Northern Air in North Dakota
The final stop on my journey was to play some tag in North Dakota, checking that off as my 49th state played. There were two options...one was an oversized entertainment park where the tag option would have been Lazer Runner (I was going to call this my backup option if timing didn’t work out for my first choice) or driving an hour beyond that (and over three hours from my last stop) to Northern Air Family Fun Center in Grand Forks, ND. By some miracle the timing all worked. I called ahead from South Dakota and Elena told me if I got there by 6:30 I would still be able to play the last game before closing. It looked like I would just make it! So I hit the road again. Remember I actually started this same day leaving early in the morning from Omaha...I put 877 miles on my rental car in one day! But I got there just in time and it was totally worth it. :)
I arrived and Elena greeted me, recognizing right away saying “I bet you’re here to play laser tag.” Yes, indeed. It was just before their closing time on a Sunday night, so she said staff member Jacob would play against me (this was fine, I anticipated this when I called ahead). So we went up the stairs to the laser tag arena and I got a surprise…Delta Strike! I’m not sure why, but for some reason I thought this was a Zone arena. No prob, Delta Strike offered a chance to mix things up a bit. I’ve really only played standard games on this system in the past, so when Jacob asked what I wanted to play I was pleased to learn about some formats I had not previously had an opportunity to try.
We decided on a game called Agents. It’s a little like Capture the Flag only without bases. If you are “holding the flag” your vest turns red and you earn 50 points for every five seconds that you keep it (note – that’s not 10 points per second, that’s a total for a full five second increment). I can imagine this is interesting with a larger group, but honestly this might have been the BEST way to play with only two players. It was really a fantastic game and I genuinely had no idea how the scores would shake out.
Jacob kept the flag for a good stretch in the beginning of the game (frankly I just couldn’t find him in the arena for quite awhile) so I knew he had a good lead with points from that alone. Then once I found him and took the flag things got a little more interesting. We went back and forth with it a couple times, but I know I took more shots deactivating him while I kept it in my control. This was a very stealth kind of game. He certainly knew this arena better than me, but I know how to “read” where I think someone is going to move, so it really did keep things moving and this was a much better game than almost any other I’ve played in a similar situation. It was an excellent game choice for having only two players, but I would also love to experience this game with a larger group.
We took a few pics and then checked out the scoreboard.
Turns out I won the game, but props to Jacob because it could have easily gone either way based on how long he kept the “flag” in the early part of the game. Agents was a really fun game and a first for me on the Delta Strike system.
I’d like to take a moment to talk about the arena itself was a typical CW space theme.
I will add another pic next to this center structure to my collection.
There were base areas in the corners that were not in use for this game. There is also a window against the far left wall that you have to watch for reflections. Other than that it was a typical maze. However, what was less typical came later when I went to purchase some tag swag. They had t-shirts, so of course I picked one up. But they also had the most unusual tag swag I’ve come across yet…
SOCKS! And if you look closely at the red grips on the bottom you can even see their logo incorporated. To be honest, I probably won’t be wearing these out of the house, but I thought they were definitely unique enough to bring a few pairs back. Nice job with thinking out of the box!
I left Northern Air feeling great. I got in a really fun final game at the end of a long day and I had accomplished something pretty big by getting to these final four states, ending with North Dakota. I say “final four” even though I know this only brings me to 49, but playing Texas as number 50 will be a whole other adventure dependent on my getting to all the other states first. So this completes a big part of my journey…and I celebrated with sushi!
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