If you’ve ever wanted to truly feel like you’re wielding a lightsaber, this is your perfect chance to do so.
From the moment you open up Star Wars: Jedi Challenges you’re in for a treat. It’s clear from the start that a lot of love and care was put into this product. If you’re a fan of Star Wars you’ll find a lot to like from the lightsaber alone.
The lightsaber bundled with Jedi Challenges is modeled after Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber, which was passed down to Luke and eventually Rey. This lightsaber has survived through three trilogies so it’s no wonder Lenovo chose such an iconic blade to base the lightsaber on.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the lightsaber bundled with the product to be used as a cosplay element at future Comic Cons and other things of that nature – it’s just that well put together. I can go on and on about the lightsaber alone but there’s more to the game.
First things first, Star Wars: Jedi Challenges won’t just work with any phone so you’ll have to make sure your phone is up to the task. You can check through a list of compatible devices right here to make sure the product will work for you. I’d hate to see you spend the money and have the game not even work.
The first-time setup you go through with downloading the app and getting everything working can end up being a bit clunky. Even after a few times with the device, I found myself sliding the phone into the headset before realizing I had to take it back out and still hit some buttons.
Once you get everything set up with the headset, just plop the sensor down on the ground in an open area and watch the magic unfold. If everything is set up properly you’ll see a holo image appear in front of you complete with planets. If you’ve you seen Star Wars Episode 2, specifically the part where Master Kenobi appears to have lost a planet, you’ll notice some familiarity here.
Many familiar planets are on the game each with different things to do. For fans of the DisneyXD show Star Wars Rebels, you’re treated with Lothal which is where we spend much of the four seasons of the show focusing on.
You go through a tutorial of sorts battling droids and the like as you get a feel for how the lightsaber works. It’s really cool seeing your lightsaber ignite for the first time and that’s something I’m sure other Star Wars fans will agree on.
As I deflected blaster shots back at battle droids I found myself feeling like a true Jedi. As the droids move closer you are able to carve them up with the lightsaber but I had trouble determining exactly how close they had to be when I made contact with them.
Another problem with the lightsaber is the more you swing it, the more off-center it becomes with the actual hilt. The saber itself has a button to recenter the beam onto the saber and I found myself hitting that button a lot more than I would have liked to.
Growing pains aside, Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is an excellent way to feel like you’re a Jedi. In the climatic battle on Naboo, you’re forced to stare down Darth Maul, Episode 1’s big baddie, as you block, counter and effectively chop up the Sith lord. The iconic Duel of the Fates plays through your speakers as you carefully time your blocks and counter for big damage. The end result is a sweaty, but triumphant sigh of relief.
Defeating enemies isn’t all that’s available in Jedi Challenges as players also have the chance to play the Holo-Chess game that was first seen aboard the Millennium Falcon in A New Hope. There’s also a Tower Defense mode that requires you to place your units and towers in strategic locations to stop the waves of enemies.
At the end of the day, this might be a tough sell for many people. For $150 the product is very solid, but I’m not sure if you’ll be able to get much use out of it after the awe wears off. Jedi Challenges is a lot of fun to try out and show to friends but I don’t see it being something I would play with regularly.
Other AR headsets on the market feature the ability to run other games and apps while this headset only runs one app. If you’re a hardcore Star Wars fan you might be able to get more mileage out of the device but you can only play Holo-Chess so many times before you get bored. Updates have come in the form of The Last Jedi content and starting today, May 4, you are able to challenge friends to lightsaber battles.
There’s certainly a lot more value with Jedi Challenges now than there was at launch with the two key additions mentioned earlier. I would like to see more come, such as Episode IX support when that title comes out, before I can recommend this product to everybody.
If Disney and Lenovo are able to partner with more IPs in the future, such as Marvel, more life will be given to the product but as it stands right now we’re stuck with Star Wars. It’s a novel idea and a brilliant first step. However, for the price and lack of many things to do, it’s hard to recommend the product fully.
Star Wars: Jedi Challenges was a lot of fun for myself and I’m sure it will be for other people as well, it’s just a really tough sell at its current price tag. If you do pick it up, it will definitely be an excellent conversation piece for Star Wars fans.
If money isn’t an issue for you whatsoever then I wholeheartedly recommend you pick up Star Wars: Jedi Challenges today. The ability to feel like a Jedi with Jedi Challenges is unmatched by any other product.