Update 7/4/23: If you enjoy 5 Wits we hope you’ll check out our interview with CEO Matthew DuPlessie on The Reality Escape Pod.
Location: Syracuse, New York
Date played: August 31, 2015
Team size: 2-15; we recommend 4-6
Duration: 30 minutes
Price: $17.99 per ticket for one adventure, discounted if you play multiple adventures
Theme & story
“After no contact for years, and assumed destroyed, there’s been a distress signal from the starship Nebulous! You have just 30 minutes to teleport aboard the craft, figure out what happened and get back safely. But be prepared to battle an asteroid storm, rewire the engines, refuel the power supply and stop an evil Artificial Intelligence in time to save the world!”
This game was equal parts Star Trek, Portal, and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
We were repairing a failing starship with a psychopathic AI “helping” us. The AI was basically one joke about your weight away from being GLaDOS.
As with the other games we’ve played at 5 Wits in Syracuse, the 5 Wits production quality was in full swing here.
From start to finish, the look and feel of this game was staggeringly cool. There was a moment early in this game that made me forget I was in a game; that doesn’t happen often enough.
There was a captain’s chair on the bridge. I confess that sitting in it filled me with joy.
Bugs & prompting
During our playthrough there were buttons and puzzles that didn’t work.
This is 5 Wits’ newest game (we saw it under construction during our visit in May). While the game looked exceptionally polished, it was buggy.
In two separate instances, we know we solved puzzles correctly, but our solutions didn’t register with the system.
Then there was the puzzle where we had no idea what to do. Maybe our team missed something, but I don’t know what was expected of us during the “refuel the power supply” portion of the game. We needed more prompting.
Should I play 5 Wits’ Deep Space?
5 Wits is just as much a playground as it is a puzzle game. The spaces that they have fabricated are such a pleasure to inhabit.
It is worth seeing the automation, engineering, and care that went into building Deep Space. Even if I had known it would be a buggy experience, I probably would have played it anyway. 5 Wits creates a wonderful escapist experience.
This is billed as the most challenging game 5 Wits has to offer and it is. But in its current state, some of that difficulty is likely derived from bugs and minimal instruction.
5 Wits Syracuse’s three other games, Drago’s Castle, Tomb, and Espionage are stronger games, so if you need to choose among them, skip Deep Space for now. But if you have time, it’s well worth the $3 extra dollars it costs to tack this one on.
Book your time with 5 Wits Deep Space, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Full disclosure: 5Wits comped our tickets for this game.