Live Action Escapes – The Starship: Space Rescue [Review]

“I’m a leaf on the wind.”

Location: Worcester, MA

Date Played: December 18, 2017

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $27 per ticket

REA Reaction

This was something different.

The Starship: Space Rescue began as a typical escape room of locked spaces and standard gameplay. In the second act, Live Action Escapes turned this into a Star Trek Bridge Commander-style game where up to 5 players fulfilled different roles aboard the ship. The experience of crewing the ship was interesting and uneven. Some players were engaged; others didn’t have much to doNevertheless, this was a competent escape room with an enticing twist.

It is difficult to create new things, and we respected the effort.

In-game: 3 futuristic guns hanging on the wall of a space ship.

Who is this for?

  • Sci-fi fans
  • Video game fans
  • People who want to annoy their friends by endlessly quoting space operas
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • The Star Trek-esque conclusion sets it apart from the other games.
  • Sci-fi Easter eggs & humor

Story

We were beamed aboard the disabled Starship Janus. Its mystery cargo was of the utmost importance. We had to mobilize the ship and pilot it back to the dock before running out of air.

In-game: 5 of the ship's control screens. The main screen has a planet in view.

Setting

Our starship was spacious and dark. The walls and doors were painted to look like a starship; the floor was tiled to look the part as well. All of the features of the room, however, from walls to doors to ceiling, were, at their core, part of an office building… even if the set designer went to great lengths to transform parts of it.

Gameplay

In the first half of The Starship: Space Rescue, we progressed in typical escape room fashion through a pile of crates locked with letter locks. The escape room flowed pretty cleanly.

In-game: A captain's Android tablet with controls for the shields and emergency operations.

After unlocking the bridge, we positioned ourselves in front of various screen-and-controls stations where we worked through a series of scripted instructions to pilot our spacecraft to safety via a video game interface.

Standouts

There were a ton of fun props laying around that could be used for all sorts of non-game recreation. Pew! Pew! Pew!

We appreciated the numerous nerd references.

Finger strength only. #escaperoom

A post shared by Lisa & David 🔑 (@roomescapeartist) on

Two larger, more detailed props were as surprising as they were alien. We delighted in discovering them.

In the final, act we played the roles of the starship’s commander and crew. This real-life video game was different from anything that had come before it and from most escape room gameplay. It worked well.

Shortcomings

In the video game segment, not all roles were equally exciting. Due to the positioning of screens and chairs, the lesser roles couldn’t even really view the action while attending to their stations. I really enjoyed being Pilot, but Lisa was bored at the Communication station.

While we enjoyed maneuvering through space, we found it to be more like following instructions than solving a puzzle. With the exception of one action-based segment, we didn’t have much agency on this ship. Our options were to follow instructions and win, or fail.

The escape room gameplay was remarkably standard given the environment. The bulk of the puzzles could have existed in any escape room. I wish that Live Action Escapes did more with the spaceship.

The most interesting props didn’t contribute much to the puzzles or narrative… but they were cool.

Most of The Starship: Space Rescue took place in low lighting with poor quality flashlights. If the ship had some pointed “emergency lighting” the puzzling would be more fun. The flashlights detracted from the experience.

Tips for Visiting

  • Enter the elevator to the right before the main entrance to the building and take it up to Live Action Escapes.
  • Parking can be a challenge and/ or expensive.

Book your hour with Live Action Escapes’ The Starship: Space Rescue, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Live Action Escapes comped our tickets for this game.

 

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