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Playing Lasertag at Lasertec Berlin means you don’t have to wear waistcoats. Sounds dangerous, but it’s not at all. Our experience report includes the assessment of 9 lasertag testers.
It is dark. My heart is racing from the race. Cobra empty. Damn. Quickly reload and head for the medikit. Adrenaline pumps through a body. Then Phillip catches me, my phaser groans, “Injured“ and I throw myself behind a pile of big tyres, laughing.
In the urban jungle, the biggest indoor arena there, 9 friends got together to play and test a laser game in 3 variations for an hour. For most of them for the first time.
Note on transparency: As experience testers for Abenteuer Freundschaft, we were kindly allowed to play for free this time. However, this report is unpaid and reflects our independent opinion.
When a group of people shoot laser weapons at each other, it doesn’t have to be a science fiction film. In fact, laser tag – also called laser game or lasergame – is about completing tasks in an arena as a team. Each against each other or in teams, the players try to hit targets with their taggers (also called phasers) and thus score as many points as possible. The laser taggers used for this are completely harmless infrared signal transmitters (e.g. the remote control for the TV also works with them).
Every laser tag arena is different: there are outdoor courses and indoor courses that are designed like a city, a zombie world, a jungle, an abandoned house, a dilapidated factory building or a sinister bunker etc.
We were 5 women and 4 men, 3 of whom had played laser tag before in Mainz and the US. For all the others it was their first time. When we divided up the teams, we made sure that the genders as well as the athletically strong players were as evenly balanced as possible. In retrospect, this turned out to be a good decision and should definitely be taken into account if you are planning to play with children.
As soon as you enter the reception room at Lasertec Berlin, you see a long wall with a large selection of different guns – the taggers. There are various smaller, lighter models and some heavy, larger taggers.
Apart from the weight, the difference is that the smaller taggers have to be reloaded more often, just like real guns. From small to large, there are replicas of the Mini Mac, Cobra, Scorpion submachine gun, a P90 and an MP7 machine gun. With all taggers you can switch whether you tag with single shot or use continuous fire.
First we got a briefing from a staff member who explained how the taggers work, where we can reload, revive ourselves at the health kit and change the shooting mode.
We formed two teams, putting on yellow and green headbands with sensors. Then everyone got to pick a tagger and take it off the wall. The girls started with the two lighter models, the boys jumped straight into the big calibres. Then it was off to the dark arena, with winding alleys, dark hiding places, obstacles and stairs to vantage points.
In the first game, it was “everyone against everyone”to get to know the tagger and the arena, and we tried to land as many hits as possible while getting hit as little as possible ourselves.
To land a hit, you aim the tagger at the other players’ heads and pull the trigger. When you get hit, the tagger of the person hit signals with a distorted voice: “Wounded”. When you get the final hit, your own tagger makes a whimpering groan and you should now revive yourself at the mediakit – the tagger only works again then. What we quickly noticed: Lasertag at Lasertec Berlin is a real workout and you really break a sweat and are constantly in motion!.
In games 2 and 3, we competed against each other in teams – which is a completely different way of playing and leaves room for strategy and team-internal agreements.
After each game, the game supervisor evaluates the results of each player on the tagger’s display and you learn who landed how many hits & kills and who won.
Three times 20 minutes of concentrated action, laughter and team play in a game that turns off the outside world for an hour!
Super fun game overall! It was a great way to hang out with friends in a high-stress situation! – Abbie
We were all sweaty after our laser tag session, much like a good workout at the gym, and were glad to have spare t-shirts and deodorant.
The arena consisted of many different obstacles, passages, hiding places, objects for camouflage and ambush and lookout points. The course is varied and some of us kept discovering new hiding places and passages during this lesson.
The obstacles were nicely set up, especially the castle with the tunnels and the beach bar! – Andrea
In the heat of the moment, the headband slipped from time to time or the snapper that connects the sensor to the tagger fell off. One tagger did not harmonise with a player the way she wanted, and she fought loudly with it on the health kit and during reloading. That’s why she took another tagger – by the way, during the game you can swap taggers as often as you like and also try out others.
Her subjective conclusion was that the small Cobra was lighter but too quickly empty and that with the much heavier Scorpion she felt her arms at the end but could tag much better. I don’t think you can say that smaller, lighter-built people are better off using the smaller tagger per se.
The 3 players who had played laser tag before found the laser game good, but missed more strategic tasks such as “capture the flag” or hitting certain target objects.
The opinion about the headband vs. the waistcoat, which is usually worn during laser tag, was divided among us. Some thought the headband was much better, others would have preferred to play in a waistcoat.
Maybe it was a coincidence that we got two quite similar colours in the dark, green and yellow, but we often shot at our own team members. This is not counted as a hit, but it costs time.
After the game, all the testers said they liked it. One of them was a little sceptical beforehand about whether he would like a “game with weapons”, but was quite enthusiastic about it in the end. We at Abenteuer Freundschaft will definitely go to play laser tag more often and try out even more providers and arenas.
Exhaustion like a workout with many team missions. At Lasertec Berlin, you play with a sensor headband instead of a waistcoat, which has advantages and disadvantages. During the game, you can swap taggers and try out different taggers on a varied course. Recommended for JGAs and birthdays!
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