By Andrew Liszewski
While laser tag has been around since 1979, providing a bruise-free alternative to paintball, the ‘sport’ really didn’t get a lot of recognition until Worlds Of Wonder created their misspelled home version, Lazer Tag, in 1986. The brand has passed from company to company over the years, but has pretty much disappeared once the acronym ‘FPS’ entered our lexicon. But WowWee hopes to revive its popularity with its new Light Strike game, which ups the ante by incorporating modern video game features.
First of all the actual guns are available in various sizes, from cheap and affordable pistols, to larger, more intimidating and more expensive assault rifles. And just like the weapon power-ups strewn across video game levels, you can enhance your Light Strike gun with accessories: The ‘Refractor Launch System’ works kind of like a grenade launcher, taking out multiple targets at once. A ‘Rapid Fire System’ increases your firing rate and adds stabilizing bipod legs and there’s even an ‘Enemy Scanner’ which detects opponents around you, in a rather limited 20-30 foot range though.
The rifles and target accessories even let you customize your game, setting up teams or specific types of matches including a capture the flag scenario where you have to secure an I.T.S. or ‘Intelligent Targeting System’ device. The whole system actually looks rather impressive, particularly for those of us who cringe at the thought of getting even a tiny paintball bruise. The only downside of course is that to fully outfit a team for a serious match, you’ll be forking out a lot of dough. The cheapest pistols will run ~$50, while accessories range in price from ~$15 up to $50 as well. Not to mention the need for a constant supply of AA batteries.