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The Best Battle

Showing up to Battle Blast with these guys was the most fun I’ve had playing laser tag in awhile!

After a full day at the Amusement Expo, a few of us decided to go out to play some laser tag at my personal favorite site in Las Vegas. Walking in with Erik and Eric (Guthrie and Gaizat), I knew this was going to be a good time for reasons nobody else was yet privy to.

I’ll give you the benefit of some context, which none of the staff or players knew when we arrived. Erik is the VP of Zone Laser Tag and Gaizat was their marketing director as well as the man behind the arena music that you hear in many laser tag arenas using Zone equipment…just like this one. So playing Nexus along with these guys is kind of akin to walking into an Apple Genius Bar with Jobs and Wozniak (ok, that comparison is a little over the top, but you get the idea).

Erik always runs the show whenever we go anywhere so it was no surprise that he took the lead with the staff, meanwhile something caught my eye that I was delighted to see.

Battle Blast had won third place honors in last year’s Tiviachick’s Top Ten arena contest and had their award hanging by the front counter. This was the first time I’d been back to visit a business that had made my list, so it was nice to see that the recognition made the wall. Erik asked the young manager at the counter if he knew anything about the award before telling him that I was the one who gave it to them. I made a slight clarification to explain that I was the one who selected them for the list, but it was the people who voted who actually gave them the nice placement.

From there we were called into the start of our game and we entered the briefing room. This is where things got interesting. We were joined by a solid group of high school teens who were playing the AYCP that night. 14 players in total gathered in the briefing room…where Erik proceeded to unleash a whole lotta smack talk!

Watching all this unfold, Gaizat and I looked at each other like parents right before they announce “THAT one is YOURS!” But it was all in good fun as he challenged those kids to try and beat the “old people” (us) and the teens absolutely ate it up. Challenge on!

Meanwhile the game master, Mae, had her hands full trying to give the briefing info while trying to regain the attention of this group in the middle of all that. I give her big props, she was excellent, especially with bringing everyone’s focus back to the info she needed to everyone to hear.

When it was time to “suit up” we entered the vesting room and picked up our Nexus packs. The three of us played on the red team and some of the regulars helped to balance out the blue team. Erik came over to us and said “we have to deliver now because I just talked a lot of smack to those kids.” Lol, you think? We entered the arena and the music started.

Gaizat and I headed straight for the blue base. I destroyed it first while he guarded, then we swapped. Meanwhile Erik headed for higher ground on the second level. I went up there as well, starting in the opposite “room” where I took on two of the better players, driving one across the bridge and the other down the ramp before moving across the bridge myself and keeping a strong position from the top where I had a good view for tagging as a sniper and could also cycle through several targets within view.

There was good communication this game, at least among our little group. It became apparent that there were a couple of really good players here and they had certainly identified us too. Balanced competition always makes for a great game and these guys really brought it!

This is how laser tag felt to me when I first started playing. The familiar feel of this style of phaser in my hand with friends guarding your back and opponents bringing an excellent challenge that leaves you feeling like you’d gone through something both athletic and adrenaline pumping by the end. Everyone left that game having had a blast and I have to admit that riling them up with the smack talk at the start really did get everyone into it even more.

Ok, time to check the scores. This game was really close! The team totals were both tight with only a 250 point difference between them. That 250 lead went to the blue team (as someone…not naming any names…forgot to get his base), but the really impressive thing about the scores was seeing that even though the three of us held the top spots for our team, one guy on the blue team topped all of us!

Congratulations to Nick who now has some serious bragging rights for having beat this crew at “our game” and played it very well. He was definitely one of the players who made it a lot of fun for us!

Following that game Erik offered the manager his feedback on the experience. We all agreed that the staff at Battle Blast were exceptional (and as soon as we left he sent a text to the owners to tell them as much). I appreciated taking home a t-shirt to commemorate an awesome night of laser tag with friends to round out what had really been a fantastic trip. Thank you to Battle Blast for being part of those memories!

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