Laser tag and tanks together...who would have guessed?
When I mentioned that I'd be going to Melbourne, Brandon from iCOMBAT suggested it would be well worth my time to visit Tank America. He said I could play some tag and see some tanks...what?! I really didn't know what to expect, but when I pulled into their parking lot there was no question what they had to offer...Drive tanks and play tactical laser tag. :)
The business has a military motif all throughout the lobby, which complements the tag theme very well.
I got there a little before their 1:00 game session, so John (one of four partners in the business) explained to me what they do. The most unusual attraction they offer is an opportunity for the public to actually drive a tank. They have four formerly British armor tanks including two armored personnel carriers and two self-propelled 105 howitzers. John told me that the business was built at a site that had formerly been a National Guard training facility and that the customers who come in to drive the tanks go out in the field accompanied by employees who are former members of the military.
While inside the facility groups were preparing to play tactical laser tag, outside they were getting ready for the afternoon's car crush where visitors could drive the tanks over a vehicle.
Tanks are the main business here, but unfortunately I did not allow enough time in this day for a tank drive...maybe next time I visit. :) Instead I was ready to play some tag with the group that had just arrived.
We went into a briefing room (which I think they might have called "the barracks" or something like that to go along with the theme) and the game was explained. We all got to suit up with an iCOMBAT vest and headband and select from the laser tag irM4 CQB or the irM4 SB to take into the game.
I was assigned to team Bravo.
The map of the site shows multiple rooms to tag throughout.
But the actual rooms look a little more like this.
Team Bravo started at one end of the map at our base/re-spawn station...
...while Team Alpha started at the other.
Tactical sensors turn red to register a hit, so we had to be cautious and methodical to get through the field. One well placed shot could send you back to the base, unlike in most traditional tag. Realism in aesthetic and design are two things that I noted were done really well here without being too "cluttered" with atmosphere.
Team Bravo won the first couple of rounds playing Team Death Match and Reaper before I had to cut my session short to keep my schedule for the remainder of the day. My thanks to game masters Michael and Camille who were on hand at both the bases and made sure we had reloads available when needed and kept the games running smoothly. I wish I had more time here because I really enjoyed the experience. You can play quite a few games during one session here, so it's a good value and a great time!
I'm glad it was suggested to me that I check this site out. If I find myself in this part of Florida again I would definitely return...only next time I want to drive a tank! :)
Comments or Questions?
Websites: www.tiviachickloveslasertag.com and www.photonforever.com