Guest Blog by Randi Breese
I like zombies. Well, I love the TV series the Walking Dead and generally any end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenario movies or shows.
I’m so unlike my sister, Wendi, who likes butterflies, love stories and happy endings. But, since she knows my enthusiasm for them, she kindly bought me two tickets to Zombie Warfare for my birthday through Groupon. I encouraged her to purchase a 4-pack so she and Bobby, her husband, could come along, but she replied that zombies aren’t her thing.
After picking a date that worked for my husband, Shaun, and I, I donned my zombie-killing T-shirt that Wendi gave me a few years ago and headed to the Brookpark address to battle the infectious walkers. We arrived hungry, so decided to eat across the street at IHOP. You never know when you’ll get good pancakes again after the zombie apocalypse begins!
After eating, we made our way back to the large building that housed the Fear Experience. The proprietors allow groups of “teams” to enter every half hour, so there was a short line outside. It was drizzling rain, so when our group was called, I was happy. We entered the building, which I was later told was a converted Value City Clothing store. In this day and age, it’s good to repurpose everything.
After processing our recruit-level tickets (we did not upgrade to black ops), we were sent to watch a short training and mission video of the apocalytpic world we would be bravely entering. We were also trained on how to properly operate our replica M-4 weapons. The website says their size, form and function are similar to real world models with live bang, recoil and muzzle flash. It’s true. They were also heavy!
After being issued our choice of long- or short-barrel guns, we received some more instruction on pulling the trigger. Our picture was also taken, available for purchase later. We were told no videos or pictures were permitted to be taken during the “experience.” It was pretty foggy inside, so I’m not sure the photos would have turned out anyway.
We were then ushered to the first of four areas and now immersed in an apocalyptic environment overrun by the undead! I was scared, so I let Shaun take the lead. We navigated our way through dark hallways, horrific scene rooms, flashing lights, loud noises and zombies around every corner.
The “zombies” wear cutting-edge head shot targets (like laser tag) that flash to indicate a direct hit. If you hit their bodies, they only stumble and keep advancing. Some require two head shots, so it’s best to double tap! A few times I just ran or wasted a lot of ammo. After the first house, I concluded that I probably would not survive a true zombie apocalypse.
We did better in the second area. We now had hand signals and head shakes to indicate who would go first and walked back to back to cover anything that would approach from behind. We swept the rooms more efficiently and were less tense … until zombies started attacking from above! Near the end, one jumped out (more like a rage-infested zombie) and startled Shaun so much that he fell backwards onto the ground! He quickly realized he was out of ammo and yelled for me to kill it. I got the head shot, saved my husband and we survived. We ran past the last zombie and exited. Good cardio is a must in this apocalyptic nightmare world!
There were two more areas included with the “black ops” upgrade with more ammo, but we were satisfied with the length of the “recruit mission.” We purchased our Zombie Warfare commemorative photo for $8 on our way out and left laughing about how much fun it was. We decided we might return when they open for their regular haunted house season, which starts soon.
Overall we had a great time and I recommend it — especially if you want to prepare yourself for the zombie apocalypse in a tactical, live-action shooting experience.