Feb 03 2013
“Are you bored? We have the cure.” So shouts Hanoi’s newest entertainment venue: X-Factory. X-Factory is primarily a laser tag venue, but also offers X-Box Kinect, flight/racing simulators and a very cool cafe.
From the moment you enter, you can see this place wasn’t thrown together overnight. A lot of thought has gone into the decor — with the centrepiece a seven-metre truck hanging from the ceiling — and staff wear branded combat gear.
The laser tag is apparently “world class”, and although we’re no experts it certainly seemed the real deal, with guns that looked like they came straight from the set of Dredd, each with sound, muzzle-flash and red dot sights. The playing area is laid out over two levels, in the style of a chemical factory gone wrong, and provides plenty of opportunity for surprise attacks — or just hiding out to catch your breath.
For those unfamiliar with laser tag, it works something like this: you are split into teams each wearing different coloured fluorescent vest tops, you have a sensor on each shoulder which records hits, each player has five lives and unlimited ammo — though you have to recharge, and you shoot members of the other team with lasers. One team wins. No pain — apart from the pain that comes from running around shooting a gun for 25 minutes.
The optimal group size is from 10 to 16 players — that’s five to eight on each team — but the venue can handle up to 20 and is willing to run a game with as few as two players — although with only two players you may just spend the time chasing each other around in circles. Walk-ins are accepted but advance booking is recommended. Price depends on time of day, but runs from 90,000 VND per person during the day Monday to Friday, up to 150,000 VND at weekends for a 30-minute session.
Aside from the laser tag, the X-ViP area is a private party zone where you can play X-Box Kinect and try the flight and racing simulators. The area is available for hire as a whole — you can’t just pay for a quick go.
After all that activity you might be hungry and thirsty. Help is at hand in X-Lab: a cafe serving a basic food and drink menu, with occasional inventive and themed specials. The plan is to arrange regular music nights — the laser tag playing arena is a great set-up for a club night — so we’ll update on events if it gets going.
While X-Factory may not be an everyday venue for most visitors to Hanoi, it’s a great option if you want to celebrate a birthday or other event and can get a group together. Combine laser tag with the X-ViP area and refreshments — alcohol is readily available.
Tucked away down a side road, south of Vincom Towers, X-Factory is a bit out of the way, but a taxi from your guesthouse in the Old Quarter will still only set you back about 100,000 VND. Or X-Factory can arrange minibus return transport for large groups.
Bui Ngoc Duong, on the corner of Pho Hong Mai, Hanoi
T: (0932) 286 790
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