Laser tag: physical, fierce and fun

by Matthew Smith

San Diego’s beautiful coastline offers a variety of ways to entertain yourself on the beach including bonfires, surfing and kayaking. With the abundance of outdoor activities, enjoyable indoor activities are often easy to overlook. But Ultrazone, a laser tag center in Point Loma, offers an indoor alternative to the usual San Diego lifestyle.

Two weeks ago, the venue celebrated its 20th anniversary and invited several members of The Aztec to play along. We played three games together and were split into three different teams. While playing, I felt an adrenaline rush from trying to catch others and avoid getting caught myself. It was the perfect competitive environment, as it was against my own friends and coworkers.

Ultrazone’s facility has a 5,000-square-foot multi-level venue built like a complicated maze; this structure makes the game quite challenging. A player can shoot another player by aiming at his or her reflection in the mirror, which makes any proximity a danger zone. One also has to be on the lookout for snipers hiding at the top level. Each player is required to reach three different bases scattered across the maze, and each base is a danger zone, similar to a bloodbath at the Cornucopia from “The Hunger Games.” Each base is surrounded by mirrors as other players trying to reach it lurk nearby. Scores are kept for both individuals and teams, based on how many players you tagged and how many times you got tagged.

This is a type of challenge college students will love. The game is like a live-action experience of video games such as “Call of Duty.” It’s the safest and closest thing to a real-life simulation of the game series without having to fight in real combat. Laser tag is even an excellent workout and could replace my gym routine.

Yet there are still some things Ultrazone could improve on. For example, providing an option for people to play against themselves without teams could make the game more interesting and enjoyable. While the $7 per game price tag is cheaper in comparison to other laser tag centers around San Diego County, it can become costly after a few games. However, the cost of multiple games becomes much less expensive than other San Diego attractions such as SeaWorld or going kayaking in La Jolla. The excitement is well worth it.

Photo courtesy of Ultrazone San Diego.

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