Year 2338. Planet Earth is on the brink of catastrophe due to overpopulation and environmental pollution. Humanity is in peril.
Research spaceship COSMOS 05 with its crew leads a mission of 5 spacecraft that have been travelling over the last 25 years towards planet Kepler-186f.
The great thing about playing escape rooms in Athens is that it’s so cheap to get around by Taxi that we didn’t mind spending 20 or 30 minutes in a taxi to play just one game, and that’s exactly what we did for Cosmos 05 Death in Space at Escapepolis. This game had been recommended to us so we decided to make a special trip just to play it.
Escapepolis have two locations in Athens, one in Galatsi and this one, in Gazi. The Gazi location is not the most salubrious of locations but once you step through the door you are transported into one of the nicest escape room lobbies that I think I have ever seen. The reception was beautiful, with merchandise for sale, water to drink, and toilets to use – everything you could possibly need.
When we arrived we were greeted by the owner, George, who was also to be our GM for Cosmos 05. After a bit of a chat (language wasn’t an issue), it was time to get down to business, and George explained our mission and also explained a number of rules. Many of the rules were ones we had heard before, but this game had a lot of extra instructions that we needed to heed – fortunately three of my teammates were listening to this as I had instantly forgotten them by the time we got into the room.
We played this game as a team of four, which was within their guidelines of 1-5 people. Because we had more than one person it was essentially a split start game, with three of us being led into the room blind folded, and only able to remove these once instructed. Don’t worry though, this is not a horror room and nothing unsavory happened, this is very much a game for sci-fi lovers.
In terms of a set…wow! This was truly a beautifully designed space to be in and some of the tech was pretty incredible. I lost count of how many times I heard our teammate, James, saying that something was amazing (and he was right).
One thing worth noting about this game is that it was very loud. Music and noises were blasting at all times so communication became challenging at times. With the lighting systems it was kinda like being in an odd sci-fi themed disco.
One thing we noticed during our time in Athens is that the designers there love story and they design their games with oodles of story at its heart. Cosmos 05 was no different and there was a lot of story here, although I must admit by the end of the game I was a bit over it and just ready for it to end.
This was a small space but they used it well. Even with four players I found there were many times most of the team were just standing around while one person solved something, so I really wouldn’t want to play with more than four. Saying that, there were interludes where we all had to do certain tasks and this was both a way to liven up the game but also slow down progress.
First things first, this was a very linear room with not much chance to deviate from the natural order. Because of this there are times where some of your team may be standing around with nothing to do, we certainly were. Another thing worth noting, if you hate padlocks then this is the room for you! I can’t recall a single padlock in this game, but there was a lot of tech.
All of the puzzles in Cosmos 05 felt like they were part of the story and solving them helped move forward the narrative, in general they were; simple maths, observation, decoding, colours (quite a lot of colours actually), pattern recognition, wordplay, communication (tricky with loud music/noises), minor searching, and a bit of spatial relations.
There was a bit of guesswork with some of the puzzles where we weren’t really sure what we should be doing, but thanks to some careful nudging by our GM we weren’t lost for long. Although the last puzzle certainly took us longer than it probably should have, although by that point I think we were just a bit frazzled from the sensory overload.
Before we entered the room we were given wrist devices that we had to wear, and each one was independent of each other. This meant that different clues could be sent to different devices – very clever. When a notification (not always a clue) came through, we would be alerted by a noise so that we knew to look at it.
I love it when a company thinks about their clue system and then finds a way to integrate it with the game, and that’s exactly what Escapepolis did here. Then again, when you look at the tech they’ve put in this game, I’m not surprised they added a cool clue system.
Obviously the person behind this cool tech was George, and whenever we needed help, George was always on standby to get us back on track.
We really wanted to love this game, and in a way we did. We loved the tech, we just found the gameplay to be a bit lacking and we ended up more frustrated than anything else. If you are in Athens, don’t want to play a horror game, and want to be impressed with tech, then Cosmos 05 could be worth checking out.
Team: 4 players – unsure on time
Address: 6 Pelagonias str., Gazi, 104 47