One way ticket to Mars = 3€
In the past decades, our planet Earth has been hit by a chain of disastrous events. It has become practically uninhabitable.
During the 21st century, the Life Protection Organization was created in absolute secrecy. The L.P.O.’s main task is to protect all life, including humanity, from extinction. The organization estimates that the Earth will soon come to a tragic end.
Recent information has revealed the imminent execution of Project N.O.O.M. Only a few citizens will be selected to embark on the most important mission of all humanity, and thus, to survive the apocalypse.
Project N.O.O.M was one of those games that would have likely slipped under our radar had it not been for the EG-Olympics on Facebook (basically escape room enthusiasts from around the world play a game at the same time). Another bonus was that the game was stupidly cheap, 3€ at time of writing.
The game was designed to be played by 1-4 players using the same screen, of course if you’re connecting using Zoom you can just screen share and that would work well. We played as a team of two from one device and it all worked well.
The story of the game was simple and easy to follow, essentially the Earth wasn’t in good shape and we had to get to Mars to start a new colony. One thing worth mentioning now, they say to take notes as you go along; make sure you do as it’s very important!
NOOM played out like a point-and-click video game and was mostly self contained in the interface, although there was a couple of occasions where you were directed ‘outside’, but these were well sign posted.
There were very distinct stages to this game, so don’t be disheartened when you start and find that things are a bit more down to earth than you were expecting. As the story progresses you’ll find that the puzzles and atmosphere changes with it.
This game doesn’t just rely on imagery on screen but also uses sound. Make sure you have headphones available or your volume turned up on your speakers.
One key thing about this game, write down your answers as you go along, if you get disconnected or refresh the page you’ll find that it doesn’t remember your place. Writing down your answers will save a lot of frustration if you do get disconnected.
When you do get to the end of this you’ll find that it is a definitive ending and brings everything full circle. Make sure you choose wisely when you get to the final puzzle…
The puzzle theming went with the story, although at times we did have to do tasks which felt a bit odd in the context of the story, but they were logical so we went with it. The more we got into the game, the more ‘space’ related the puzzles got.
Something we weren’t used to seeing in online games, was that most of the puzzles were multiple choice. As there was no time penalty to choosing a wrong answer it means that if we really wanted to we could have just ‘brute-forced’ them to progress through.
Colour was a big part of several of the puzzles so if your colour vision isn’t great then you could struggle at times. So long as one of your team can see colours clearly then this shouldn’t impact your game too much.
We were lulled into a false sense of security with this game as some puzzles were very simple yet others were then rather complex and drawn-out.
The puzzles for the most part were clear and made sense and relied on observation, logic, searching, and a lot of Maths (calculator may help). We did find one puzzle to be a bit ambiguous as it could have been interpreted in a few different ways, but other than that, the puzzles were pretty clear.
As I’ve already mentioned, write down everything that you think may be useful, including the answers. It will make life much easier.
Clues were available throughout the N.O.O.M. Project; should you need any help, gradual and cryptic clues could be found by clicking a lightbulb in the corner of the screen. And of course, if you’re still really not getting it, the solution is available to you as well.
Arguably, one option if you’re still not getting something you can just guess different multiple choices answers to get through it, not ideal but would get you moving.
This game went beyond our expectations of a 3€ game and gave us nearly an hour of fun. If you like point-and-click games, this is a good option.
- Computer with internet connection
- Notepad and pen (essential)
- Calculator (may help)
- Zoom/Teams (if playing remotely with others)
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 49:33 minutes