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Onder’s Game – LaserQuest

March 10, 2007

Beeeyyoooooo!

Name: LaserQuest
Genre: Shooter
Creator(s): Jack Hathor
Estimated Number of Players: Hundreds have played, under 14 at a time.
Gameplay: Unreal Tournament without the blood or explosions but with real money in the pot.
Top Qualities: Fast– plays well without lagging. Multiple play modes to fit different player’s styles. Lacks the grimness of typical shooters.
Current Shortcomings: No league play. Getting a game started for the first time is a bit tricky until you get used to the setup. Lacks the grenades and explosions of typical shooters.
Where to Play/Buy: Play at Megabux, purchase on SLX.

Permit me to geek out for a moment: when I was a kid there was nothing cooler than Lasertag. You were actually running around shooting real lasers! Like Han Solo! Of course, the price was high and the marketing aimed at kids who would settle for a few action figures, so the fad passed in favor of Nerf toys. Nerf toys, as every geek knows, never stopped being cool.

A translation of Lasertag in Second Life could easily have turned into a lag monster. After the failure of Unreal:SL many gave up on this kind of game, but luckily somebody wouldn’t give up. Stripped down to the bare essentials of scorekeeping and collision detection, LaserQuest moves the action right along without major technical issues. They even managed to work four game modes in.

In stead of the gratuitous explosions and splattering blood of a standard shooter we have a very “backyard game” kind of feel. The lasers you shoot are glowing prims that feel a bit more like Nerf foam darts, which changes the dynamic a bit. It makes the competitive element a lot friendlier, somehow, to lose this notion that you’re actually trying to destroy anybody.

As I’d mentioned, you get four different game modes: team vs. team, defend your base, capture the flag, and last man standing. I really like playing defense so the “Shoot the Base” mode appeals to me, but that’s the real appeal of shooters like these: you can choose your own style of play. You also get to choose how much money you and your friends are going to throw into the pot for the winner, which can make things even more interesting!

LaserQuest combines flexibility with simplicity for a really good time. Check out the copy running at Megabux if you’re curious!

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