Lightseekers is PlayFusion and TOMY’s answer to toys-to-life
PlayFusion teamed up with TOMY to create Lightseekers, a new tech-toy powered video-game built from the ground up for tablet devices.
The game centres round large 7” smart action figures that connect to the tablet via Bluetooth. It all sounds a bit Skylanders but trying the game and toys out in person felt very different.
For starters the toys are fully articulated and spring into life with lights, sounds and vibrations as you play the game. More than this, the action figures have a range of physical weapons that when attached to them appear in the game. The weapons and the characters can both be upgraded with a considerable amount of detail. This changes how they perform in the game but also how the lights look in real life.
At one moment playing through a level my toy character, Mari, warned me about some enemies up ahead by speaking. She was also keen to tell me when her health was running low. It created a stronger connection between the figure and the on-screen action but also lent more interesting and play-ability to the toy away from the game.
The game is developed by PlayFusion who have drawn together a team with experience on many triple A video-games ranging from Runescape to Street Fighter and Tomb Raider.
PlayFusion intend the game to appeal to a wide range of gamers, although it remains to be seen whether console gamers will transition to tablets. More likely, this will appeal to younger players who are already native in the tablet space.
On tablets Lightseekers looks impressive and reminded me of Runescape in terms of mechanics, but with a more cartoony, Skylanders feel to the characters, enemies and environments. There is also a card game that works separately from the tablet game, but can be placed in front of the camera to scan in and gain perks while playing.
Spending an afternoon at PlayFusion with the game I came away being impressed at how integrated each element felt. The action figures, card game and app experience are each strong in their own right, but also have genuine deep integration with each other.
The game will launch in the US in Spring 2017 with a Starter Pack target price of $69.99.
Getting this value spot on, and sensibly pricing additional characters will be important for Lightseekers to attract early momentum. But certainly this is a strong early showing for the game.