Let’s play Laser Tag on Whidbey Island

There are a lot of recreation opportunities on Whidbey Island, but not all of them are family friendly, said Jeff Rossi. As the father of two daughters, Makala, 5, and Natalie, 4, he’s concerned about such limits, and he’s taken action to provide more family fun with his new business, Galaxy Laser Tag.

Laser tag players pause for a picture after their game one recent afternoon.

There are a lot of recreation opportunities on Whidbey Island, but not all of them are family friendly, said Jeff Rossi.

As the father of two daughters, Makala, 5, and Natalie, 4, he’s concerned about such limits, and he’s taken action to provide more family fun with his new business, Galaxy Laser Tag.

“All family members can play and interact,” he said.

Techno-thumping music gets players’ blood pumping for the high-energy game, complete with space-age looking vests and “laser” guns that chirp and buzz with each tag and hit.

Players collect points for themselves and their team for each successful “tag” on the opposite team, but points are subtracted from personal total scores for each hit from the opposite team.

The gaming area is a maze of black walls with splashes of red and green paint that glow under dozens of black lights. An overhead pipe pumps in fog to add to the hide-and-seek atmosphere.

Each team, marked by red or green vests, must protect its “headquarters” from the opponents. Each time the other team “infiltrates” the headquarters, a successful hit registers a whopping 1,000 personal points (tagging another player earns 200 points).

A central tower allows game-monitors to keep a bird’s-eye view of the game. Three bright monitors adorn the tower: one for the multi-colored dance lights, another to track each player’s score and the third controls the music playlist.

Two teams battled, laser-tag-style on a recent afternoon. After 20 minutes of play, more than a dozen players emerged with rosy cheeks and ear-to-ear smiles to check their scores.

Since Galaxy opened its doors in August, players of all ages have turned out, up to 60 years of ago, said manager Jennifer Hartt.

In the near future, a large monitor will be installed in the lobby so players waiting for their turn can watch what’s going on inside the gaming arena, she said.

Galaxy Laser Tag is located at 2949 Goldie Rd. Call 675-4TAG, or visit www.galaxylasertag.com for more information on hours, monthly and weekly specials, and member benefits.

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