoenix LTX has built-in fire recoil and hit vibration tactile feedback, as well as a removable green-dot sight, similar to the LTTO Virtual Scope. The debut set included two Phoenix LTX taggers in blue and gold colorations, two Shot Blast attachments in matching blue or gold colorations, and one video game attachment in matching blue.

Pros: SHOT BLAST attachment fires a special wide/short shot for up to 3 tags of damage; Built in Fire Recoil and Hit vibration (similar to the LTTO Thunder Pack); Included green dot site (like LTTO Virtual Scope); Can join LTTO hosted games; Pinpoint Sight is powered by the Phoenix LTX, and therefore cannot be accidentally left on to drain the batteries. Hit light in the receiver dome lets players know when they've tagged another player. Large grip comfortable for most hand sizes. Special low-power mode to conserve battery life if unit is left on after a game ends.

Cons: Manual reload requires player to perform reload action. Recoil sound and light can be distracting. The tagged sound is very loud and long. Phoenix LTX does not automatically power off, but enters a low-power mode to conserve battery power. It is unknown how long batteries will last in this low-power mode. Recoil and hit vibration reduce battery life. There is no way to mute any of the sounds. No IFF beacon or receiver barrel, therefore no lock-ons or hit confirmations.

Games: LTAG, TTAG with 2 or 3 teams. Can also JOIN any LTTO Hosted game. Can NOT host scored games by itself.

Watch the Lazer Tag Phoenix LTX in Detail video:


Lazer Tag Team Ops

Here we see Mr. Male Model showing off the LTTO gear for the marketing people. This image appears on the back of the 2-Pack Accessory Kit box. As you can see, he's all tricked out with LTTO gear: Deluxe tagger, Virtual Scope, Thunder Pack, HUD, and Comms. You can kind of see how the Comms attach to the HUD. At this point, this can only be accomplished with the Deluxe tagger, as the IRT-2x doesn't have a HUD port. He looks a litlle silly there, but I'm thinking the idea is that he's barking commands to his teammates over the Comms. ;-)
Check out the currently available Lazer Tag products through Amazon.

The Deluxe

- Original Green and Orange Colors -
- 1P Camoflage Green and Orange -
- New Blue and Gold Set-
Description: The first LTTO tagger. This is the tagger that most LTTO fans started out with. This originally came in a 2-Player pack with one bronze/orange and one green tagger, as well as two HUD units of matching color. Later this came in a 1-Player pack with one tagger and one HUD unit enhanced with a camoflage type paint job. The third version came as a 2 Player set in blue and gold, again, with matching HUD units.

Pros: Medic Mode; Mega Shots; large LCD with a lot of information on at once; Sound on/off switch; Full auto fire; instant reload with reload lever pull.

Cons: Pull of reload lever required to reload (not auto-reload); Non-intuitive built-in sights (notch and post on the left side); Can be uncomfortable for large hands; Cannot use future external sensors without modification; Overheats (programmatically, not really) easily when using automatic fire; On early versions, almost any button press turns it on, current versions have this problem fixed and only the trigger will turn it on.


The IRT-2X (Drone)

- Original Green and Orange Colors -
- Blue and Maroon versions-
Description: The IRT-2x (code/nickname "Drone") was the second LTTO tagger to hit the market. It offered a new design and new games, as well as some neat features, while still maintaining balance with other taggers. The Drones originally came in green and orange colors similar to the Deluxe taggers, but later were released in blue and maroon color schemes.

Pros: Dual Mode (dual wield two taggers while sharing stats between the two); Better built-in sights (notch and post on top); 3 shot bursts per held trigger pull; Automatic reload; more ergonomic for larger hands; WoW compatibility mode; Will be able to use future external sensors; Only turns on with trigger pull

Cons: No Mega Shots; No Medic Mode; Cannot use HUD unit (no port); No hardware mute switch (must hold 2ndF button in-game); Smaller LCD panel requires screen scrolling to see important data; Rapid firing requires well-timed trigger pulls; Auto-reload forces a short pause in ability to fire; WoW mode has a tendency to cause self-tags unless modified.


The Tag Master Blaster (TMB)

Description: The Tag Master Blaster, TMB, was the third LTTO tagger. This is the BFG of the LTTO line, with a rifle design and projectile tag "missile" launcher. While it might seem that this tagger would provide the team with it a great advantage, in practice this is not necessarily the case. Though if players complain, simply make sure each team has an equal number of TMBs on it.

Pros: Dual Mode (with a Drone or another TMB); Top sights; Multiple shot modes including single, burst, and automatic; Missile that emits numerous tags upon impact; Adjustable locking stock for comfort as rifle; Status LEDs above screen for Lock-On, Tag Confirmation, and Missile Ready; Light-up hit indicator in receiver dome when a tag is received; 11 game types; Longer range (up to twice that of Deluxe and Drone); Ability to send simple text messages to other taggers; Ability to name your TMB; Auto reload; WoW compatibility mode with fixes to bugs in Drone WoW mode; Can use external sensors; Only turns on with trigger pull

Cons: No Mega Shots; No Medic Mode; Cannot use HUD unit (no port); No hardware mute switch (must hold 2ndF button in-game); Smaller LCD panel requires screen scrolling to see important data; Auto-reload forces a short pause in ability to fire; Tighter beam focus requires higher aiming accuracy; Large and possibly unwiedly for smaller players; Only one missile, which must then be retrived to re-use; Missile is air powered, requiring pumping the stock before it can be launched; Stock only has three locking positions

Games: LTAG, CUST, 2TMS/3TMS, 2KNG/3KNG, TAGM, 2TTM, TMIG, 1ON1, SURV, and four hidden games: 2SRV/3SRV, TMHS, TMHP


Description: This Heads Up Display comes with the Deluxe Taggers, either in a 2-Player, or 1-Player set. It can be very helpful in a game, to keep you abreast of what is happening to and around you. It includes a speaker at the right ear, and a see-through reflective status icon display all mounted to a special set of goggles. The HUD is not required to play, but some players find it helpful. It is entirely optional.

Pros: LED-lit icons for Tagged, Tagged-them, and Locked-on which coincide with sound effects; speaker for sound effects near ear is helpful

Cons: Early models have a problem with pinching the head (which can be alleviated by bending the plastic, but only so much); reflection of LED icons is weak, especially in sunlight; Can only be used with Deluxe Tagger

The Virtual Scope

- The 2 Pack Accessory Kit in Orange/Green -
- The 2 Pack Accessory Kit in Blue/Maroon -
Description: The Virtual Scope is a red-dot style sight that comes in the 2-Pack Accessory Kit with the Thunder Pack. Instead of a red-dot on a glass lens, it's a green dot on a plastic "lens" (no magnification) with a crosshairs graphic. This is an essential accessory for the Deluxe tagger due to the unintuitive built-in sights on that tagger. It's not as needed on the Drone or TMB, but still much better than the built-in notch and post sight.

Pros: Provides accurate sighting for LTTO taggers; bright green light is easy to see, even in the sun; crosshairs can be useful even without green dot; possibly mod-able to cast light on the tagger's LCD panel for night games.

Cons: Requires 2 AAA batteries, so don't leave it turned on! Also, it's kind of big for what it does.

The Thunder Pack

- The 2 Pack Accessory Kit in Orange/Green -
- The 2 Pack Accessory Kit in Blue/Maroon -
Description: The Thunder Pack is a sensory feedback device that comes in the 2-Pack Accessory Kit with the Virtual Scope. This accessory mounts to the butt of the tagger and creates a vibration when firing and when tagged.

Pros: Sensory feedback enhances game play

Cons: Creates additional draw on power supply; some people might want to disable the firing vibration so that vibration from a hit is more attention-getting.

The Comm

Description: Simple short range 900mhz Walkie-Talkie units. These are sold in packs of 2, one red/orange, and one green. The main unit clips to a belt or loop and a wired headset is worn on the ear. Includes 3 channels for up to 3 teams during an LTTO game.

Pros: Good clarity in range; quick channel selector allows monitoring of other team channels; can clip to left side of HUD unit

Cons: Short range not suitable for games in very large areas; quick channel selection means other teams might be listening to you; NOT hands-free, requires pressing Talk button on main unit

If you're new to laser tag or just looking for some things to spice up your games, check out my aStore for a hand-picked selection of taggers, accessories, and more.

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