REVIEW: MagicBand+ Batuu Bounty Hunters Game in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

    With the launch of MagicBand+ comes the implementation of two “scavenger hunts” in the Disney World theme parks that make use of the new wearable devices. At all four Disney World theme parks, guests can partake in the Fab 50 Quest a (very easy) scavenger hunt that consists of finding the Fab 50 statues and waving your hand to activate a special sound effect. In this article, we’ll focus on the Batuu Bounty Hunters game in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge that asks guests to find highly coveted bounties and join the Batuu Bounty Hunters Guild in the process.

    In order to play Batuu Bounty Hunters, guests must have a MagicBand+. This is an exclusive game for MagicBand+ users and regular MagicBands will not work with the game. In addition to purchasing a MagicBand+, guests are asked to ensure that they update three things:

    • My Disney Experience app (free)
    • Play Disney Parks app (free)
    • MagicBand+ (paid)

    To update your MagicBand+, check out our article below.

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    After updating the two apps and ensuring that your MagicBand+ is updated, it’s time to head to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and the Black Spire Station area. If you’re new to Batuu, open up the Play Disney Parks app and click on the Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters game. The first thing you’ll see in the app is a map leading you to the Bounty Board located in Black Spire Station.

    First Launch

    The app will continue with some onboarding information that will explain the process of being assigned a bounty, finding the bounty, and collecting the reward. In short, you’ll head to the bounty board (panel) to scan your MagicBand+ and get assigned a bounty. You’ll then head out into Black Spire Outpost to find your bounty by following a “hot/cold” system based on feedback from your MagicBand+. When you find the target, you’ll use the Play Disney Parks app to scan the door and inform the guild of the location of the bounty. You’ll then head back to the guild master to collect your credits before scanning your MagicBand+ at the bounty board panel and starting the process again.

    Gameplay

    The playtime of the full bounty hunt is probably around 2-3 hours depending on how long you might have to wait to interact with either the guild master or the bounty board. In the week since MagicBand+ launched, we noticed that wait times to interact with the bounty board or guild master can get lengthy (up to 10 minutes), and waiting might cause some friction with your experience.

    There is a bit of a learning curve with what is ultimately a very simple game. There is no skill required, and the hunting elements of the game are fun if a bit repetitive. We talk about some of the issues we faced later in the review, but let’s take a look at what a successful hunt looks like.

    You’ll start at the bounty board and tap your MagicBand+ on the clearly marked tappoint just like you would to enter the Disney World theme parks or to enter a Lightning Lane. From there, you will be assigned a random bounty to find somewhere in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Your bounty will be displayed both on the bounty board and in the Play Disney Parks app.

    Your MagicBand+ will be your guide, either turning red and vibrating strongly to indicate that you’re traveling in the wrong direction, or turning green and implementing a softer, pulsing vibration to indicate you’re traveling in the correct direction.

    Steady red – Wrong direction
    Soft green – Correct direction, keep walking

    As you get closer to a door, the vibration intensity will increase and more lights on your band will turn green (assuming you’re still heading in the right direction). One tip that we’ve found to work is that you can go up to any door panel and your MagicBand+ will flash red briefly if the door isn’t the one you’re looking for. This “wrong door” red effect is different than the “wrong direction” red and is useful when you’ve located the general area of the bounty, but not the exact door.

    Purple – Target located!

    Once you find the right door, your MagicBand+ will turn purple, which is your cue to open your phone to the Play Disney Parks app and scan the door to reveal your bounty via an AR thermal scanner. Note that you aren’t required to scan the bounty with the Play Disney Parks app to “collect” the bounty. If your MagicBand+ is holding a steady purple, you’ve essentially captured the bounty already and can return to the guild master to redeem your bounty for credits.

    Once you have captured the location of your bounty, you head back to the area of the bounty board to report back to the guild master. Note that you don’t return to the board, but rather to a doorway to the right of the board to redeem your bounty. Stick your hand into the opening in the door and allow your MagicBand+ to be “scanned” to activate the redemption of your bounty.

    The Batuu Bounty Hunters guild master will appear from behind a speakeasy-style viewer to congratulate you on your find, and likely challenge you to find even more bounties.

    Here’s a short video of some of the interactions you will have with the guild master – including the 20th bounty when you are welcomed to the Bounty Hunters Guild.

    VIDEO

    Once you’ve turned in your first bounty, it’s back to the bounty board to start the process over again.

    Batuu Bounty Hunters Review

    So, what did we think of the Batuu Bounty Hunters MagicBand+ game? We really enjoyed it! We did run into some issues as noted below, and some guests experienced even more issues such as trying to connect a minor’s account to an adult’s account to get the game started, but we’re hopeful that Disney is able to properly staff the game to assist guests with any problems that may arise.

    The gameplay lends itself well to adults and children alike. The game isn’t too difficult to understand, especially once you get a few bounties under your belt and get into the flow of the game. So far, the Batuu Bounty Hunters game is the strongest MagicBand+ offering and really the only reason we would suggest buying a MagicBand+.

    On average, it took us about 4-6 minutes to find a bounty, 2-10 minutes to redeem a bounty, and 0-5 minutes to get a new bounty. In order to complete all 20 bounties, we would plan on dedicating 3 to 4 hours, at least. We would actually suggest splitting it up into multiple days of your trip if you plan on visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios more than once. The game certainly gets repetitive and doing it all in one go will be tedious. Also, we would highly recommend playing the game close to sunset or even after sunset – three suns on Batuu make daytime bounty hunting exhausting.

    Before our closing thoughts, here are the issues we ran into. To begin, we had difficulty even getting the Batuu Bounty Hunters game to open. This is apparently a common issue that was flagged during testing and only happens when you first open the game. As it was explained to us, there is quite a bit of downloading of app assets that takes place upon first launch and that can cause issues or delays based on your internet connection. Of course, we were on Disney’s own WiFi, so that could’ve been the cause of our problems.

    Another issue we ran into was some inaccuracy in colors displayed by our MagicBand+. Overall, it seemed to work about 85% of the time, but we did run into issues where the MagicBand+ would quickly jump between displaying red (not close to target) and a strong green (very close to target). Every time this would happen, we would be close to the target and would eventually get a purple color meaning that we located the target.

    We also had an issue earlier in the day where we would experience some timeout issues. In speaking with some IT Cast Members, they said that there is a function within the MagicBand+ that attempts to end a game when it thinks that you are no longer playing. For example, if you leave Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge or jump on a ride, the MagicBand+ will end the Batuu Bounty Hunters game mode and enter a normal standby mode. This works well when you need to preserve battery, but it resulted in some early frustrations when we would “miss” a bounty and need to head back to the bounty board to reset our search. More often than not, this would mean that we would stop our current bounty hunt and start with a new target. This happened a few times early in the day and didn’t happen again as the day went on.

    Another issue that will persist is difficulty seeing the colors indicated on the MagicBand+ when in direct sunlight. Even with the brightness turned up on our MagicBand+, it was simply not bright enough to be easily read without seeking shade. In addition to cooler weather (a huge plus) the ability to read the MagicBand+ colors when it’s darker out is another reason why we suggest playing Batuu Bounty Hunters close to, or after sunset.

    Finally, this isn’t an issue in the “broken” sense of the word, but still is an issue to contend with – battery life. We’ve had inconsistent battery life, and we’re going to do a deep dive on battery life in another article, but plan on recharging your MagicBand+ battery throughout the day. The Batuu Bounty Hunters game is the single biggest culprit of battery drain for the MagicBand+ due to its continual use. Other things like the Fab 50 quest is a little more passive, and nighttime spectaculars are for a shorter timeframe than hours of gameplay.

    Closing Thoughts

    Overall, we think that Batuu Bounty Bunters is a wonderful implementation of what the MagicBand+ can do. Even so, the game is only whole by using the Play Disney Parks app. The MagicBand+ is not a groundbreaking device by any stretch of the imagination, but Disney has shown that they are able to create a good experience with the device. Batuu Bounty Hunters is a fun expansion to Galaxy’s Edge and it gives us hope for what Disney does next with the MagicBand+.

    As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

    Mike
    Mike
    Mike is the owner and writer for BlogMickey.com. Visiting the parks daily allows him to keep up with the latest Disney news, reviews, and photos from around the Disney Parks. You can reach him at [email protected]