Battle House brings tactical gameplay to Wilmington

Elizabeth Heglar | Contributing Writer

Laser tag has been a longtime favorite among families, however this enjoyable pastime takes on a different level of competitiveness at a new Wilmington establishment, Battle House. Specializing in tactical gameplay, Battle House offers a new take on laser tag.

Described by its website as “mission based laser tag,” Battle House provides realistic weaponry and gameplay for all ages. The arena is made up of multiple rooms and structures, to be taken apart and reconstructed as desired. This adds to an already versatile experience by keeping previous participants from knowing the layout during gameplay.

The equipment used here is unique, with sensors worn around the head rather than in the form of a vest. The laser guns are weighted, designed in such a way that they feel like the real thing. UNC Wilmington alumni and Battle House participant Alan Linz describes it as a “’Call of Duty’ like environment designed to make you sweat.”

According to owner Darek Huckbody, the inception of this business began in Milwaukee. “This all actually started because of a bachelor party,” said Huckbody. First attracted to the concept on a night out celebrating his sister’s wedding, Huckbody’s father decided to start the first Battle House. Six short months later, the company made its way to Wilmington.

When asked about the driving passion behind making this a success, Huckbody focused on the game’s potential to connect with people.

“We liked the versatility of it. It reached all age groups in a way that made them interested and excited,” said Huckbody. This versatility is something that Huckbody continues to strive toward, not only in terms of his customers, but also in terms of the gameplay being provided.

Huckbody’s family has a long standing history with the military. The website elaborates on this stating, “our hiring efforts are focused on veterans,” including people with disabilities. The knowledge and experience of those who have had exposure to tactical situations helps to shape the gameplay into a more realistic experience. With his grandfather, father and aunt all having served it is no wonder that this business is so enthusiastic about showing their support. Also in the works are plans to work with and support the Wounded Warriors Project and other local non-profits pertaining to veterans.

Within the next few months Huckbody hopes to find a vehicle to add to the arena. “We’d like to find a Jeep Wrangler and stick a 50 Cal on the back of it.” Huckbody and his team are working toward bringing their new ideas to life in a fun and interactive way with things like zombie nights and air strikes on the agenda.

The gameplay itself is group focused, with teams of two being the typical mode of play. Capture the flag, Mr. President and Bomb are just three of the tactical competitions during game time. “I feel as though it presents a unique opportunity for UNCW faculty, staff and students to further develop their teamwork and leadership skills,” said participant Alan Linz.

Battle House has begun working with businesses and local schools to get events together. Local businesses are able to rent the space out for team training while some schools are pairing up for fundraising purposes. Huckbody also mentioned currently corresponding with students participating in UNCW’s Greek life about working to get an event together.

Battle House periodically runs specials, offering 15% off for groups of fifteen people or more, and student discounts on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Keeping their website and Facebook page up to date with new special offers is a priority, with updates being made on a semi-regular basis.