Out of this world fun!
As members of the world alliance, you have been summoned to restore access to the top secret planet-wide defence system known as the Sapphire Network, before the aliens attack. You have 60 minutes to complete your mission. The fate of humanity is in your hands.
I like to think that it isn’t very often that a good game goes under our radar, and I really didn’t expect a room by a company called ‘Rob and Chris Escape Rooms’ to produce a game that we’d consider decent (sorry guys). So here I am, eating humble pie and I will say it out loud – this game is really fun.
A very quick search and you’ll see online escape games often stick to certain themes, a heist, haunted mansion, or some form of Aztec or Mayan ruin stand as particularly popular ones. So it was really rather refreshing to have one about aliens, who doesn’t love some good Area 51, X-Files, Conspiracy theory theming?
We logged into the portal from two separate computers and were able to see that we were both present and accounted for, so with our mission clear we got going; our 60 minutes to save the world had begun.
The first thing I feel like I must point out is that unlike most online games this one has a clear 60 minute time limit. If you don’t complete your mission in that time then you will not get to complete it. Now that obviously does make it feel more like a real-life escape room but it won’t be to everyone’s taste so I felt it worth pointing out first.
This game feels like you have logged into a NORAD inspired data terminal and are accessing restricted files, the files you need to solve in order to progress. The story makes it quite clear what you need to do and the interface you’re presented with is clear and pretty easy to follow.
Part of what makes this game different is how you interact with your teammates and have to work together to input puzzle solutions – more on that later.
You are told from the start that using the Internet for additional information is encouraged and trust me, you’ll need to. Be prepared to make very good friends with Mr Google as you scour around for the answers you’re looking for. For some, this may ruin the immersion as you are leaving the game, but the internet is all about alien conspiracy theories so just roll with it.
This game says it can handle up to ten players simultaneously but I definitely wouldn’t suggest that many. We played as a two and had fun, but I wouldn’t really go higher than five.
If I had one gripe about the puzzles it’s that I would have preferred a few more, as this game was really fun and I wish it lasted longer. The puzzles that were in the game all linked to the mission in one way or another and many of them had different ways you needed to input them.
You’ll find some decoding, searching, researching, and communication puzzles here. We really didn’t expect the amount of communication that this game needed, but what we had to communicate was different from any other game we’ve seen so far.
Arguably the puzzles were on the easier side but given the hard 60-minute limit, I think that is not a bad thing. With the theme of this game, I could see it being a firm family favourite in no time, especially with the last puzzle, which I really enjoyed.
If you get to a stage in the game where you really don’t have a clue what to do next, trying looking around and inspecting everything on the screen, these aliens are sneaky.
We found that the puzzles made sense and we didn’t actually need any clues, so after we played we reached out to the developers to ask how they worked, and this was their response:
The clue system displays the ‘are you sure you want a clue’ and when requested all team can see it. It directly relates to the stage you are at. They are like a riddle so as to give you a hint but not the solution. If you are still stuck you can then request the solution and an explanation of what you needed to do, and the actual solution is given.
Wonderful. Clues are cryptic and get less so, but if you need a solution you can get it – important when time is ticking!
Now it’s also worth pointing out that using a clue will deduct five minutes from your finish time, however it does not deduct it from your playing time. Regardless of how many clues you need you still get 60 minutes of playing time.
A hard 60 minute time limit makes this game different and adds more pressure. But it’s a really fun game and the ending is so much fun! At £15 this is costlier than some online games (not all), but if you’re looking for something different, then this is the game you’re looking for. Also, £2.50 of that purchase price goes to charity.
- Desktop / Laptop (sound turned on)
- Note taking implements
- Google (or another search engine of choice, DuckDuckGo?)
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 44mins
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review.