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Landing on Planet X

I’m in the home stretch of my 50 state tag tour, which is the reason I made a road trip this past weekend to West Virginia, bound for Planet X in the Meadowbrook Mall located in Bridgeport. Playing in this arena would officially make West Virginia my 49th state tagged (this time around) and I was glad to have my Armageddon friend Jabber make the drive down from Pennsylvania to join me.

This arena certainly was more than meets the eye! We were led to the entrance behind the front counter and found that one wall of the arena is multi-purposed as the briefing/vesting area where we selected our Laserforce Gen 7 packs.

This kind of set-up makes the most of the available arena space, which I am going to guess to be somewhere around 2500 square feet? However, even though the footprint was small, the galactic theming was big!

When you turn around to enter the arena, the playing field feels like you are maneuvering around an alien ship hurtling through space. I have always had a particular love for space themed arenas and this one did it especially well. They have incorporated design elements including “computer stations” in between three video monitors on each wall, which provide the illusion of windows showing movement outside.

This is best seen in video to get the full effect.

Lighting and fog helped to round out the atmosphere. I noticed an observation area inside an adjacent party room, which almost looks like an extension of the arena because it acts as one more “window” where you can see motion during the game.

There are two base stations and one generator in the center. You can see one of the center targets lit up above Jabber’s head.

There was one position I found where it is possible to stand in one spot and hit all three without moving your feet. Sometimes it really is all about the angles. :)

Playing Jabber one on one was a lot of fun! We typically don’t get to tag with each other outside of tournaments, so this was just light and casual…even though we did work up a sweat over the course of a couple of games! I’m glad he was able to be there (and not just to provide me with some good competition!) because tagging in my second-to-last state seemed to be a bit of a milestone as well and I was glad to share that experience.

West Virginia…check! One more state to go on this journey that will soon have taken me around all 50 states for a second time!

On my way home I drove north through Pennsylvania and I had one more interesting experience before this trip was over. I saw a billboard on the highway for Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop. This has nothing to do with laser tag, but something told me to pull over and check this out. OMG, what a place! Whether you are in need of pickle flavored popcorn, soda or spicy pickle cotton candy (I’m looking at you Wil)…

A hamburger turtle (yes, this is now sitting on my desk at work guarding my coffee jar)…

Or my favorite find, a Potato Head themed as Silent Bob!

The entire shop is an homage to Willy Wonka, featuring tons of candy and oddities. This was unmistakably the most remarkable non-tag stop of my trip and definitely worth a shout out!

So now I am back home reflecting on the journey and so excited as I look forward to completing my journey in Kentucky. Keep a watch on the blog for more info this week because we are going to celebrate and you are invited!

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