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Laser Game Evolution in Montreal

As I continued my weekend excursion through Canada, I traveled east into Quebec to play Laser Game Evolution in Montreal.

I must say I was rather pleased with my successful driving in spite of the fact that all the street signs are in French. I arrived to find the laser tag arena was on the second floor of this building in a busy retail area downtown Montreal.

I walked up the stairs and found myself in a bustling lobby where players were waiting for the next game to be called. The front of the business was beautifully set up with eye catching wall graphics and tables and chairs available to make it a hospitable waiting area.

As I waited for the other players to arrive for our open group session I checked out a nice display of LGE merchandise. I always love to see stuff like this. By the end of the night I said “I’ll buy one of everything!” You know I love to bring home tag swag as souvenirs from my trips! :)

As I observed the surroundings while waiting for the first game, I came upon this poster spotlighting the different locations where Laser Game Evolution is available to be played. Seeing this just reinforces that it was worth making a special trip to have this unique experience. This was a rare and special opportunity for me to play this system for the very first time. Realistically, it might be my only experience considering the system is not in use anywhere in the United States.

While most of the signs in the building were in French, they were also fully accessible to English-speaking visitors. When we were called into the briefing room before our first game, this sign was very clear to me.

Our game marshal began her introduction in French, but repeated everything in English.

Laser Game Evolution is a French laser tag system, so I expected to hear the briefing video in French and read the English subtitles, but interestingly enough (and I wondered if perhaps it was because more of our group spoke English) the audio was actually in English and the subtitles were in French, even though it was very obvious this briefing video had been over-dubbed from the other language.

Next we moved into the vesting area. I must say, this was a little different based on the unique way they have their arenas and games set up. Rather than having one large arena maze, they have three separate spaces identified as labyrinths one, two and three, each of which could play up to 15 players at a time and could run games simultaneously. The day I visited only labyrinths one and three were in use and I got to experience them both.

Upon entering the vesting room, step one was to look at the monitor, find my code name and match it with the number on the vest rack. Players for two separate games were suiting up at the same time, so it was important to keep clear which group you were with and which number pack you picked up.

I confirmed my name and number on the LED screen on the back of my phaser.

I was corrected on how to put on my pack. Typically, I expect the phaser to hang off the front, but in this case you put the colored lights on in the front and the phaser is connected like a tail on the back of your pack.

Once everyone was vested and ready, we entered our respective mazes through the white curtains marked for each particular labyrinth.

Our first game was in labyrinth one. With ten players the game was at 2/3 capacity, however, it felt like a full game for the size of the space. Personally, I would have preferred to play in one large arena, although I am sure they have reasons for breaking up the groups the way they do. This place operates with reservations only and, for someone like me, I had to make a reservation with an open group, meaning I could join with others who also had small groups of fewer than six attending. However, it appears more typical for them to book specific groups to only play with each other, not random open play as I experience in most arenas.

Labyrinth one was on the lower level and we could hear the footsteps of the game in labyrinth three being played above us. The maze was a simple structure of walls accented by neon yellow decorative highlights.

The second arena was larger with levels and decorative blue accents.

For this game, it was simply player tags with  no additional bases or targets. You would gain points for a successful tag and lose points when you got hit, so it is possible to go negative with your score.

I was not able to see my full score during the game, but the screen on the back of my phaser had plenty of information. However, it was also all in French, so I was mostly using intuitive knowledge from the symbols to interpret this info.

I ended up taking first place in both games during the session.

I enjoyed having this unique experience to play Laser Game Evolution. The system was easy to pick up without a lot of extra things to learn. It was fun as a simple “tag your friends” kind of game. Knowing that reservations are required makes this more of a destination experience, however if it were not necessary to play with a particular group, I would have happily played many more games there during my trip. As it is, I count myself very lucky to have had an opportunity to experience Laser Game Evolution firsthand and this certainly made my trip to Montreal worthwhile!

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