"The augmented reality feature of the game means that the alien invasion will be coming straight at you from the surrounding area, so whether you’re on the bus, in the office or at home, there’s no place to hide!" says the enthusiastic press release for apptoyz' appBlaster gun peripheral for iPhone. It might be asking a bit much for us to get out a plastic gun peripheral and start waving it around zapping invisible aliens on any form of public transport, but even so, you've got to admire its robot fingers.
You're probably aware of Augmented Reality games which work by overlaying game graphics over real life images viewed through a camera. PlayStation 3's got its EyePet, 3DS has got its Face Raiders... even iPhones have got in on the action. But what the iPhone market has been lacking is a plastic gun peripheral, probably because a touch screen requires touch to make it work. No longer. The appBlaster comes with 'trigger-to-touch-screen technology'.
That equates to two little plastic robot fingers that prod the screen to fire primary or secondary weapons when you pull the appropriate trigger. Tilting the gun can be used to reload (using the iPhone's accelerometer) and the game itself - apptoyz Alien Attack - will be free when it launches on July 6, although you'll need to buy the £19.99 appBlaster peripheral to get the full experience.
Above: What you want to do is saw it off and keep it in a bunch of flowers like The Terminator
Having not tried it myself, I honestly can't say whether this is the greatest thing ever or one of the worst. But I'm guessing it's going to be one of the two. If you're interested (or know of a younger sibling who has access to an iPhone/iTouch and would love this), you can pre-order it for a July 7 dispatch at www.RED5.co.uk or you can find it at the RED5 concession at Selfridges, Oxford Street from July 6.
But if you do get it, I would advise against using it on the bus.
24 Jun, 2011