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iSamurai Bluetooth is a game app that lets players use their handsets for imaginary swordplay, complete with steel-on-steel sound effects when the phones are in close proximity. Holding their iPhones/iPod Touches, users can strike or block, with the devices clanging every time the “swords” meet.
Gameplay is reminiscent of the Nintendo Wii, since iSamurai uses the iPhone’s built-in motion sensor to render Wiimote-like functionality. Until recently the handsets communicated over Wifi, but the latest version works over Bluetooth, which means users can relive their Star Wars or Lord of the Rings fantasy fight sequences wherever the mood strikes.
“Using the iPhone’s new Bluetooth capabilities, developers can now make multiplayer games that don’t need a Wi-Fi connection,” said Robert Hogg, CEO and founder of Toy Kite Software. “And with iSamurai that means gamers can have a real life sword fight at the park, in line at the movies, or anywhere!”
Be warned that the app is only for the steadiest of hands. (Being a butter-fingers, I’d probably lose my grasp and send my phone hurdling into a brick wall or something.)
It’s either totally dorky or a hand-slapping-forehead kind of genius — I’m not sure. Either way, the iSamurai app does herald the beginning of something unique and interesting — true multi-player, face-to-face game interaction on a cell phone. It’s another step on the road to the iPhone becoming a real gaming device.
Here’s a vid of the app in action, Mortal Kombat–style.