We haven't played laser tag since high school, but there's certainly been times when we've wanted to blow our family members away (in the nicest way possible, of course). Lucky for us the gear has significantly improved over the giant, clunky vest and horribly inaccurate guns of yesterday. Toy manufacturers are taking advantage of the smartphones in everyone's pockets to bring back the non-deadly game of tag...AppTag Laser Blaster ($35)
The most unobtrusive laser gun of the ones we've seen, the AppTag uses high frequency sound to communicate with your smartphone instead of taking up precious ports, Bluetooth or WiFi. Using a modular system, the top fits not only the included pistol grip but Nerf, BuzzBee and almost any other toy gun with a rail. The included App isn't the limit however, as developers can specify and use all kinds of augmented reality enhancements for the extra buttons on the device. It may just be over its goal on Kickstarter but it's got plenty of potential.
The only laser weapon we've seen to work with iOS, Android and Windows mobile, the XAPPR works with a variety of existing games. Currently you can blast aliens or friends using augmented reality, we just wish it had Duck Hunt. If you've got a lot of friends or family interested in playing the XAPPR is a strong choice.
NERF Lazer Tag System ($39.99)
This year's model of the NERF Lazer Tag System comes focused on your smartphone. You slide it in the slot the top of the gun, load up the app and you're ready to go. The app keeps track of your games, gives you an augmented reality HUD to look for enemies and shows you where you stand on the global leaderboard. Our only complaint is that it appears to be iOS only, which puts our 'droid friends on the bench. The official press release says you'll have to wait till August 1 to get your hands on these guys on the Hasbro website or at a toy purveyor near you.