New York Toy Fair was an interesting place. The Javits Center was filled to the brim with just about everything you could ever imagine a kid (or child-like adult) playing with. There were even a few things that I couldn’t have imagined if I spent a week trying. ROXs, by A-Champs, one of them.
The original pitch email that came to me described ROXs as an “off-screen game console” designed to get kids moving. The product consists of three plastic “ROXs” that are basically small, vaguely square shaped pucks that have LED lights and speakers in them. They are controlled using a central unit that lets players choose one of ten different games to play using them.
The example given to me was “The Crazy Chicken Game.” Players will use special (included) belts to attach one of the ROXs to their backs. One of them will start to beep and flash and that player will then become the “Crazy Chicken.” That makes them essentially “it.” Other players can chase them and tap the ROXs on their back to capture them. Shortly thereafter a different ROXs will go off and THAT person will be it.
The designer has created ten games so far that use the ROXs in creative ways, but they emphasised in my time with them that these rules are only limited by the player’s creativity. The crazy chicken game, for example, is really just a game that has randomly generated targets. Running isn’t a required part of the game. Players could strap the ROXs onto trees or other targets and use them as targets to throw footballs at or even to shoot at with NERF guns.
I spoke briefly with Kilian Saekel, the inventor, at NYTF and he shared with me that he really wanted to create a toy that would help get kids who were otherwise sedentary moving around. His plan here was to take advantage of the game systems typically used in video games and use the ROXs to help transform the kids into the characters in the games!
We’ll be getting some hands on time with ROXs later this Spring for a full review so keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for more updates!