The goal of Vector is to be a player’s running buddy for every game. It’s light and agile, with both reactive maneuverability and guidance from an on-board artificial intelligence. It can learn to play with the swipe of a finger. There’s no catch: you can throw it, chase it, bury it in a sand box, or lob it back. Its soft, grippy plastic surface keeps it from rolling off or getting stuck on surfaces. This is its specialty.
There are gated spatial awareness features like two ways of interacting with certain areas on the screen at once; it’s called-viewing or school. There’s much more to it than that though. Vector’s AI system relies on sensors, sounds, and objects to discern who is playing with the robotand requires that the player keeps an eye on Vector’s movements, keeping track of his direction of attack. The result is a very “pick ’em and forget ’em” experience.
Let’s take one example. Vector wants to sit on a bed. You can instruct the robot to sit on itor sit in a position that puts it in the right place on a particular side of the bed. You can use commands for precision attacks, to send it into attack mode, or have Vector pose in certain places.
If there are moving objects, such as an open book, or a bowl of cereal, you can stick it to the object, and learn how to connect the robot with the objects, for example by swinging and tapping it.
There are additional ways to interact with Vector in a game. For example, players can add tethers, or attach cues to Hexoskin, a flexible Bluetooth tether. There are hundreds of ways to react in response to the robot’s reaction. There are hundreds of precise ways to position it, even. You can tell it to go to its location, then tell it to follow the path of your head, to follow your hand, to follow your finger.
What you do not want to do is mix up Vector’s wake mode with a certain action that you might normally do with your fingers, and the robot will keep on responding the same way. Vector will refuse to play if you tell it to act that way, even if you try to build a defense by throwing a Furby at it. There’s just no way to do that.
I have trouble accessing its on-board AI system, but other players in the middle of a game can sense when it starts responding in a particular way. With whatever objects you add, you can differentiate whether that will be the way Vector responds. You can try to make it think by blocking it with a wall or blocking things that it detects to act like a homing device or target. Most importantly, you can basically teleport to any direction that you want. Or, you can visit new parts of a game.
Throughout the game, when you are moving Vector, you should feel how well it’s reacting. With simple commands, like, you drop the ball and other users can tell when your son or daughter is launching it from his or her handor sending it to a spot. This has an obvious payoff, as the AI will track the ball, and play defense, if it will do it when you play.
Players can change the game around quickly without the need to reload a checkpoint. This is because of Vector’s built-in recorder, and its connected place sensor. Each time the robot is played, you can record an entire game — no matter where it’s going. You can copy in different players, and even hack your way into the game, by attaching a new place sensor and some location markers, such as chips.
If this were a game about soccer, you could watch from anywhere, in peace and quiet, just cheering on your son or daughter as they run with the ball.
Yes, it’s a lazy robot with a bunch of needless feature set stuff. And that’s OK, we don’t care about that. We simply want to play with it.
The more creative the level of interactivity, the more fun you’ll have.