Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Geek Daddy Toy Review: R.E.V. Robotic Enhanced Vehicles

 ** A Geek Daddy was provided the featured product for free to review **

Combining  remote control cars with augment reality technology provides for hours of fun with WowWee's new battle pack of gladiatorial robotic enhanced vehicles (R.E.V.). The premise of this toy is to battle sports cars decked out with advanced weaponry in a gladiator match versus a friend or A.I. (artificial intelligence) using augmented reality to incorporate the battle features and sensors within the R.E.V. to provide interaction between the vehicles.

We were provided a R.E.V. battle pack from WowWee to try out and my kids have been having a blast racing these cars around trying to knock each others vehicles out of action with an array of weapons ranging from laser cannons to rockets to land mines.  The battles can commence when you download an app for your smart phone which controls these high-tech battle mobiles that is available at no additional charge through your purchase of a R.E.V. battle pack at retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Toys R Us and Walmart. There aren't actually any physical elements to the weapons that come into play with these toys but rather they are incorporated into the action through the augment reality app on your smart phone, the sound effects projected through speakers in the cars, and sensors in the vehicles that project and accept digital data to allow the battle aspects of the game to take place.  All these elements work seamlessly together to provide for a really challenging and entertaining play time experience.

It is nice that WowWee has bundled 2 cars together in their battle pack so right out of the box you can face off against an opponent either controlled by A.I. or another person using the control app downloaded onto a second smart phone. The A.I. on these toys is incredible!  The sensors in each R.E.V. complimented by A.I. features allow them to interact so that the A.I. drone can run away from the human controlled vehicle shooting at it and also race towards the other car to launch its own attack. Each vehicle is outfitted with Beacon Sense technology, a proprietary indoor GPS system that enables them to sense their surroundings and navigate accordingly.

There are 5 A.I. levels to choose from to play against ranging from very easy to moderately challenging to whoa! this is really hard.  The first two levels kept my kids amused for quite awhile but bored me pretty quickly.  The third and fourth levels to select from were a bit more challenging and I had a lot of fun playing around with while my kids preferred to stick with the easy ones.  The fifth level A.I. kicked my butt every time which isn't necessarily a bad thing because it shows playing against the computer isn't a pushover and really motivates me on improving my skills to take it on.  From reading this paragraph you can probably tell that I enjoyed playing with these toys just as much as my kids did.

In addition to the A.I. mode you can also challenge a friend to head-to-head combat.  We loaded the control app onto both my wife and I's iPhones and most of the time my kids spent playing versus one another rather than competing against the A.I. These cars really can pick up speed and whip around which was another impressive feature about them.  Also they worked equally as well when we played with them on the hardwood floor of our dining room and the carpet in our living room.

Each cars take 4 AA batteries to run or else you can purchase an optional rechargeable battery to insert within the cars so you just need to plug them into an outlet rather than purchase additional batteries.  We used the AA batteries in our R.E.V.  Another nice feature is whether you or using AA batteries or the optional plug in power unit, the control app has a gauge that shows you the energy level in each vehicle so you know when it is going low well before your car dies out on you.

Setting up and getting ready to play with these toys was really simple and we got them up and running without a hitch.  First you just download the app onto a smart phone or tablet.  Note you do need to have relatively newer mobile devices though as the app wouldn't work on our iPad 2s that my wife and I each have but worked great on the iPhone 5Ss we each own.  Make sure you check the tech requirements for the toy before purchasing it to make sure your smart phone or tablet is compatible because without the app you can't control the vehicles and play the games.  Game play options include the head-to-head competitions versus A.I. or a friend that I've already mentioned in what is called "Arena Mode" or you can engage in "Campaign Mode" which provides a variety of challenges and scenarios that highlight the A.I. capabilities of these robotic enhanced vehicles.  There is also an add on ramp you can purchase to engage in stunts with your vehicles and use in battle mode to provide an extra twist into the competitive combat play features of these toys.

Once you have the app downloaded on your smart phone and the batteries inserted within your battle mobile just flip the on switch located along the bottom of the vehicles to power them up.  Then just activate the app and swipe your mobile device over the R.E.V. to sync them together.  Pick the game mode you want to play and its battle time!  Note you can only control one R.E.V. at a time from any one mobile device so the other robotic enhanced vehicle must be controlled by the A.I. functions or by another player using another compatible smart phone or tablet. If you have enough cars and smart phones though up to 16 people can play at one time in Arena Mode.

These vehicles are very sharp looking with their sport car profiles and are also very durable so they can take a beating crashing into one another, walls or other obstacles that may get in their way.  Also they can really pick up speed and zoom around a room.  The technology in these vehicles is designed for indoor use so make sure you have adequate space inside your house for these toys to race around.

While the recommend age for these toys is 8+ my 6 year old twins had no problem controlling these vehicles and really had a great time playing with them.  Because of their durability, cool look, innovative use of technology, and the fun factor of playing with them, WowWee's R.E.V. battle pack gets A Geek Daddy nod of approval.

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  1. Looks super fun, and just in time for the holidays. Hmm... Thanks for the info!

  2. Very cool. Love the connection between mobile technology, gaming and RC. Awesome idea! Looks like a lot of fun and I know my daughters would love trying them!

  3. These look like a ton of fun! Might be a little too advanced for my grandson but my nephew would definitely love them. I do wish I owned stock in one of the battery companies though! lol! They sure add up fast. I'll definitely tell my sister about them for my nephew.

  4. This looks like fun! Heck, me and my husband would probably have a blast with them ;-) but honestly, looks like a cool idea for my god-daughter and her cousins

  5. While I know my kids would totally go crazy for these.... I WANT THEM! Hahaha. What a fun toy.

  6. Oh wow, that looks really awesome! My husband was over my shoulder and when he saw it, he commented that maybe we need to get some, haha. Of course, my boys are only 4 years old and 18 months old right now, sooo... it would be more for daddy.

  7. Those look like fun. I can see your twins battling them.

  8. That's pretty cool being able to control them with a smart phone. Except that I don't want them using my smart phone in fear of them breaking it or dropping it. It's a great toy for a teenager that has their own smart phone though.