The Hippo


May 26, 2020








Archery Tag at Battle Games. Courtesy photo.

Battle Games 

Location: 7B Eastpoint Drive, Hooksett
Hours: Thursday and Friday, 4:30 to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Book a one-hour block online; walk-ins are also accepted if there are slots free. 
Cost: Archery Tag is $25/hour. Nerf Zone is $15/hour 
More info:, 232-4042

Doing battle
Archery Tag comes to Hooksett

By Angie Sykeny

 Older kids and adults can unleash their competitive spirit at Battle Games in Hooksett, a new indoor activity center offering Archery Tag for ages 10 and up and a Nerf Zone for ages 7 to 13.  

“We thought it’d be nice to have something that accommodates kids and adults and that’s outside of going to a bar, but more athletic and less logical than the escape rooms,” said owner Andrew Provencher, who opened Granite State Escape in Manchester two years ago with his wife Pamela. “We looked around at different trends and found Archery Tag and thought it would make a great addition to New Hampshire.” 
Archery Tag players wear a protective face mask and wield an easy-to-shoot bow — much easier than the standard bows used for archery — with which they shoot marshmallow-like foam-tipped arrows at their opponents. 
“Anyone, from a child to someone who has never shot a bow in their life, can use these bows, and by the end, they look like Robin Hood,” Provencher said, “and the arrows are nice because you know if you’ve been hit. There’s no ambiguity like in laser tag, but you won’t be black and blue like with paintball either.” 
The game is similar to dodgeball: two teams divided by a center line shoot arrows at opposing team members to tag them, just as you would throw a ball to tag someone in dodgeball. A tag may mean points for the tagger’s team, or may render the tagged player “out,” depending on the game style. A single game typically lasts two minutes. 
“No matter how athletic you are, the game fits a lot of different molds,” Provencher said. “If you want to hang in back and shoot, that’s helpful for your team. If you want to get out there and duck and dodge, there’s opportunities for you too. It’s a great fit for everyone.”  
Archery Tag playing time is booked in one-hour blocks. It’s open to adults and kids age 10 and up, and there may be two to 10 players, depending on how many people book the hour. You’ll likely be playing with strangers unless you come with a party of 10 or book all 10 slots to make it a private session. At the beginning of each block, there’s a brief training period during which players introduce themselves and are taught how to play the game and use the equipment. 
“As people experience the game together, they get more comfortable with each other,” Provencher said, “but it’s also very individual-centric, so you can do your own thing to be successful for your team without as much communication as you would need for something like an escape room.” 
Kids ages 7 to 13 can book an hour in the Nerf Zone, where they can shoot foam weaponry amid fun obstacles and even build their own forts. Battle Games staff coordinate fun games like “capture the flag,” “team attack” and “every kid for himself.” A rental Nerf weapon is included in the cost, or players can bring their own. 
Additionally, Battle Games has an event room for birthday parties and corporate events. 
Once Battle Games becomes more established, Provencher said, he plans to introduce Archery Tag league play and regular tournaments with cash prizes. 
“We’d love to provide an atmosphere where adults can get a great workout that isn’t picking up weights at the gym, and have fun playing a competitive, athletic sport,” he said. 

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