As much fun as some of the latest generation Android games are, touchscreen controls leave something to be desired in the alien/zombie/robot shooting aesthetic. If startup company MetalCompass has their way, you can recreate duck hunts and zombie shoots of yesteryear with the Xappr, a light-gun style accessory for Android and iOS. Instead of sending out an infrared beam, it communicates with compatible games on your phone, allowing you to move your character or cursor with the gun and fire with the trigger. A standard headphone attachment registers clicks while a flexible clamp holds your phone in place.
The accessory can work with standard shooter games or augmented reality titles that take advantage of your smartphone camera, replacing the cursor or centered crosshairs respectively. Developers can use the supplied SDK to make existing games work with the Xappr, or create new titles around the toy. At present only three iOS games take advantage of the hardware, but since it hasn’t been released yet, thatis not as discouraging as it sounds. An exciting game coming from an Israel developer will user the gun to simulate laser tag. Game developers, get cracking!
MetalCompass hopes to release the Xappr later this year, showing it off at the International Toy Fair in Germany starting tomorrow. Eager gamers can pre-order the toy from the company’s website via PayPal. The pre-order price is $44.99, and estimated shipping will begin in June. There’s no word on how much retail versions of the gun will cost, but it probably won’t be much more than $50 USD.