Laser Battle: The Art of Laser Warfare Game Review

The Basics:

  • Ages 8+ (really 6 with a patient adult)
  • Players 2
  • 15 minutes (but can vary widely)

Geek Skills:

  • Logical & Critical Decision Making
  • Strategy & Tactics
  • Visuospatial Skills
  • Warning Label Comprehension

Learning Curve:

  • Child – Easy
  • Adult – Easy

Theme & Narrative:

  • Lasers shooting at targets in an arena

Endorsements:

  • Father Geek approved!
  • Child Geek approved!

Overview

In Laser Battle: The Art of Laser Warfare, each player has one laser and one target each, as well as six upright mirrors. All the pieces are mounted on bases that can be placed in holes that are evenly spaced around the game board at a number of fixed angles.

On the player’s turn, they can move a mirror (leaving it at any angle they want) or rotate their laser, and then fire their laser. The first player who successfully bounces their laser off the mirrors to hit their opponent’s target, wins. I think there’s some rule about not shooting your opponent in the eyes with your laser, too, but it’s probably optional.

The lasers are real laser pointers, which jacks up the cool factor by quite a bit. These do need to be recalibrated every once in a while, but that’s not too hard to do. Everything else is just plastic, but acceptable in quality and durability. The board is assembled from four triangular sections and can be rearranged in a few different ways providing a level of customization.

The rule book offers a few variations on play: different ways to set up the board and different starting arrangements for your pieces. For example, one rule variation states that if you hit the back or side of an opponent’s mirror with your laser, that mirror has to be removed from the game. We haven’t tried that yet as I’m a little concerned it could lead to a situation where neither player could win.

For more information on this game, take a look at the official rules.

Final Thoughts

This game is simple and quick. My 7-year old grasped the rules in about a minute. For her, and I imagine other little geeks, the difficult part was thinking about how the lasers will bounce off the mirrors, and planning ahead to get the right setup. But I believe this level of difficulty is also the game’s educational merit. If we play this enough, she’ll be an angle-calculating master.

On the other hand, the biggest danger with the game (other than permanent blindness) is that it will usually end in a stalemate. There are no rules to prevent a stalemate from happening, either. In Go, for example, there’s a rule that states no move may be repeated 3 times. This game could use a rule like that. I guess the makers were just too impressed with their lasers and mirrors to think about all the possible endgame scenarios.

Which is understandable. Lasers rule.

About Nate

Geek, Gamer, Father of Two, and Husband of One (so far), Nate has been a gamer since before he knew the word existed. From his very earliest memories of begging his older sisters to play Monopoly with him, and then crying when they actually made him finish the game, to his moment of Euro game enlightenment with his first play of Settlers of Catan (thanks to Father Geek's own Brian), gaming has always been his first, best, hobby. Now, with children of his own, he finds himself repeating the cycle of begging them to play with him, and then crying when they won't let him quit. He hopes that his daughters grow up to learn the joys of rolling dice, gathering resources, building civilizations, leveling their characters, seeing their enemies flee before them and hearing the lamentations of their women. Nate goes by the handle kungfugeek on Board Game Geek.
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7 Responses to Laser Battle: The Art of Laser Warfare Game Review

  1. Karl Fritz says:

    Another possibility to check out is the game called “Khet” (originally called Deflexion), which I have not played with my kids in awhile as they were too young for it. I do not remember that game even ending in a stalemate when I played it with friends. Khet 2.0 is slated to come out this year, the main change is that the laser is mobile instead of being fixed into the board as in the first edition.

    Thanks for the review!

    • Cyrus says:

      Yet another game everyone should try is LASER*BALL!, which is just Dodgeball, but you make laser sounds (pew! pew! pew!).

    • Karl Fritz says:

      A game making use of a PLASMA CANNON would be far more fun and appropriate.. (unfortunately, I do not know how to spell how the plasma cannon sounds 😉 )

    • Nate says:

      I think it sounds like this: “Haha! I just totally blew you away with my plasma cannon!!!”

  2. arlene rasnic says:

    need instruction on how to play.

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