Back when my kids were kids there was a toy company called Worlds of Wonder (WoW, but not to be mistaken for World of Warcraft, also WoW), and they made and absolute kick-butt toy called Lazer Tag.
Lazer Tag made its rise to fame on the coattails of movies like Star Wars, where zapping your opponent with a beam of energy instead of bullets was in fashion. After watching Han Solo put a gapping hole in Greedo’s chest in the Mos Eisley Cantina (Hans shot first!), who wouldn’t want any semblance of a “good blaster” at his side?
WoW did Lazer Tag right. The guns were black and streamlined, and with batteries installed, they had the right heft. They felt like you were holding something more than a toy.
You wore a harness that held a device for detecting hits. depending on the game being played, if you got hit a certain number of times your detector would buzz and you were “dead” until the next game.
There were other Lazer Tag-like toys around at the time that had more sophisticated controls. The guns were connected to the detectors and would stop firing once you were terminated.
I preferred the implied honesty Lazer Tag required. It reminded me of when I use to play Cowboys with cap guns when I was a kid. That game also required an implied honesty that, somehow, was never fully realized. After all, what kid would admit that he wasn’t a good shot with imagined bullets?
I was always accurate.
The great thing about Lazer Tag, and games like it, was that it got the kids, and me, out of the house.
Oh yeah! I played. I wore the silly/cool harness, and holstered the plastic gun while talking to other adults, who always gave me a queer look until they got to know me as someone not entirely dangerous.
My Lazer Tag days are done, sadly. My kids have outgrown the game, and me, unfortunately. They have other more pressing, and far more adult concerns.
Now, when I get the urge to pick off a few targets I turn to my iPad, and a game I’ve only recently found called Overkill.
Overkill is very simple: You aim your gun at targets as they appear and shoot them as accurately as you can, earning money in the process. As you progress the targets get harder to take out, while you earn more money. Use the bucks to upgrade your weapons and to buy more ammo.
That last point is important because once you run out of ammo…it’s curtains for you Sparky, curtains.
Did I mention that the targets shoot back? Speed and accuracy counts because you only have a second or so to aim and fire before the targets do the same to you. The better you are the higher your rank.
It can get a bit repetitive, but Overkill is pretty good for a freebie. Check it out.
Another good freebie shooter is Battle Bears.
There’s something a little disconcerting about teddy bears armed to the their beady eyes with weapons of mass destruction, and waves of ‘zombie’ teddys with one thing on their diseased-cotton minds; to zombify your teddy.
There are few things worse that a zombie teddy bear, however, so taking out as many as you can is a good thing, and the free version of Battle Bears lets you do just that.
You can upgrade weapons for more accuracy and firepower. You’ll need it because there are things out there that are worse than a zombie teddy bear.
If you want a shooter without blood and gore (rainbows appear when you take out a zombie-bear), Battle Bears should top your list.
OK, taking out zombified teddy bears is kinda cute, but if you really want cute then you’ve got to get Max Adventure Free.
As the name implies, this is a freebie version of the full game, but this version is fun enough, and cute enough, to enjoy.
Max is a kid and you help him rid his neighborhood of alien invaders. Lots of power-ups, scores of different bad guys, and a whole neighborhood to explore add up to a lot of fun. Use found cash to upgrade weapons and gain skills. You’ll need them. The invaders don’t mess around.
The aliens are sufficiently creepy, but not overly so, and the game is just tough enough to keep you challenged.
And it’s free! Max Adventure Free. Good game.
These three shooters aren’t Laser Tag, but they are fun and free.
OK, that’s a wrap for this week.
More freebie shooters listed below with direct links.