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Great Staff Make the Difference

I played at three different Launch locations while in Massachusetts and in each case great staff made a huge difference to my experience!

The first of the three was Launch Norwood. Let me set the stage for how they really went above and beyond. I had just left another location and knew I was cutting it VERY close to get to Norwood before closing time. I tried calling ahead to see if it was even worth my trying to get there, but could only get a recording, so I took my chances and powered through. When I pulled into the parking lot, I saw it was ten minutes to closing time and I rushed in hoping it was not too late because I doubted I’d be able to get back here the next day.

I hurried up to the counter (probably in a bit of a frenzy) and told the young woman, Sarah, that I would really like to play a game of laser tag if it was not too late. Her answer…”of course, let me get someone over there to get it started for you.”

What?! Ten minutes to closing and it was as simple as that and she was as gracious as could be. I have been to numerous locations (even some I never got to play and/or didn’t end up writing about) where this would not have been the case. Clearly if we didn’t move quickly, we would be past closing time, so I am SO appreciative for her awesome attention to customer care and for making it possible for me to play that late in the evening.

She directed me to the laser tag area where Kervin took over. Obviously, I was the only person going into that game, but he had me watch the Zone video (just as he should) and then he did something more marshals ought to do…he tested me to make sure I was paying attention! He asked me what the four rules were. I was impressed with that.

Then at a rapid fire speed I replied, “No Running-Jumping-Climbing-Sitting-Kneeling-Lying Down-Play Fair-Play Safe-Give It Your All.” Mic drop. He said “woah, I didn’t expect that!”

Now that we were clear on where I was coming from, we could play for real! That whole exchange took a few minutes, so by that time the place had closed and two staff members were able to join us to fill out a better game and it was awesome! Sarah, Kervin, Ryan and I suited up in the Helios 2 vests and went in for a game experience I likely would not have had if I got there earlier in the day. We had an exceptional blood pumping, adrenaline filled game with that awesome staff, played the way it should be with everyone going hard. Love it! They made this a terrific experience.

The arena itself is small, so this size game was ideal. It’s a cool design I have not seen before with the wooden maze pieces cut on the diagonal for interesting angles in the walls. It looked like it could have been an original design.

I have to note there were two tall staircases leasing to an upper balcony level.

It’s no secret I’m not a fan of stairs, but the upper level was home to one of the two bases, so I checked it out to get the base, but played the majority of the game on the lower level. However, I was impressed with how well this whole game flowed and I want to particularly shout out the team and Launch Norwood for making sure I was able to have a really great game experience at their facility!

The next day I paid a visit to Launch Framingham where once again, the staff response made all the difference. I arrived alone and asked when the next game was. I was told I could go in with a party group and she would check on the time. The answer was over an hour and a half later, so I explained I did not have that much time and wondered if they could send me in for a 1v1 with a staff member any sooner. She was incredibly accommodating and minutes later I was vested up and ready for a game with Justin.

This arena was significantly larger, but similarly themed, all on one level. The wall designs stood out more with the size of the space.

We had a great game that I particularly enjoyed because it was obvious with every turn that I constantly took that guy by surprise. I was all over the arena and the maze was unique enough to allow for me to circle around where he didn’t expect me to be.

I’m so glad I got another great game experience with H2 here at Launch Framingham.

My final Launch stop was to the location up in Woburn. This one was a little different, but again illustrates how staff make the difference. I walked up to the counter where a teen boy was minding the register. He really did not have a handle on customer accommodations. I asked to purchase a game, but he didn’t have one for me to get into. I asked about. 1v1 and he hesitantly told me he didn’t think they could do that. Moments later a bright young woman walked past and he looks to her to see what he should do. Her answer about getting me into a game…”Of course! Just give me a moment to see what we can do.” Excellent! This staff member had it together!

While she was gone, I asked the young guy about the Launch merch behind him on the wall. I asked, “are those green balls for sale?” which I didn’t intend so much as a question as I did an intent to purchase. However, he said to me “no, I don’t think so.” He genuinely had no clue about selling me the merchandise on display!

When the girl came back, I asked her about the same and she said yes, they are for sale and gave me a price, so I bought one.

She also said a group would be starting a laser tag game soon and I could play with them. Perfect! So, I went over to wait at the arena entrance.

To my surprise the group that showed up was a party group with about a dozen really little girls. It was like playing laser tag with the cast of Annie. Role model time! I obviously would not be playing hard this game, but I do love a chance to help young ones learn and have fun in a game. One looked up at me and asked a question, then she excited reported back to her friends “Hey guys, this lady is gonna play with us!” It even sounded like I was in a production of Annie!

We went in and put on Helios CE packs.

The game marshal correctly explained the need for two hands on the “phaser” (she did use that term), but then for clarification called it “the gun” to which the mom in the room quickly chimed in “no, it’s the blaster, say blaster.” While I always appreciate that in laser tag we make an effort towards game friendly terminology, the girl DID say “phaser” and was simply clarifying when she switched terms, so let’s all take it easy. Whether you call it a phaser, a blaster a HHU (hand-held unit…I’ve never been wild about that term) the bottom line is that, virtue signaling or not (and I'm not disagreeing with that mother), everyone now understood, and the girls were ready to play a game and have fun.

Again, because of the nature of this game I was not so much playing the game as I was getting my steps in, letting the girls use me as a target and admiring a STUNNING arena! The maze in the front part was definitely CW, but what I loved here was the gorgeous mural work I took note of in the back. The work was beautiful and different from what I normally see. Also, each mural was tagged with the artist’s handle so I looked them up and suspect these might be talented local artists?

You can see the name at the bottom of each piece, but ultimately, I was incredibly impressed with the look of this single level arena, in large part because of this unique artwork. Also, as one piece was dated 2021, I suspect this might also be an indicator that it is a newer CW maze as it certainly looked like it.

So, with three different experiences at three different Launch locations I walked away having had a great time and really all the more convinced that a great staff really does make all the difference

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