Easily our favourite space prison
You were caught, red handed…your cry of innocence ignored…it was you…case closed! Known only as The Ghost, the world was appalled by your crimes. Most of all by abusing your position of trust as police officers to become kidnappers and cold-blooded murderers, sentenced to life imprisonment!
You will be the first inmates of NEBULA – a new prison of the future, built in space by NASTA to hold the worst of the worst, far away from anyone else.
It’s time for you to board the NEBULA3436 Transportation Vessel on your 60-minute journey to begin a life sentence in space. As you prepare to board your one-way flight, you receive an anonymous message; someone can help prove your innocence…
Your only hope of freedom is to launch the escape pod and return to Earth. Succeed and you have a chance to walk free. Fail to make your escape and NEBULA will be your final frontier!
Our final game of day three of our road trip, and our fourth game at Adrenaline was Nebula, their newest game. We had enjoyed our time in Labyrinth, Lab 3436 and Kidnapped and were looking forward to seeing their latest creation.
Nebula takes place down the stairs and around a few corners in Adrenaline’s sprawling venue. Once downstairs we were taken to a room where our GM gave us a health and safety briefing, followed by a room mission briefing on a TV screen. Once the briefing was over, we were handcuffed, and then led to the room to begin our mission to escape Nebula.
Like most of the other games at Adrenaline, we didn’t really know what to expect, but we’d heard some very good things about Nebula from Amy and Ian (Brit of an Escape Habit) who had tested the game a few days earlier. We knew this game was new, but stepping into the game we suddenly realised how new it was, it still had the new paint smell!
Covid-19 Procedures: All staff wore masks, as did we. Plenty of space for social distancing and lots of hand sanitiser dotted around the place. Track and trace was in place for the venue. We only saw one other team on site and were kept sufficiently far apart.
Entering the room (in our handcuffs) we experienced a strange sensation of familiarity, not with the handcuffs, but with how the room looked. If you’ve ever played Loop at The Panic Room in Gravesend then you may have the same feeling. Nebula is not at all a copy of Loop, but the aesthetics in part of this game just had the same vibe – that’s very much a compliment in case you were wondering.
Prison break themes are a dime-a-dozen, so we were expecting more of the same as what we have seen in other prison break games, Nebula’s twist is that it is in space! Think of this game like in the film Guardians of the Galaxy when they have to break out of The Kyln, but with fewer trees and raccoons.
Nebula had good set design and considering it was very very new, everything worked smoothly and without problems. It would have been nice to see more ‘physical’ set design elements on the walls rather than just being painted on, but that’s being really picky as it was done well.
The story flowed well and this was reflected in the room design, starting locked up and having to find a way to move through the ship to finally be able to escape. The space keeps going and Adrenaline did a wonderful job in putting their own spin on the prison break theme. You’ll need a little dexterity to move around as there are one or two tight spaces, but nothing too strenuous.
There was ambient music playing throughout the experience, which I personally quite like. A silent room can work well but I prefer to have some noise just to take away from the silence.
Nebula had the strongest ending of all the games at Adrenaline and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Don’t take too long in this game, it has a habit of throwing surprises at you just when you think you’re nearly finished.
Nebula started off quite linear, which makes sense as you’re handcuffed. But it’s not long before it opens up massively and it’s possible to tackle puzzles in the order you choose. This worked well for us as we were able to split up and work independently on whichever puzzle made sense to us.
There was a good range of puzzles which all fitted into the space/prison theme. Observation, searching (not much at all), logic, maths (we think) and one or two puzzles that needed a little physicality all featured in Nebula. We really enjoyed the puzzles in this game, they were well thought out and really clicked with us.
Signposting in the room was very good, so no frustrations there. Most of the puzzles resulted in padlocks, of which there were a lot, but thanks to the signposting it was clear to know which code went with which padlock.
We didn’t need any clues in Nebula as everything clicked, but I am reliably informed that clues would have been over the speaker system in the room. There was a screen but this was used for the countdown timer. (If anyone reads this and has played already, please do let us know what the clue system is like, leave a comment below).
Having played the other three games at this venue, I am positive that if we needed a clue it would have been delivered promptly and been just cryptic enough to get us back on track.
Nebula was easily our favourite room at Adrenaline, and if this is a sign of things to come then they’re a venue to watch. This room really clicked with us and we found the puzzles a joy to solve and the room a pleasant place to be.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 44 mins
Address: 34-36 Marketgate, The Galleries Shopping Centre, Wigan WN1 1JS