Tagging to Make A Difference

I returned to Gameworks in Denver to tag in support of a great cause and play in the third annual laser tag tournament fundraiser for the Doreen Katz Memorial Cancer Foundation. This foundation raises money to help the children of cancer patients and it is a cause that really hits home with me not only because I lost my own brother to cancer, but also because Doreen was from a town very close to my home in New York and I want to support her husband Adam in his efforts to continue helping kids. It’s also such a fun night and as Adam says “what could be more fun than laser tag?” Of course, he’s absolutely right! I saw a few familiar faces from last year as soon as I arrived. I teamed up with B

Friday Frenzy Tournament

Occasionally I am asked how I got started traveling to laser tag arenas all across the country and the short version of the answer is that it began with my interest in tournaments and seeking out more competitive opportunities because there weren’t all that many happening close to my home. So, on this particular weekend I planned my trip around two events happening on back to back nights, the first being the Friday Frenzy Tournament going on at EZ Air in Reno, NV. This was a nice, casual kind of event for the players who came out for their AYCP night. Throughout the course of the evening the top five individual high scores were continuously tracked and updated on a white dry erase board and

Next Stop…Nevada!

I spent Thursday in Spokane, Washington, but by early Friday morning I had boarded a flight headed for Reno and I could hardly wait to get back to that part of Northern Nevada to check out a new arena I had heard was installed in Sparks, NV. However, I was going to have to wait because there was a delay in my flight that pushed my schedule back by about three hours. However, traveling in this part of the country was worth the wait, if for no other reason than the spectacular views as we flew into Reno! Because of the delay I had not eaten anything except for plane snacks, so my first stop was not to a laser tag arena, but instead to Ohana Sushi in Reno. Anyone who knows me understands that I

Spectacular Spokane Laser Quest

Wow! I FINALLY made it to the Laser Quest in Spokane (travel logistics to get there from NY made that more challenging than you might think) and it was well worth the trip. This has got to be one of the most impressive LQs I have ever seen. Built inside an old Washington State Armory, this location utilizes the unique space within this building to enhance a distinctive castle theme done better than I’ve ever seen the castle theme done before. I had spoken with staff member Courtney earlier in the day and when I arrived Chase was the first to greet me and Courtney was kind enough to give me a tour of the facility. There are artistically decorated party rooms… …and even a karaoke machine for s

The “Stealth Elf” Inside the Castle

I’d been trying for quite some time now to get to Spokane, WA, but it hasn’t been the easiest goal to accomplish due to geography and flight schedule. I had a long day getting there, first making my way to Boston, taking a six hour flight from there to Phoenix and then connecting with the additional flight to get me to the far northwest corner of the country, all for the sake of playing laser tag. My main purpose for heading to Spokane was to check off another LQ site, but while there I wanted to make the most of my one evening in town and so I started with a visit to Wonderland Family Fun Center. Well, to be accurate, my time in Spokane really started with dinner after the long trip at a su

What’s New At Home

With all my recent travels I haven’t written much about what’s going on at my home sites, but there have been a few new additions in both Syracuse and Albany. In Syracuse it’s “all about the base” (pun intended) as three new base style targets have been added throughout the arena...and this is now the center of the universe, lol. What I mean by that is this is the one spot in the arena where you can pivot with one foot never leaving the floor and hit all three targets. I know because I did exactly that. Since this site has upgraded to Gen 8 equipment these targets are repurposing some of the old Gen 6 packs, which I think is very smart. What do they do within the game? Well, the colors chang

Battle For The Fort VI

The catalyst for my recent trip to Indiana was to compete in the Battle For The Fort Tournament at Ultrazone of Fort Wayne and it was a fantastic time from start to finish with two nights of overnight competition between Friday night and Sunday morning. This was a really interesting tournament in a lot of ways (some amazingly close results in a few cases) with some excellent competition. For me it began with an early start on Friday morning, flying from New York to Indianapolis where I played at several arenas prior to making the drive two and a half hours north to Fort Wayne and arriving about 15 minutes before the first team events began at 1:00 am. However, for most of the players the eve

More Than Meets The Eye

My final stop in Michigan before returning for the rest of the tournament was to Bowlero Lanes Fun Center with Zap Zone Laser Tag in Battle Creek, MI. This site was impressive beyond my expectations! Upon arrival I purchased my game and realized that a group had just gone in, so I asked if I might be able to join the game that had just started, however I was just a little too late, so I had to wait for the next one. That gave me some time to sit and observe what was going on in the lobby. I thought there must be some kind of event because there were a TON of random characters enjoying the night dressed in what appeared to be mascot-type costumes. I chatted with one of them… I was told they w

Making My Way to Airway

When I arrived at Airway Fun Center in Portage, MI I was already playing beat the clock with one more stop left to go before returning to Fort Wayne. You see, I had dinner plans with Amber and I didn’t want to be late…especially since I hadn’t even stopped for lunch today! So when I hit a time in between groups I was appreciative that Taylor was willing to go 1v1 with me to play some Delta Strike so I could stay on schedule. I smiled when I saw the arena…for reasons I won’t go into I was particularly heartened to walk in and see these walls… This is a smaller arena inside a much larger overall entertainment facility. The design made good use of the space with some levels and it was appropria

Ready to Revel and Roll

My next stop was to Revel and Roll West in Kalamazoo, MI. Well, actually there was one other stop I made in between Holland and Kalamazoo at a tag site located in a nearly empty mall about an hour away from both places, but the encounter I had there was bizarre and unpleasant. I didn’t actually end up playing tag at that arena and I have no time for negativity, so I’m not even going to mention this other place by name. I’ll just say that because of that experience I arrived in Kalamazoo ready to burn off some agitated energy and thankfully Revel and Roll West turned out to be a great place to do just that and of course some good laser tag really turned my mood around! Damon joined me for a 1

Michigan Bound on My Second Wind

For the moment I’m going to temporarily skip over a significant part of my trip (the actual tournament) and move on to what happened the next morning…or the same morning if you want to be technical. Because this was an overnight tournament playing from 1:00-5:00 am it meant that by the time I got to check into my hotel for the night it was really the following morning and I had been up traveling and tagging for 27 hours straight. And since we’d be playing the same hours the next night it’s logistically tricky to make a sensible hotel reservation. To save me from having to pay for a second night’s stay at the hotel Skywalker was kind enough to offer me a place to crash after my checkout at no

Lights, Targets, Action!

My last stop while in Indianapolis prior to driving up to the tournament site was a visit to Ultrazone Xtreme Laser Tag of Avon. This gave me a chance to talk tag with Erik who co-owns the site with Simon, two familiar names from the world of Zone, and see what they had done with the place since taking it over from the previous ownership about a year and a half ago. While there is nothing dramatically unusual about the build of the two level arena (except for strikingly high walls on the second level that I am too short to peer over), the signature element that they have added are the lighting effects that are triggered by tagging various targets throughout the game. Erik showed me some of t


When I called ahead to Three-Two-Fun at Bowl 32 in Noblesville, IN and was told that they have a “first of its kind in the US” 4D interactive arena where the arena fights back and you can play it alone if you show up at a time when there’s no group playing I was intrigued. This site uses Laserforce Gen 7 and I thought I was sufficiently familiar with what this system had to offer, but this sounded interesting to me. What they are actually referring to is a “Living Arena” which does feature some elements that can “fight back” (like a warbot), however in my opinion these elements simply enhance a typical group game. It’s great that they have the extra target hidden inside this spaceship. Howev

Arrr…Off On A Pirate’s Quest

Royal Pin Woodland is home to a Pirate’s Quest themed two story laser tag arena and I was ready to check this site out next. I’ve got to say, this is a beautifully done arena. I inquired about who designed the aesthetic because part of it looked like Creative Works (which it was), but some elements were their own design as well. Let me say, the new LED black lights really make this arena pop! Manager Isaac set me up to play a game against Sam and, although there were a couple of false starts, we enjoyed a really nice game using Nexus. Isaac told him he was playing for the honor of Royal Pin. Smile…that was a good vote of confidence for him going in, but I could tell that Sam was from a diffe

Incrediplex Lives Up To Their Name!

Last weekend’s trip to Indiana began with a mid-morning arrival in Indianapolis on Friday. Although many laser tag sites don’t open until later in the day, I was really pleased to know that Incrediplex was not only open early, but that the facility manager Kyle was willing to make sure I could get in a game and give me a tour right away so that I could make the most of my entire visit to Indianapolis. So this was my first stop on a whirlwind 48 hour adventure! Let me tell you, this place really lives up to its name! While laser tag is only a small piece of their business, this 200,000 square foot facility is really impressive! This was evident even before I got into the building when I saw t

Indiana and Beyond: Battle For The Fort and So Much More

This is going to be the quick overview of an amazing weekend I spent in Indiana and Michigan anchored around competing at the Battle For The Fort tournament at Ultrazone of Fort Wayne, IN. I will write individual posts in greater detail about all the places I visited and the experiences I had as soon as I have a chance to sit down and process what took place, but for now let me give you an idea of how it all went. I woke up at 3:00 am on Friday morning in New York and rushed out the door to drive an hour to the airport. A quick change in flight plans routed me through Chicago and got me into Indianapolis early in the day, so I went off and played four arenas in Indianapolis area and had a co

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