Rutgers alumnus opens new laser tag venue
Vic Pellegrini, a Rutgers alumnus, recently opened Bullseye Lasertag in Edison, New Jersey. Bullseye Lasertag is considered a tactical laser tag venue, which has paintball, airsoft, video games and classic laser tag.
Pellegrini said it was difficult to find new and exciting activities nearby Rutgers when he attended the school, and laser tag was one of those activities that was “stuck in the '90s, with space beams and neon lights and kiddie-like equipment.” He said Bullseye Lasertag was built to challenge this notion.
“What we brought to New Brunswick is a much more realistic, much closer gap to the video games kids are playing now,” Pellegrini said. “We are not a little kid place ... we run competitive leagues, we have partnerships with the bars ... that was something that was definitely missing from (the) New Brunswick area.”
With an abandoned mall theme, Pellegrini said players have enjoyed the experience. The venue, which opened in November 2019, underwent major renovations.
“It's a 13,000 square foot building that was vacant for a year, so we came in and added barrels and boxes and we did a lot of steel design,” Pellegrini said. “We ran a lot of cables for computers and televisions, and then we just ran games for laser tag and people have loved it.”
Bullseye Lasertag does not feature the darkness and loud music of typical laser tag arenas, instead having bright lighting. Christopher Frank, a Bullseye Lasertag customer, said this created an experience more similar to paintball, excluding the hassle of masks and protective gear.
Unlike other laser tag venues, it has laser tag guns that resemble AR-15 rifles with reloadable magazines, Pelligrini said. Bullseye Lasertag also tracks all shots, captures, wins and losses online on a player account, which Pellegrini said allows customers to feel as though they are playing in a real life video game.
Additionally, Bullseye Lasertag hires captains for each team during the mission events to better lead players through its 30 missions, Pelligrini said. The goal is to help the players reach the objectives faster and make the missions run smoother.
Brian Mahovetz, a customer who has frequented Bullseye Lasertag several times, said it is different from any other laser tag venue.
“What makes Bullseye (Lasertag) unique is (it) uses a CO2 recoil system on the guns which give you a feel that you are actually shooting. The head band for head shots only forces you to be more accurate with your shots unlike regular laser tag places,” Mahovetz said.
Frank has been to Bullseye Lasertag five times. He said he has enjoyed its various events: playing with small groups and large groups, completing missions and partaking in the open session where he played against very competitive players.
“It’s addictive,” Frank said. “You get a lot of adrenaline during the games, and winning some of the game modes can be very challenging. (It) also keeps improving the layout of the field and sometimes bring in bonuses like the laser grenades.”
Frank said another feature that brings him back is the ability to level up and unlock more rewards in his account. He said every time he plays, he can play with either full health or half health to earn better rewards.
Pellegrini also said he was glad to open the venue so close to the New Brunswick campus. "It's only 8 miles from campus," he said. "It was through luck and perseverance that we made this deal."
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