Following the closing of IAAPA, that Friday evening I decided to make the drive from Orlando to Tampa. There were several tag sites I wanted to visit in that part of the state, but unfortunately there was a traffic accident on the highway that helped turn this into a three hour trip and with the clock ticking the night away I had to make a choice. I knew I would not be able to get to all the tag locations I wanted, but there was one that was an absolute must...Q-Zar Tampa.
The reason Q-Zar Tampa was the most important site for me to visit is because there are so few actual Q-Zar locations left. Now, you may still be able to find the equipment in use here or there, but as far as "main Q-Zar sites" (quoting RNT on that) actually still running Q-Zar in the United States we are down to three of these locations...Concord, CA, Carle Place, NY and Tampa, FL. I have already been to Concord and Carle Place, so getting to Q-Zar Tampa completes my personal Q-Zar trifecta.
I arrived just a couple of minutes before a game was about to start. The staffer at the front desk asked me if I had played before and when I said yes I was allowed to go right into the briefing room on the second call, skipping over the video briefing for new players. I had a moment or two to glance at the arena map before going in.
And then we went in to suit up in the vesting room.
One young woman on my team sized me up and wondered about me. She asked me if I had played there before. I said not at this particular location, to which she replied, "oh, then you really should have been in the briefing to learn how to play." Now, I am in no way a Q-Zar expert, but I told her that I was familiar with how to play the game and I had done so at other Q-Zars and 'geddons. She seemed to accept that, albeit while looking a little skeptical, and we entered the arena.
First stop, energizer...
Next stop, the base.
Even though the guys on the other team put on a good defense I was able to take the base out several times several times throughout the game, shooting up the tube to the sensor and causing it to light up and sound the noisy alarm.
Although that same woman continued to give me "tips" during the game (clearly still assuming I was a newbie), but I think I held my own just fine. I was second place in the game, but came in first on our team, so whether she believed that I had any experience or not I was pleased enough with that result. I hung back in the arena afterwards, so I didn't see the scores right away, but the game master said to me "you and that other girl were really holding it down for your team" so I was satisfied with that. :)
We chatted a bit and he told me that one of the things he likes about this arena is that it still has a real 90s feel. Absolutely, I agree and love that also!
In fact, there's a really cool mural on the wall in the lobby that (although you can't see it in these pics) he told me is dated 1998...twenty years later, still up and still relevant!
Since I could only make it to one laser tag location before the end of the night I'm glad it was Q-Zar. And now I can say Concord...check! Carle Place...check! and Tampa...check! Q-Zar trifecta completed. And I took home a couple of t-shirts for the tag swag collection too. :)
Thank you Q-Zar Tampa!
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