You don't need the app to play with the blaster but you do need more than one blaster or the app to really enjoy it(to have something to shoot at that reacts). Works much like classic laser tag but with a modern twist of being able to keep score using the app. This allows you to replicate some cool features only available at laser tag centres. Health and ammo tracking, power ups, team red Vs team blue or purple free for all mode. But if you just want to pick up 2 or more guns and start shooting at each other then the blasters themselves still track health and ammo and have sound effects for shooting, reloading and dying. Also I think making the rifle a “3 round burst” with shaking bolt mechanic is a nice touch. Highly recommended.