BEAMSCAPE – A game of flashlight tag

NOTE: This document is from 1985. It was the “official” instructions for a nighttime game of tag we played when I lived in Broaddus, Texas. I recently found it on some old Deskmate disks and thought it was fun enough to share… If you decide to play, let me know how you like it! We had a blast.

BEAMSCAPE – Official Rules

You quickly dash around a corner in an effort to evade your pursuer. You press yourself against the wall, hoping you won’t be sighted. Your heart pounds as you hear the sound of running feet. Suddenly, you are engulfed in a bright light. You have been spotted. You start to run, but there is nowhere to hide. A loud voice yells out:

“One one-thousand! Two one-thousand! Three…”

Welcome to BeamScape! BeamScape is the classic game of hide-and-seek with a new twist. First, it is played at night with the aid of flashlights. Secondly, the light used by the Beamer (the person who is “it”) can be used to tag out other players.

BeamScape is more like a cross between tag and military wargames. The many strategies used in playing make it a fun and exciting “sport.”


In order to play BeamScape, you will need a high-powered flashlight such as the Mag-Light, which uses a Krypton bulb and can be adjusted to a small beam. The official number of players is five, although any number of three or more can play. The more, the better!


Most of the rules of BeamScape are similar to those of hide-and-seek. The person who is it, called the “Beamer,” starts counting while the players, known as “Runners,” go hide. After counting to a preselected number, which will vary depending upon the playing area, the Beamer then begins his persuit.

In order to get someone, the Beamer must either touch them, or catch them in the light. If the Beamer gets the light on a Runner, he must keep it on them for five seconds while couting “One one-thousand, two one-thousand,” and so forth up to five. If the runner gets out of the light in that time, counting must begin again at one. Once a Runner has been “tagged,” he becomes a Helper and is alowed to aid others in getting to the base. A helper cannot, however, purposely get in the way of the Beamer’s light to help a Runner get away.

Any runner who safely reaches base must remain there until the next round. A round begins after everyone has either reached base, or gotten caught. If all the Runners safely reach base, the game starts again with the same Beamer. If one or more Runners get caught, the last one tagged becomes the new Beamer for the next round.

Because this game is played at night without light, optional rules may allow every Runner to carry a small penlight to help them see. A regular sized flashlight should not be used since it’s light could confuse other Runners.


The game field for BeamScape may be anywhere. Good locations are places where there are lots of obstacles, such as storage buildings and trees. Before playing, though, be sure that the area is clear of any dangerous locations, and that it is not in an area that might cause trouble with non-players. (It is quite suspicious to see many people running around an area at night with flashligts, so if you are playing on someones private property, be sure to let the owner know what is going on!)

Also, be sure to have all the boundries decided upon before playing and make sure the rules are clear to all players to help prevent any arguments caused by misunderstanding.


The version of BeamScape which is presented here is a simple form designed to be played by many. A higher and more high-tech game may have options like two-way communicators with all the Runners, but not the Beamer. In fact, the rules of BeamScape were meant to set the basis for many different variations depending on the abilities of the players, so feel free to incorporate “home rules” to enhance the fun on BeamScape.

End of File – Allen C. Huffman

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