5 reasons why Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is the best thing you can buy this Christmas

No. 3: There's a lightsaber. An actual lightsaber - well, almost

It’s the first of its kind

Star Wars: Jedi Challenges sets a new precedence in gaming as the world’s first smartphone-powered augmented reality game (Android and iOS). And it’s a must-have for any Star Wars fan worth their weight in trugut. This collaborative effort by Disney and Lenovo thrusts fans into a whole new stratosphere of gaming using immersive augmented reality. Just download the free Star Wars Jedi Challenges app and get ready to lose yourself in the game!

Alternate reality

Star Wars: Jedi Challenges offers gamers one of the most unique AR experiences to date. The smartphone-powered Lenovo Mirage AR headset is a cool-looking matte grey plastic headset with a tinted plastic front panel. It weighs a manageable 477 grams (albeit 155 grams more than the Samsung Gear VR) and has three adjustable elastic straps to accommodate a wide range of users.

The interior, which rests against your forehead and cheekbones, is amply padded with cushy foam. On board is a pair of position-tracking fish-eye camera sensors and concave lens (you track objects with your gaze), which work in tandem with an AA-battery-powered tracking beacon (it glows pink!) and the lightsaber.

To jet off on your intergalactic adventure, simply slot your smartphone into an adjustable tray and hook it up to an included adapter (micro-USB, USB-C, & Lightning) to activate the head-mounted display (HMD).

There’s a lightsaber

Do we really need to say more? C’mon, an accurate replica of the lightsaber used by Luke, Rey and Anakin Skywalker in the movies? It doesn’t get better than that. Oh, wait, it does. The chrome-plated lightsaber, which comes alive in AR, has substantial heft in your hands and doesn’t feel cheap or plasticky. It emits a whitish-blue light when activated. And it’s fully functional. You can use it to battle villains like Kylo Ren and Darth Vader, and cut down enemy hordes in Assault Mode or one-on-one duels.

Triumph over your foes to earn power-ups and unlock new skills that let you physically dodge enemy attacks. You’ll even be able to use the Force to block your opponents’ strikes. As you climb the ranks, your lightsaber will change colour to reflect your new position.

It’s rewarding

This is no one-trick pony. For now, wannabe Jedi masters can choose from three types of game experiences (Lightsaber Battle, Strategic Combat and Holochess) across five famous Star War planets: Naboo, Garel, Lothal, Hoth and Takodana. Next month, the game will see a content expansion featuring new enemies, battles and duelists from The Last Jedi. Look out for the free update on the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges mobile app come January.

Strategic Combat is a real-time-strategy battle simulation that lets you marshal the forces of the Republic, Rebel Alliance and the Resistance. You’re tasked with moving troops, building defences and calling in airstrikes in epic battles against the might of the Separatists, Empire and First Order. You’ll even get to fight alongside legendary Jedis like Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Lightsaber Battle mode pits you against the gnarliest villains in the galaxy like Darth Maul, and there’s Holochess, which brings us to our last point.