Maze Rooms – Lunar Mission [Review]

What happens when the ship breaks down?

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Date played: October 15, 2016

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $33 – $49.50 per ticket, depending on team size

Story & setting

We started Lunar Mission split as the rescue team and the trapped members aboard a lunar station in disrepair. We needed to get the rescue team aboard the station, and once reunited, repair the station in order to survive.

Throughout the course of the game, we explored the expansive space station. It was a visually appealing, sturdy space for exploration.

Lunar Mission’s narrative was linear: Repair and proceed forward to the next repair.

In-game: A steel floor of a ship with safety restraints on the walls.
Image via Maze Rooms.

Puzzles

Most of the puzzles in Lunar Mission were pretty straightforward, once we had figured out what was expected of us.

Some were clear; some were bafflingly opaque. In our game, a number of things broke.

All stages of the game rewarded detailed observation above all else.

Standouts

The set looked pretty great.

In-game, a non-repeating pattern appears illuminated in blue in the background, a cube with a joystick is illumminated in red in the foreground.
Image via Maze Rooms.

Lunar Mission incorporated some major set pieces into truly interactive puzzles.

Some of these interactions triggered physical responses from the repaired space station.

Shortcomings

Our experience in Lunar Mission included two major technical malfunctions. These broke the final act of the game such that our gamemaster had to come into the game to investigate and finally trigger the conclusion herself. This would have been an awesome game moment if it had worked. Instead it was a major letdown.

Some of the puzzles were poorly clued and thus pretty baffling. Due to the poor cluing in the early portion of the game, we didn’t realize how broken the latter section was. We thought we just weren’t getting it. Nevertheless we still solved the final puzzle through a clever brute-force approach.

Should I play Maze Rooms’ Lunar Mission?

In Lunar Mission, we experienced a beautiful set and some great interactions.

Maze Rooms relied heavily on technology to produce these moments. When key things broke, it ruined the experience. We’ve never seen a game breakdown on quite this scale. It may well have been a fluke, but it was the experience that we had, and we didn’t leave happy.

Lunar Mission was not a particularly puzzley game. It was about observation, discovery, and manipulating the set, which was at times opaque. It was an interesting challenge in a fun environment. It would be more challenging for newer players, but approachable and fun for a variety of experience levels.

Due to the amount of breakage that occurred in our game, it’s tough to give this a wholehearted recommendation, but there is something interesting to see in Lunar Mission. Go in knowing that it doesn’t fail gracefully.

Book your hour with Maze Rooms’ Lunar Mission, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Maze Rooms provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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