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I thought I was somewhat familiar with iPlay America because I’ve seen their name pop up a few times in the context of laser tag leagues and every time I would see that I’d think I’d certainly want to participate if I lived nearby. So of course I decided to visit when I passed through Freehold, NJ. All I can say is…OMG!

This place was astounding! I was expecting the typical FEC environment and was absolutely amazed by what I actually encountered. A tip should have been the fact that I had to drive around the parking lot for about fifteen minutes just waiting for any spot to become available. This place was packed! And it was not like walking into any regular amusement or arcade center. This was like walking into a giant mall! Or a concert venue…I’m not sure which is a better comparison. There was a security guard checking bags before letting people into the line (although I don’t carry a bag when I go to tag so he just waved me right through) and then I found myself in a massive line wrapping around several rows of dividers to keep as much order as possible amidst the noisy excitement of all these people. They had a ton of fun to offer people including a 4D theater, skyscraper ride, mini bowling, bumper cars and ropes courses. Even a carousel! And I believe that if you are looking for essentially every kind of entertainment fun in one place you will find it here. However, it was a bit overwhelming for me as the only thing I was looking for was laser tag. So, as cool as all the rest of this was, I really had to just “laser focus” on getting to the tag area because OMG there was just SO MUCH! Even a couple of step and repeat areas for photos!

After purchasing my ticket I was directed over to the laser tag counter to register for a game and since it was just me they were able to get me right in (as groups had to wait for the following game with more space available). I registered at the computer terminal and observed from behind a large plateglass window as the game in front of mine finished up.

I kid you not, this was about as crazy a scene as you could ask for among the excited players, but the staff kept things together very well. There was just SO MUCH, that actually entering the briefing room was a momentary relief. We got vested up and the briefing video played.

Each team was escorted to their respective reload station inside the 6500 square foot double level (and very new looking) Lasertron arena. I am fuzzy on the updates within the Lasertron system (and the employee was not sure which version this was), but everything here looked and felt VERY new, so I’m guessing I was playing with LT 12.5? Please feel free to correct me if you know otherwise.

Their website does make reference to the arena being “newly renovated” and “state of the art”. All I am sure of was that this space had a very new vibe…and very inattentive players that first round. I did as I usually do and made a beeline for the base.

I shot it repeatedly, ran out of ammo and went to reload and then returned to the base completely unnoticed by the other players! That was bizarre. Most had headed up to the second level where I saw neutral sectors that could have been bases, but were not active as such this game. For now the only bases I could identify were on the ground level, so that’s where I stayed and casually walked back and forth between the base and the reload. It was not the most exciting way to play, but I did capture the high score that round…which to be honest was not that big of an accomplishment, but I did get lots of props when the other players noticed. Then by the next game they were aware of what I was doing and stepped it up.

We played two rounds and it was a good time, although a little more of “everything” than I had bargained for. So when we were done playing I made a quick visit to the gift shop…

…and then continued on my way, satisfied that next time I see something about leagues I will have a better appreciation for what is involved with playing at this site.

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