You regain consciousness.
Your spaceship has collided with an asteroid and you’re heading directly towards earth. Only 30 minutes remain before you plummet to the ground. And with the ship running on emergency power, and your crewmates locked in the hold – it’s up to you to navigate through the shuttle, repair the electricity and fix the flight path before it’s too late.
I am a super nerd at heart, with dreams of being an astronaut as a child (as well as an aeroplane), so it was a given that when we were aware QuestVenture had developed a half-hour space-themed game, we would be playing it. We had played their much longer ‘A Hunt Across the Capital’, and despite a few hiccups, enjoyed it, so we were hopeful that Cosmic Panic would deliver. And deliver it did.
Cosmic Panic is an entirely different breed of game from A Hunt Across the Capital. Where QuestVenture’s other game is essentially an online scavenger hunt taking players all over the internet, Cosmic Panic is a completely self-contained browser-based game, similar to a more traditional escape room. In fact, at points, it felt a bit reminiscent of Clue Adventure’s Jet 2 Space, but that was possibly just due to the similar theme.
As with most of these digital escape games, Cosmic Panic played out in a linear fashion, although there was a bit of a twist: players are given access to all of the information needed to solve the puzzles and repair the ship in the form of a manual, and the information in the manual will make sense once you come upon the relevant puzzle. Thus, with the spaceship manual on one screen and the task at hand on another, we made short work of repairing the ship, as it was easy with dual screens to see clearly how the manual related to the tasks.
It’s worth noting that you will need to finish the game before midnight on the day of purchase, so if you’re thinking of playing Cosmic Panic, hold off on purchasing it until you’re ready to play. Handily however, you are able to share your purchase code with your teammates, allowing players to play together in tandem from across the globe, or engage in a little healthy competition.
Difficulty is always subjective, but I felt the puzzles were just easy enough to be a good choice for families, or those with little to no experience with escape rooms or puzzle games. In general, Cosmic Panic was slick, and well thought out. The information in the manual felt overwhelming at first, but we soon got used to it and worked our way through the variety of puzzles on offer, which varied from logical deduction, to observation, and beyond.
We really only encountered one puzzle that we didn’t get on with, and that was simply because it felt as though the solution was the opposite of what we had thought it should be, based on our outside knowledge of how astronomy actually works. It was relatively minor and we quickly realised the error of our ways, but it was annoying nonetheless.
If you’re struggling to make sense of the manual and the tasks at hand, you are able to send out an SOS. This is the tried and true system of multiple, slightly less cryptic nudges, culminating in the solution to the puzzle if you really can’t figure it out. It’s not particularly exciting, but the system works, and by labelling it SOS, it’s even almost in character.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly activity, look no further than Cosmic Panic and prepare for a fun, and surprisingly immersive, adventure.
- Computer (Desktop or Laptop)
- An Internet connection
- Teams may find it useful to have a secondary device/screen or print the manual
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 12:39