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Tron Trek - Part 3: Things That Make You Go...Hmmm

The third stop of my Tron Trek was…interesting. I don’t mean that as necessarily good or bad, just interesting in that there were things I was not expecting when I visited Pinz in Milford, MA. When I arrived there were a handful of customers milling about, but I could tell I was the only one there looking to laser tag, so I enlisted staff member Tim to do a one on one and he showed me to the entrance in front of a stairway to the upper level arena.

The first thing to make me go “hmmm” was seeing the Lasertron logo at the top of a Lazer Runner stargate. I assumed this arena must have previously operated with Runner, but didn’t spend too much time on that thought as I was led to the combo briefing/vesting room. I stood there and watched the Lasertron briefing video (I know it’s a formality) before being handed a Lasertron pack. I’m not sure which version the pack was, but it looked a little older than I expected. Actually, the whole atmosphere felt a little older than I expected, which was the next “hmmm” moment because I had an impression in my head that Pinz might be a newer, “glossier” kind of FEC. I had anticipated it being a little more bright and active-looking with a typical Tron arena. And that brings me to the next “hmmm”…the arena itself.

This is actually not a criticism because I really prefer to play in unique arenas, and this one definitely qualifies. The other arenas I had played in earlier in the day were both typical Lasertron arenas. This one was not. It was a VERY long and narrow space, actually much larger than it looks. As I walked deeper into the space the length of it just seemed to keep going and going, but the narrowness of it meant there was limited play space width-wise.

Tim sent me in first as he started the game. I waited…and waited…hmmm. I had a feeling the game had started, but everything was silent. Then Tim walked into my sight so I took a shot and tagged him and realized that he had in fact started the game, but there was no music or any other audio playing. The game was completely silent! Hmmm…

This was an interesting experience indeed. I remember Nick (aka Glendale) asked me once about my thoughts about music in arenas and I thought he meant actual popular songs when I said I didn’t hear music played all that much, but in hindsight there is always a background track of some sort of music. And when it is not there you become REALLY aware of the absence of sound.

I try to step lightly when I play in order to be stealth while also listening for other player footsteps over the background music. However, in this arena with no music the sound of my opponent’s footsteps seemed amplified because it was the only sound, and with this elongated arena layout that made it fairly easy to tell where he was at any given moment. This was not a particularly challenging game, but it was fun.

As I passed one wall in the middle I noticed a flashing Runner base. So, my earlier assumption was correct, and Tim confirmed that they had switched systems a couple years back. I’m always curious when I see this why it is that arenas that have transitioned often leave the old base on long after they have started using new equipment. I’ve noticed this in several arenas, but it only seems to be a common occurrence when the previous system was Lazer Runner. Can anyone tell me why? Just curious. In any case, here’s the old Runner base, still flashing.

Although may not have been what I expected, I always enjoy unusual arenas and games. They tend to be more memorable, so when I think back on my Massachusetts Tron Trek I will remember the Pinz Atomic Warehouse arena as being the one that was distinctively unique in its own right.

Comments or Questions?


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