Inside this arcade, tic-tac-toe is not safe for children.
That’s because at Q-Zar in Carle Place, the X’s and O’s happen in an axe throwing cage. But this shouldn’t scare away the kids from this revamped, gaming extravaganza at 151 Voice Road.
Along with the really cool axe throwing aspect, there’s a 4,000-square-foot laser tag battleground, a new-and-improved arcade and a completely re-booted game floor.
Ryan D’Amico and his dad Joseph took over Q-Zar, which had been closed since March 2020, and opened it back up last month.
With its new look and offerings, Q-Zar becomes the latest Long Island hotspot for (safe) axe throwing. In groups as large as eight, axe wielders 18 and older can check into one of four lanes and take turns chucking an axe at a plywood target board.
The cage boasts 15 games, from a standard bullseye to tic-tac-toe, and from Connect-Four to variations on the basketball court game H-O-R-S-E.
“I’m not very good at it,” Ryan D’Amico, 37, of Massapequa, said of his own axe throwing abilities. “I need to do a little more practice.”
With the new generation in mind
For D’Amico, taking over Q-Zar is like the repaving of memory lane. He remembers frequenting the popular hangout as a child of the ’90s.
“It looks a little different from when I came here,” he said. “It’s still the same name, people my age remember it. Now, I have kids that are coming to Q-Zar. I want to bring the excitement that I had as a child and bring the Q-Zar name back to the new generation.”
The arcade floor is packed with brand new games. From the shooters, to the speeders and everything in between, all the games take debit and credit cards as opposed to the quarter-slots of yesteryear.
D’Amico said he aimed to bring “Q-Zar up to 2022 standards,” and the King Kong of Skull Island console does just that. Gamers fight off insects, dinosaurs and the mighty beast himself as they navigate the game. But this is not the average game console.
“It’s a brand new type of video game, it’s a VR interactive ride,” D’Amico explained. “So not only is it a VR experience where you’re wearing goggles and everything is 3D, it’s actually 4D. It has fans that blow air into your face and it is also interactive, so you’re going to use your hands throughout to actually play a game throughout the ride.”
Of course, the classics like Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Big Buck Hunter await players, as well. There’s also an air hockey table, ski ball, a basketball cage and a Guns N’ Roses-themed pinball machine.
For the parents, too
The laser tag arena, a birthday party favorite, got its own makeover. It’s interactive field has a second elevated level for better sight across no man’s land.
Up to 48 players can fight in teams or battle royale-style. There is also an option for powerups like extra lives, invisibility and the ability to freeze an opponent.
With tickets and prizes, as well as wine and beer, D’Amico said Q-Zar is an adult venue, but one suitable for younger groups too. A father of three, he said the venue makes children parties entertaining for parents.
“We do a lot of kids birthday parties, and we give parents the option to do laser tag during the kids birthday parties,” he said. “I’ve been to every bounce house party you could ever imagine … They’re great, don’t get me wrong. But you come here, and mom and dad have a good time, the kids have a good time, everyone leaves with a big smile on their face.”