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West Virginia: A Visit to Planet X

I'm off and running on another multi-state laser tag marathon and this one began with a trip down to Planet X Laser Tag just outside of Parkersburg, WV.

Actually, things started off well even before I got there because the owner of the facility, Dave Newell, texted me in the morning to confirm my arrival time and try to recruit a few players to be there. I really appreciated that because after nine hours of driving from New York I knew I was going to be getting to Planet X on a Monday afternoon and I fully realize that you can never really plan for a crowd on a weekday in the summer, so the extra effort made a good impression on me.

When I walked in the first thing I saw was the huge living arena marquee above the door.

We chatted a bit about the system and I got to try out their G7 Laserforce packs. I swear I didn't even look first, but the very first pack that I picked up...LEGEND! can't just be coincidence. Wherever I go the Legend pack just seems to find me!

These packs were a little bit lighter than the G6 packs I play with in my home arena. I understand this is due to a different battery. I wasn't aware of hearing the same tones I am accustomed to listening for, but otherwise they didn't strike me as being all that different. However, what was different was that they were used at a center that admittedly wasn't really a "Laserforce arena" (maybe that's just semantics) as they weren't hooked up with the software that other centers have for reading my membership card...although I'm pretty sure I already unlocked the achievement for visiting another Force center, so no biggie. So we all went in as level one players.

The arena itself is in the process of being remodeled. Regardless, it had a bit of an apocolypse meets neon city feel.

Dave shared some history of the business and how they landed in this space over three years ago after moving from a more remote location. So it may still be a work in progress, but he had some very clever ideas for how it might be revamped in the future with artwork reflecting a "force" you might have to think about a little bit. I may have to return to check that out! But for the here and now we were just looking forward to getting in some game time.

The text message from this morning mentioned that we could perhaps play more advanced games like Photon if I wanted. This made me wonder if they checked out my blog first or if the Photon suggestion was an amazingly lucky guess! Regardless, free for all made sense as we had a group of six players (even though a couple of them were camera shy), so that's what we did.

They play six minute games here, so time in the arena just flew by. I'd say the set-up was more geared towards younger players or beginners, which is fine since the main clientele seems to be casual walk-in traffic from the mall in which the center is located. It's not a competition arena (I don't think you could play SM5 here), but it was a good time and I really enjoyed playing with the group that came out just to have some fun. Thanks to all the players and especially thanks to Dave and the staff. I had a great time visiting Planet X Laser Tag!

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