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Live action with glowing waistcoat and phaser: action-packed missions await individual players and teams in the Laserstar Berlin arena. Is it worth playing lasertag at Laserstar Berlin?
The silhouettes of the buildings shine brightly. I stalk closely along the walls so as not to make an easy target with my glowing waistcoat. The pulse races. The tense feeling of someone lurking around the next corner and the atmosphere remind me of playing a video game – only everything is live with real action.
Seven of us compete in a team at Laserstar Berlin to play 4 different missions and try out how varied tagging is and how big the fun factor is there – in short: whether playing lasertag at Laserstar Berlin is worth it. Mission accepted!
Note on transparency: As adventure testers for Abenteuer Freundschaft, we were kindly allowed to play for free at Laserstar Berlin. However, this report is unpaid and reflects our independent opinion.
Lasertag is a completely harmless but action-packed game in which you have to complete missions alone or in a team. The setting for this is the lasertag arena. At the beginning, each player usually gets a waistcoat (at Lasertec Berlin, for example, a headband) and a phaser (or tagger) as equipment. If you press the trigger of the phaser, a laser beam shoots out with which you have to hit targets in order to score points.
So the idea is to go on missions with phasers modelled on weapons like in Robbers and Gandarm – or in the video game – by shooting at other players or targets with the tagger. There are many different missions and arenas for this – for example, in an outdoor course, dark bunker, a big city or a glow-in-the-dark surreal neon world.
There were seven of us – including 2 women and 5 men and all brought curiosity and different expectations including scepticism about the fun factor of playing with weapons. Three of us had played laser tag before at another provider, for all the others it was the first time.
Laserstar Berlin’s arena is 1,400 m² in size and bathed in darkness. Luminous dummies of houses and walls spray-painted with neon graffiti are diffusely illuminated by beams of different colours, creating a world of their own. It is a playground with many winding corridors, vistas and hiding places, where music provides atmosphere alongside the clacking of phasers and the running of players.
Before the mission starts, each player puts on a waistcoat with a glowing coloured signal in the middle of the chest. There are sensors on the chest, shoulders and back of the waistcoat that detect and store hits. The glowing phaser looks like a large pistol, is light and must be held with both hands to fire. It stores all hits or points.
Before the start of the game, each player receives a club card with his or her player nickname on which all tagging successes are stored. This card is held in front of the luminous symbol on the chest to activate the tagger and can be used in the arena.
There are different game modes and missions with varying degrees of difficulty that you can play at Laserstar Berlin. All against all or playing strategically against each other in teams is only a rough distinction.
From survivor vs. zombie combat with limited lives during the zombie apocalypse, to finding hidden messages, to gladiator combat according to the knock-out principle until only one team or gladiator is left, and many more.
On screens, each player can view their points, high score and unlocked missions via their club card. All game progress is saved there and you can also see possible missions. By playing a lot, you also increase your level (initially you are level 1) and unlock additional skills.
Before we get started, a staff member explains to us how the waistcoat and phaser work. And it’s as simple as can be: put on the waistcoat and fasten it with two straps. Take off the phaser, which hangs on a carabiner in front of the chest, and hold the club card in front of the equipment to activate everything. A pleasant observation for me as a woman: the phasers here are pleasantly light and handy, even for small female hands.
There are missions in which only the individual performance counts and some in which you compete as a team. Points are awarded for hitting other players and there are also 6 camouflaged portals in the hall, the destruction of which earns a lot of points (10 times as much as a normal hit for each portal, depending on the mission).
Before each mission, the staff member explains to us which mission we are now playing and how many points there are for what.
In our first and fourth mission we played in two teams against each other. While we all still had to get to know the arena at the beginning and it was not so easy to organise ourselves in a team, we noticed a huge progress in strategy, tactics, covering each other, forming and encircling teams etc. by the 4th mission.
“This was teamwork with movement with a steep learning curve!” – Christoph, 29
The second mission was everyone against everyone – running, hiding, screaming with laughter when someone suddenly appears out of nowhere right in front of you and tagging, and scoring as high as possible on your own. A highlight was the third mission, where our waistcoats lit up in different colours and you aimed at everyone with different colours until all the waistcoats had the same colours. After three hits, one’s own waistcoat changed colour!
On top of that, you get additional life if you keep the same colour for a long time, you can activate rapid fire after several hits, and so on. Sounds complex, but it is! And yet quite simple, because in a nutshell, all missions are about collecting as many points as possible for your own high score.
There is a break between the individual missions – which is good, because you work up quite a sweat as you are constantly on the move and have to stay concentrated.
This conclusion is based on the ratings of all 7 testers.
As soon as we entered the winding arena, we were plunged into game mode in the imaginatively designed nocturnal neon city. The light and sound effects create a great atmosphere, which, together with the varied missions, meant that all 7 of us got our money’s worth during our team experience.
“What I liked best was the combination of team play and competition, and the exhaustion and hiding during hide and seek!” – Sebastian, 30
It was a Friday evening at Laserstar Berlin, it was busy but not overcrowded. Our first game had some kids as opposing teams, which we didn’t like as much as the adults-only rounds afterwards. The little ones were often running around neck and neck and you have to be much more careful not to bump into them as they are physically inferior. In addition, they didn’t necessarily stick to the rules and, for example, were waiting to pull the trigger again as soon as you were active again, so you were constantly deactivated. This did not happen with the adults.
We are still beginners and only played 4 missions at Laserstar Berlin – but there was already a steep learning curve and the great feeling of improving and, above all, playing better together as a team. Since each time you play again, you seamlessly pick up where you left off and can unlock new skills and many different missions, I dare to say that the fun of playing lasertag at Laserstar Berlin is not exhausted even after many missions.
The missions that we played in teams were the most fun. In addition to your own strategy, you develop further tactics, organise yourself and noticeably work better together.
Nevertheless, playing laser tag with this provider is a sporting competition in which the focus is strongly on one’s own performance. After each round, you pay particular attention to your own performance, which is displayed on a monitor, compare your own performance with that of the previous round and that of the other players, and an additional permanent goal is to improve yourself! In this way, laser tag takes on a strong competitive character here, even in team missions.
“It was a very fun and adrenaline-filled evening with friends! It was my first time and I would do it again.” – Carlo, 30
We enjoyed this exhausting leisure activity playing lasertag at Laserstar Berlin so much that everyone agreed they would go there to play lasertag again any time.
Team play and a playful test of strength in a glowing neon city. Light and sound effects support the adrenaline-charged atmosphere while completing missions. Laserstar focuses on your own performance, because the better you become, the more missions you unlock with your membership card. Even experienced laser tag players get their money’s worth.
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