Google wants you to feel like a Jedi before you go see “The Force Awakens”

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chrome Experiment Turns Your Phone Into a Lightsaber.

From Disney, LucasFilm, and Unit 9, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens-inspired Chrome Experiment turns you into a lightsaber-wielding Jedi trying to escape the First Order.Google has teamed with Disney’s DIS -0.05% LucasFilm to create Lightsaber Escape, a browser-based game that utilizes both your phone and your desktop browser – and is perfect for playing at your desk instead of getting actual work done (note to my editor: It was purely for research purposes… honest!).While we’re not all lucky enough to be strong with the Force, anyone with the Chrome web browser and a smartphone can at least pretend for a little while.

The game itself is pretty basic – an “on-rails” action title (one that moves you along a fixed path, giving you no control on where you go) where you attempt to deflect the incoming laser blasts of storm troopers as you attempt to escape an Empire Star Destroyer. After a brief calibration period for the smartphone, users will be able to swing their imaginary lightsaber as storm troopers shoot at them to prevent them from escaping. “In order to make your escape you need both a computer and compatible smartphone. Google has launched a new online game called “Lightsaber Escape,” which follows Finn—the star of the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens—using his ancient weapon to take on a group of stormtroopers. Head to the game’s site using Chrome—it will prompt you to enter a unique URL on your phone’s browser, which will turn the phone into your lightsaber.

But defeat all of the Stormtroopers—including the final Big Bad (thrust your handset forward and side to side to slay it)—and you’ll experience the sweet taste of victory. The Force Block extension takes comments and descriptions from people who have already seen a screening of the movie and uses those keywords and phrases to block pages that may contain spoilers. The Web giant is no stranger to Star Wars fanaticism: Last month, the company let users join the light or dark side via app skins, which transformed Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and Chrome to reflect your allegiance.

Ahead of the film’s Friday debut, Google also tucked away other Easter eggs, including a virtual reality tour of the Millennium Falcon, and scrolling results when you search for “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” And, for those folks who can’t make it to the movie theater this weekend, a new Chrome extension helps avoid spoilers. Force Block: The Star Wars Spoiler Blocker from Priceless Misc automatically seeks out online content that contains details about the new flick, then covers those pages in a black splash page with quotes from the famed franchise. We’re also using WebRTC and WebSockets to enable high accuracy, real-time communication between your mobile and desktop devices, reducing latency and improving interactivity. The game has surprisingly decent graphics and plays very smoothly, especially considering it’s running inside a web browser, rather than a games console. (Google also broke down the technical wizardry it used to bring the game to life in another post.) Google has been on an Empire-like offensive with Star Wars tie-ins in the run-up to the release of The Force Awakens. With the film opening in Europe today (Dec. 16) and the rest of the world later this week, we’ll have to see if Google has any more tricks up its sleeves.

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