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Up close with Skyrocket's Recoil augmented reality blasters

If laser tag had been invented in 2017, it might look like this.

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Josh Miller
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1 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET

Skyrocket Recoil

If laser tag were invented in 2017, it might look like this: Recoil, an augmented reality game that turns your phone and a set of headphones into an augmented reality arena for up to 16 players. 

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Skyrocket Recoil

The app not only keeps track of your ammo and health, it shows you objectives and even walks you back to respawn when you die. Plug in a pair of headphones and you can hear where enemy shots are coming from and voice chat with teammates.

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Skyrocket Recoil

For US $130 (no plans for UK or Australia quite yet), the starter kit comes with two of these rapid-fire pistols with removable phone mounts...

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Skyrocket Recoil

...and a miniature, battery-powered Wi-Fi router that keeps track of the game. Just place it wherever you'd like to play, and it creates a virtual playfield with a 250-foot radius.

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Skyrocket Recoil

When you pull the trigger, each blaster fires both short and long-range infrared emitters, and flashes red.

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Skyrocket Recoil

You'll find hit detectors on the front and sides of each weapon.

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Skyrocket Recoil

And the starter kit comes with two clip-on wired sensors you can attach to the blaster for full coverage.

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Skyrocket Recoil

Why are they called Recoil? Whenever you pull the trigger, integrated force feedback gives you a tactile sensation while you're shooting.

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Skyrocket Recoil

To reload, you just smack this button on the bottom of the grip, as if you were inserting a new magazine.

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Skyrocket Recoil

There's also a GoPro-compatible mount on the front of each weapon.

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Skyrocket Recoil

In addition to the pistols (extras cost $50 each, by the way), there's an optional $80 rifle with more "ammo" and what feels like better accuracy at range.

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Skyrocket Recoil

Each blaster has fiber-optic sights so you can easily line up shots. The company says the blasters should be accurate out to 300 feet.

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Skyrocket Recoil

Despite the force feedback, the company says they should last up to 200 hours on a set of AA batteries.

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Skyrocket Recoil

Grenades cost $15 each. They're covered with rubber padding, but you still won't want to throw them at people.

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Skyrocket Recoil

The phone mounts are interchangeable -- you can mount them on either side of the gun. They do a pretty good job of holding a phone secure and steady, in our early tests.

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Skyrocket Recoil

With the pistol, the push-to-talk voice chat button is on the very back of the gun. 

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Skyrocket Recoil

With the rifle, it's this red button here.

Also, note that the rails are purely decorative: Skyrocket Toys doesn't have any plans for attachments.

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Skyrocket Recoil

Throwing the grenade up in the air.

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Skyrocket Recoil

Shouldering the rifle.

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Skyrocket Recoil

One last look at Skyrocket Recoil.

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