Hasbro's Zapped line of app-enabled toys and games combine the company's popular properties with interactive iPad apps, creating a compelling hybrid of the old and the new.
The initial entries in the line were products in which the iPad was used to supplement popular board games like Monopoly and The Game of Life. These are full versions of the board games with a spot in the center for an iPad, adding an interactive electronic element without sacrificing the tactile pleasure of play. They are incredibly cool, as long as your iPad holds a charge.
The two products I am looking at today are the other end of the line, action figures and toys that work in conjunction with iPad applications that can be played without the physical products if need be, much like the Mattel Apptivity games I showcased yesterday.
First up we have Spellshot Zapped, an original dueling game for two players. The box comes with four characters that can be used in a spellcasting duel, the ultimate goal being to collect more treasures than the other player.
I played the game without the toys at first, and it was entertaining enough. Adding the physical element to the game makes a large difference. It plays basically the same, but there's something overwhelmingly pleasing about moving an actual object about the board.
Battleship Zapped is actually based on the movie based on the board game, so there is no hiding and calling out numbers. Instead I'm driving three plastic ships about the screen, using radar and weapons to take out members of the invading alien navy.
Once I got past the queasiness of handling objects associated with that particular 'film', there was a certain childish joy to the game. It's like playing with tiny plastic boats in a bathtub, only these fire machine guns and torpedoes, and there are aliens.
Battleship Zapped and Spellshot Zapped are available from Hasbro for $17.99. They are pricier than the Mattel offering, but you get more than one figure and a great deal more depth.