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Laser Combat at Combat Ops

On my first day back in Fort Wayne, IN I had some time early in the day to pay a visit to Combat Ops Entertainment and play a bit of Battle Company laser tag in their 10,000 square foot arena.

I had assumed simply from the name that this place might be more like a militaristic outdoor tactical field, but when I walked through the door I discovered a bright, colorful and engaging arcade that was a much better indicator of what I would find inside the arena. This felt more like a family entertainment center that I would be likely to gravitate to with a wide variety of attractions including axe throwing, mini-bowling, Omni VR arena and a cafe. They even have mini golf out back, so there is plenty for all ages to experience here. I got a tour from Jason Watts, the director of operations, and later met the owner, David Dimberio following my game session.

Jason showed me around the field before the game began. I really like this arena, not just for the interesting layout of the buildings, structures and rooms, but also for the bright, colorful atmosphere and distinctive props.

I always look for what elements make an arena a little different and I love to discover the unique things that I don’t typically see. There were some really notable props to be found here!

One of my favorites was the bus that you can go up into and tag from inside or, as you can see here, while aiming out the window.

This tank is really cool too! Created from a piece of excavation equipment, it is a unique centerpiece that works well to reinforce the overall theme throughout the site while also adding something really memorable to the field.

It’s not uncommon to find a car being used as an arena prop, but this may be the first time I’ve encountered a truck this big!

While I think of Battle Company as more of a hybrid as opposed to being strictly “tactical”, this site does run mission-based games. I often find that tactical fields tend to be dark and a bit more sparse in an effort to create a more realistic “battleground”. However, what I like most about this space are all the bright, colorful touches that accent it along with good lighting to create an atmosphere without being too dark.

There are plenty of rooms to duck in and out of for cover. This is not a traditional-style maze, but a setting that makes you feel like you are laser tagging around in an apocalyptic city.

There are raised balcony-style platforms that you can access by way of stairs.

It’s no secret that I’m generally not a big fan of stairs in laser tag arenas, however these feel like they work well in this space. I did notice LED lights lining the stairs on each side, which I think is smart. It not only looks attractive and identifies the side of the arena (red or blue), but it also adds one more safety element to the stairs, which I like.

Normally when you play at this site you get to play 3-4 games within a half-hour session, but because of time constraints I just jumped into one game to get a sample of the experience. It was a great time! There was lots of room to move and plenty of places to find cover. The game flowed well and everyone had a lot of fun, which I think is the real testament for any arena. I was very impressed with my experience here and would definitely love to visit Combat Ops Entertainment again the next time I pass through Fort Wayne!

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