Have you ever dreamed about being in an actual First Person Shooter with your friends?

Well get ready to make that dream an (augmented) reality, for today Proxy42 launched preorders for their slick-looking augmented reality laser tag / first person shooter game Father.IO.

Having already successfully raised nearly $463,000 in funding on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform (with over 7000 backers), the product is finally releasing to retail.

Father.IO combines elements of first-person shooters and fuses them with tactical AR gameplay that, when paired with an Inceptor sensor, creates an immersive real-world Augmented Reality experience.

The system is composed of two pieces, the free Father.IO game app and the $40 physical Inceptor unit, which easily attaches to the player’s phone.

While the app does include a game mode called Head Shot which doesn’t require an Inceptor unit to play, let’s face it, the real draw of this system will be the multiplayer mode which requires each player to have one of the $40 Inceptor units.

You can get a great peek at how the gameplay works in the launch trailer, but according to the press materials that we received:

Father.IO is a massively multiplayer first-person AR shooter where the real world is your arena. Combining augmented reality and FPS battles, Father.IO converts squares, public parks, and outdoor spaces into massive battlefields – no holds barred. Players can choose from four distinct classes, each with their own weapons, abilities, and upgrades, to defeat opponents. Teamwork is imperative to achieve victory as players can take advantage of a satellite minimap to coordinate attacks and set up ambushes on unsuspecting enemies. Be sure to stay on your toes, defeated players can “respawn” to re-enter the game and strike back with a vengence. Utilizing the latest AR technology — including Apple ARKit and Core ML — Father.IO provides an unmatched photorealistic AR experience with minimal latency.
The laser tag-like experience is made possible with the Inceptor, a keychain-size device that attaches to and augments an iOS or Android smartphone via Bluetooth. Featuring proprietary infrared projection and sensing technology, the Inceptor communicates with other units to enable accuracy up to 150 feet away. It is the first AR device that allows for multiplayer player-versus-player gameplay. With the Inceptor, player in-game actions are no longer confined to a screen — gameplay happens in real life, with real people, and hitting real enemies.

Father.IO Key Features:
  • Experience thrilling battles in first person and hit your enemies up to 50m/150ft distance.
  • Locate your teammates and spot your enemies via an advanced real-time GPS location system and satellite map.
  • Pick the mode you like: 16 vs 16 team deathmatches or 32 player free for all!
  • 4 Classes with unique GPS based abilities: Ammo crate, Medikit, EMP and Claymore!
  • CQC or Sniper style? Choose between 4 different weapons (Assault rifle, Sniper rifle, SMG and handgun) each with different shooting distance and accuracy, rate of fire and damage potential: pick your favorite FPS gaming style!
  • Dominate your enemies with headshots up to 15m distance!
Inceptor Key Features:
  • Bluetooth 4 connection: Provides instant feedback to the player with no lag and has the highest energy efficiency rating for Inceptor’s stand-alone battery.
  • Tiny, but incredibly powerful: A pocket-size device able to hit enemies at 50m/150ft distance.
  • Universal mounting: Compatible with any smartphone up to 8cm (3.15in) wide.
  • Integrated LED lights: Identify your teammates, call out your enemies, and keep control over the match at a simple glance.

“We knew we had something special when we write the first lines of code for Father.IO. Our thoughts were confirmed when our Indiegogo campaign went viral and soared past its original goal. The entertainment world has been looking for something revolutionary since the original Doom revealed the possibilities of 3D gaming, and we believe that Proxy42 can use AR technology to show new ways you can play games,” said Francesco Ferrazzino, CEO and Founder of Proxy42 and inventor of Father.IO. “We’re excited to finally share Father.IO with the world. This whole journey feels like a dream and while we are proud of what Proxy42 has been able to accomplish so far, this is only the beginning. We will continue to innovate new ways to use AR and usher in a new era of gaming. Fair warning, once you play Father.IO, you’ll never want to go back to your console.”

AR, especially on mobile devices, seems to be the current hot area, especially given the success of Pokémon GO and Apple’s new ARKit.

Father.IO looks like it could hit that real sweet spot of utilizing technology to enhance one of the most popular gaming genres, making the player feel like they are in the action, while making it all that more immersive with the real-world location-aware component. The one thing that is likely to be the sticking point or possibly slow the game’s adoption is the $40 Inceptor unit required for each player. However if players can get past that, then I could see this being a real hit on college campuses or with co-workers looking for a team building exercise or a just fun game to play around the house/neighborhood.

I’m really curious to experience Father.IO and the Inceptor for myself. We plan to check out in detail, so look for a full review of how well this system works in the near future.

Where can I order the Inceptor?

If you want to pre-order your own Inceptor(s), Brookstone has an expected ship date of Friday December 15, 2017, while Amazon will not be making it in time for Christmas as pre-ordered Inceptor units will not arrive until mid to late January.