“FORPOST” is a Ukrainian company which has a presence in Belgorod. We decided to include this manufacturer in our review list for several reasons:
1) High browser rating;
2) Indoor laser tag is a new “FORPOST” line;
3) The Ukraine is a former USSR country, so it is likely to draw the attention of Russian customers.
“FORPOST” was set up in 2005. The company site boasts 97% of contented customers. The company’s laser tag equipment is a result of painstaking work. The company claims that every device took months of project development and testing. Our editorial board does not trust loud statements, therefore, we give a detailed report about “FORPOST” production.
:: Equipment quality (6/10) ::
The laser gun can be executed in two colours: black and white. The black version is made of high resistant polypropylene, the white, of high resistant ABS plastic. In fact, our previous reviews explain our point of view. As a prototype, the company uses their own development: Falcon. The length of the blaster is 54 cm, which really seems too much. The biggest fans of arena are children, but in their hands this tagger may act as a kind of “oar” – swaying it back and forth, they can easily injure one another.
By the way, let us examine the safety quality. The blaster’s tail pipe is equipped with a special rubber cap – the manufacturer claims that this helps avoid accidental injury. So, instead of bothering to change the design by removing unnecessary lugs, they put the rubber element on the blaster which makes it visually long. But the hazard of injury remains the same! The weapon has 10 hit sensors, 10 light-emitting diodes, a graphics LCD-display screen showing the statistics. The light flux is characterized by uneven distribution, some parts of the blaster body are not illuminated. The LCD-display demonstrates the data on the number of deactivated enemies, health, cartridges.
Our general impression of FORPOST production is rather positive. However, we slightly bring down the assessment considering:
a) bulky blaster model
b) rubber end cap
c) uneven light distribution
d) massive sensor bodies
The manufacturer scores 6 out of 10 points for its equipment quality.
:: Software (2/10) ::
Inspired by the equipment, (which is really not bad!) we decided to have a look at the company’s software. As a rule, it is a weak point with most manufacturers. Still, we hoped for the better. But things turned out to be worse than we had expected. There is no software as such. Except for a single screenshot presented on the Net.
We failed to find any other data for analysis. We also failed to get acquainted with the software functional, design, or game scenarios. The reason is that the access to the material is not free. We contacted the company and asked for a configurator to be studied by our editorial staff. We were answered, though, that the distribution package is available for clients only. 1 picture in the Net + rather vague explanations score only 2 points for the software.
:: Official Site and Social Network (6/10) ::
The site is performed in dark colours, the script colour and that of the badges are even a bit aggressive. The software is not available for downloading. The users can get the price list only after providing the e-mail and telephone number. After that they receive a number of phone calls, all of the same kind: ‘Would you like to buy our equipment?’ Some users have noted that FORPOST managers are a bit too persistent and annoying. There are no links to social networks on their site. After the close study of the official company’s site we easily found their group in the social networks which counts 1543 users. The equipment line is represented very well, the desirable options are easy to find and order on-line. The news feed is up-dated every 5-7 days. Unfortunately, the aggressive design and the pop-up window of their on-line counselor make it only 6 points out of 10 possible.
:: Client Map (4/10) ::
There is no client map on the arena site. The main data portal does not mention the exact number of clubs using FORPOST equipment. There are 8 comments about the game sets. They are not fake, the links to personal accounts in the social networks prove the fact.
One thing can be said for sure – 8 clubs ordered the company’s equipment. But the exact number of buyers can’t be figured out. However, one should get access to the opinion of those who have tested the equipment. For this very reason companies try not to keep back the information about open gaming sites, clubs, events. It looks like this rule is completely neglected by FORPOST.
:: Technical Support (6/10) ::
The site offers the services of their on-line counselor who gives quick and informative answers. The problem is to use the right settings which would prevent the window from popping up every 15 seconds. The telephone talk with the company’s manager demonstrates his tactful attitude to rival companies when giving exhaustive information about the home production. However, some technical issues are obviously beyond his competence. The phone talk is immediately followed by the commercial offer. The text is rather decent, has links to all possible data resources, the bill is attached. 12 game sets cost 635,000 roubles which seems too expensive for a laser tag industry segment. 6 out of 10 for the technical support. We bring down our assessment because of the bad knowledge of Falcon technical parameters and the refusal to attach the photos of the cord attaching the blaster to the tactical vest.
:: Conclusion ::
The average score for “FORPOST” is 4.8. Rather decent equipment, but total lack of software and no client map make it absolutely impossible to win. The equipment is too bulky, small details are not given enough attention - all these things bring “FORPOST” to the level of “LSD” and “POLYGON-64”. We want to hope that it is a temporary phenomenon - the company really has good chances to take on the market, at least the Ukrainian one.