After putting in some hours and playing Lenovo's Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, it’s time for a review. The review will cover the hardware and game play. We previously did an unboxing article back on June 11th when we first received this product, which showed the packaging and contents.
So what is Lenovo Jedi Challenges?
Jedi Challenges uses AR (augmented reality), which overlays the interactive Star Wars experience into your surroundings. You will see both the game and your physical and virtual environments all at once through the Lenovo Mirage AR headset. You can play Jedi Challenges in any daylight or darkened room. There is plenty of brightness on my iPhone X to play Jedi Challenges during the day in a well lit room, but I prefer a darkened room because the game’s graphics and details really pops in a dark room versus the daylight. If playing in a darkened room, make sure you’re aware of your surroundings and don’t trip or fall over anything.
Things to do before starting to play
Everything you need to play Jedi Challenges is inside the box besides your Cell Phone. I am using my iPhone X for this review. Below are some of the things you will need to do, before starting to play.
• Read through the Quick start guide.
• Charge the Lightsaber Controller with the supplied wall-charger and power cable.
• Install AA batteries into Tracking Beacon
• Download the APP for your IOS or Android Devices.
• Clean your Cell Phone Screen
• Insert your Cell Phone into the Lenovo Mirage AR headset removable phone tray
• Start the App on your Cell Phone and go through the onscreen setup screens.
• Not necessary, but would recommend using a Bluetooth Cell Phone Audio Headset while playing.
• Find a 10 x 10 foot play area clear of objects to play in.
If you need further help setting up this product, Lenovo has created a very helpful “How to Set Up Star Wars Jedi Challenges” video.
Starting the game
Upon starting the game you have a female guide called the “Archivist” who is very helpful and will teach you how to use your Lightsaber Controller and the basics of the different games modes. Game Modes to choose from are:
• Lightsaber Battle (single play or local multiplayer battles)
• Strategic Combat
To play these game modes you will select the unlocked Planet of Naboo. Once you enter the Planets menu you can select any of the Game Modes mentioned above. Once you defeat that mode on that planet, it will unlock the challenges on the next planet. There are currently 6 Planets which are Naboo, Garel, Lothal, Hoth, Takodana, Crait, and then you have the Core of the Galaxy.
Lightsaber Battle (Single Player or Local Multiplayer Battles)
This game mode is the main reason I wanted to play Jedi Challenges. Who doesn’t want to swing a Lightsaber and do Battle? You start out on Naboo and have to make your way through rounds of Battle Droids, Super Battle Droids, and Droidekas. To defeat them you can deflect their laser blasts and aim them back at any of the Droids on the screen to destroy them. If the Droids are close enough, you can destroy them by slashing them with your Lightsaber and cutting off their heads, limbs, etc.
If you made it through all the Droids you will face the Naboo Level Boss, which is none other then Darth Maul. To defeat Maul, you will have to defend yourself by blocking his Lightsaber Strikes and then attack him when the time is right. To block Darth Maul, you will see prompted yellow lines on the screen where you have to place your lightsaber blade in order to block. Yellow blocking areas vary at different angles. When it’s your time to attack Maul, you can strike him anywhere you please with your Lightsaber.
After defeating Darth Maul, I unlocked my first Force Skill which was a Force Push. Force Skills are other methods of attack you can use against your enemies. When moving on to the next unlocked Planet you will once again fight its inhabitants and Boss until you reach the end of the game.
As of this review, I didn’t get a chance to play the Local Multiplayer Lightsaber vs Mode because I only have one Jedi Challenges Set, but I had some friends come over to play who really enjoyed Jedi Challenges and plan on buying it, so I will definitely try it out when they purchase it.
Now on to Holochess also known as Dejarik. This game is based on a game that was played between Chewbacca and R2-D2 in Star Wars: A New Hope. It’s a strategy game where you want to move your character game pieces towards the computers pieces, attack and destroy them, and gain more territory. By winning matches, you unlock more game pieces and move on to the next levels and Planets. The game was pretty fun but was a bit slow for my taste.
One thing to point out for the IOS device owners, you can actually play ARKit Holochess which is included in the Jedi Challenges App. You do not use the Lenovo Mirage AR headset while playing ARKit Holochess. All you need to do is start ARKit Holochess and point your IOS Device towards a flat surface and start the game.
In Strategic Combat you play on a Planet’s Battlefield. You start out on Naboo where you are given a wide variety of characters and units to place on the Battlefield. You command your Units and Troops to defend and attack. Strategic Combat is kind of like a simpler version of a RTS (real-time strategy) game. As you progress through the levels, you unlock more characters and units. I played Strategic Combat for about an hour or so, but found it a bit boring after a while. It’s probably because I am not into RTS style games.
Ok let’s talk about the hardware first. Set up was a breeze, and I did not have any issue at all. I wore the Lenovo Mirage AR headset for about 1.5 hours each time I played Jedi Challenges and found it comfortable to wear. Also I didn’t suffer from any dizziness while playing. As for graphics they were clear, sharp, and the colors were very vibrant on my iPhone X. The graphics was actually way better then I expected. The Lightsaber Controller is lightweight and feels very solid and easy to use. I was pleasantly surprised on how accurate the Lightsaber Controller worked with the Lenovo Mirage AR headset, Tracking Beacon, and Game App. When playing I didn’t suffer any accuracy or alignment issues with the Lightsaber Controller. I just centered the virtual Lightsaber Blade once and was good to go.
As for the games, Lightsaber Battle is by far the the shining star. It was so much fun to play. Let’s face it, people are buying Jedi Challenges mainly for the Lightsaber Battles. If I had to nitpick one thing, I wish you could turn off the prompted blocking yellow lines when fighting bosses, it would make it more challenging. Also I truly hope Lenovo continues to add future content to keep owners interested. As for Holochess and Strategic Combat they were fun to play for a bit, but I just found them average.
As a big fan of Star Wars and a Gamer, I would give this a 9 out of 10.
To learn more about this Star Wars: Jedi Challenges visit their Official Page. Also see what others are saying about Star Wars: Jedi Challenges at Lenovo's Jedi Challenges Community.