Warhead Antimatter Response (W.A.R). What is it good for?
Location: at home
Date played: August 21, 2016
Team size: 2-6; we recommend 2-4
Price: $14.99 for the printable PDF
Story & setting
Set in a William Gibson-esque techno-dystopia, our team of rebel thieves had to prevent the United World Government from completing its Warhead Antimatter Response (W.A.R) facility.
This was an at-home print and play game with simple, yet effectively stylized artwork.
The game spanned four chapters. Each player chose to “play as” one of the four characters. Each chapter cast one of the characters as “leader.” Each chapter had a handful of puzzles.
Grand Theft Antimatter leaned heavily on variety; no two puzzles were alike. They ranged from expected to unusually creative.
Not every puzzle was created equal. Some were great, some were weak, and one irked me.
Overall, we didn’t find any one puzzle too challenging.
I wasn’t expecting this: The character mechanic that empowered one player per chapter was remarkable. In each chapter all team members turned to the leading character and treated them as the team captain. The leading player only had minor power, but, on our team, the mechanic transcended all other team leadership dynamics. It was cool.
The art was consistent and solid.
The episodic structure helped to avoided bottlenecking.
The puzzles were a mixed bag.
The story was cute but barely relevant.
Six people, the advertised capacity, was two too many. There were only four characters and chapters; the structure could not sustain more than a few strong puzzlers. We quickly blew through the game.
Should I play Heist Escape Party’s Grand Theft Antimatter?
Heist Escape Party has the simplest approach to at-home escape game design that we’ve seen to date. It was inexpensive, easy to set up, and easy to play.
It was essentially a collection of puzzles with a tiny bit of story and a simple leadership mechanic.
The leadership mechanic was by far the most interesting part of the experience for our team. Your mileage may vary, but for Lisa and me, it’s very unusual for the power dynamics to ever shift on our teams. Whether we want to or not, one of us ends up leading.
Grand Theft Antimatter wasn’t a bad game, but wasn’t particularly exceptional either. It was puzzle-centric, but the puzzles didn’t support the weight of the entire game.
There’s a great concept and structure here. I am willing to bet that Heist Escape Party could make something exceptional if they focus their efforts to make more consistently great puzzles that also serve their story.
At $15, Grand Theft Antimatter is worth the money for puzzle lovers, but don’t expect it to exceed your expectations.
Download your copy of Heist Escape Party’s Grand Theft Antimatter, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.