Monday, January 9, 2012

Laser Battle - First Indoor Laser Tag Game in Ipoh

 Opened a few weeks ago, news of a new hotspot for youngster in Ipoh has been spreading widely in Facebook. The publicity was great and I even got flyers at my house mailbox. After watching a few friends photos in FB, finally the wait is over and I get to try out the latest craze in the sleepy town of Ipoh. Laser Battle is situated on the second floor of Glamour Square Building in Bercham.

 One game of Laser Tag is RM18 but there are currently having a promotion of RM13 a game. Otherwise you can always opt for value pack packages which is currently going for RM23 for 2 games. They are currently promoting another package of 5 games for RM50 (can be carried forward as long as you keep the game coupon on your next visit)

 Else, their standard price is RM18 per game after promotional period. They have 2 private rooms for small gatherings. You can bring your own light snacks/beverages along. For RM38, you get 3 games plus usage of the private rooms.

 The exterior of the place are all decorated with wallpapers which brings the futuristic feel. More like a space craft or some science facilities. These doors are the entrance to the battle arena.

 What is laser tag, you might ask. Laser Tag is actually a high-tech game/sport where players wearing computerized vests and handheld "phasers" (guns) attempt to achieve a winning score by zapping opponent players, base stations, and other targets within a playing arena or maze. Having said that, there are a lot of games available like Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatch, Free For All Standard Solo/Team battles, Eliminations, Zone Collectors, Friend or Foe and many others (The list goes up to 40 types)

Every pack has sensors on the front, back and shoulders of the vest as well as for the phaser. Zapping these areas will award points and your target's pack is deactivated for a short period. Take this time of around 4-5 seconds to run and "respawn" in another place before your pack becomes active again. Your phaser gun displays basic information like your ID, current score and ranking, current status (active or shutdown), name of the opponent who tagged (shot) you.

 
One game/mission last for 10 minutes. This is the area where you get your packs. It can be customized to a few colours if you are playing in teams. Before moving in, we will get a briefing on the game we are supposed to play. Since most of us are new here, we went for Standard Solo for the first round and Standard Team for the second. Basically, not much strategy was needed except for basic "surviving skills" and how to watch your back.

 The arena is well lit with UV blacklights. Usage of fluorescent paints and materials in the arena walls, drums and barricades causes them to glow in the dark so that you don't bump into them. Furthermore, every player is wearing a lighted vest with their guns. You wont have any trouble missing your target. However, dark coloured clothes does play a slight advantage. Or rather, wearing white will just make you easily traceable although your vest is without lights temporarily when you are "dead".

 Look at the glow from my white shoe laces. As mentioned, wearing dark coloured shirt will be an advantage. Well, since there are 11 of us in the arena, the first round, being free for all, was crazy as it was every man for himself!

 Luckily I did not embarass myself. Out of 14 players, I finished 7th in the first game. There were 3 party crashers whom comprised the workers of this place and their close friends (honestly, I do not feel comfortable playing with strangers, especially pros which cause the game to be IMBA) which topped the list. So if I exclude them, I actually was ranked 4th among 11 players from my group. Not too bad for a first timer. =)

 My team lost the second round by a small score margin despite having 6 players against 5. Overall, I think I was 4th in terms of score. I find team battles less chaotic and you have more time to catch your breath. Trust me, when you are waiting for your turn to play, you will go like "Wow, the other groups are out. 10 mins already ar?" But when you are inside the arena, I bet you will change to "Wow, not yet 10 minutes mer?" *gasp gasp*

Seriously, you will be catching your breath in no time after all the sprinting and adrenaline rush. Highly recommended if you do some light warming up before the game. You may be good in computer games like Modern Warfare, but sprinting in real life is a different talk. Minus the pain. Plus the air cond. Laser tagging might be your cup of tea if you do not really fancy paintball. Now who's up for another game soon?

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