Encrypted Escape Room West Reading – Galactic War [Review]

Stellar kerfuffles.

Location:  West Reading, PA

Date Played: August 14, 2021

Team Size: 2-5; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29.50 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: flashing lights, loud noises, low lighting

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Galactic War is a slick, visually alluring take on an alien spaceship theme. Taking place in a fairly small but efficiently utilized space, this room concealed many layers and reveals. There was a moderate amount of puzzle content, though since much of it was parallelizable, more experienced players would get the fullest experience on a lean 2-3 person team.

Encrypted Escape Room West Reading hit it out of the park with Galactic War, and I’m excited to return for whatever they create next.

All 4 rooms currently available at Encrypted Escape Room West Reading demonstrated a steady commitment to growth and experimentation, and Galactic War — their newest room — was an impressive display of just how far the creators have developed their tech skills.

During our marathon run of all 4 rooms, I observed how this standard of excellence is an equal partnership among owner, designer, general manager, and game hosts. Not only were the rooms well designed, but they were also meticulously maintained and reset. It’s clear that everybody involved genuinely cares about what they’ve created, their players’ experience, and the escape room industry more broadly.

A control and radar panel within a space ship.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Sci fi fans
  • Any experience level
  • Smaller teams

Story

We’d infiltrated the Mothership of the dangerous Xarnai aliens with the mission of recovering the Xarnai Energy Core, which would effectively disable their communications, fuel supply, and defenses and thus save mankind.

Setting

Galactic War took place on the Xarnai alien Mothership, where we were immersed in interstellar lighting and strange alien glyphs in all directions.

A spaceship's interior with lots of glowing buttons and symbols.

Gameplay

Galactic War was a standard escape room centered around puzzles.

Analysis

➕ Galactic War was 100% free of standard combination locks! A few inputs that functioned similarly to combo locks were custom built to fit right into the rest of the set and thus were able to accommodate more interesting input formats than just alphanumeric combos.

➕ The room was mostly language-agnostic; that is, with the exception of a bit of intro text that easily could be subbed out, the room used abstract symbols and patterns and could be playable by speakers of any language. This made sense thematically since aliens probably don’t know English either.

➕ Galactic War really took advantage of a small space — which actually used to be a team briefing/ photos room. Parallel puzzle paths distributed players through different parts of the set, and the main area of the room never felt cramped or crowded, even with a full 5-player team.

A contraption on a spaceship labeled, "Imperium."

➖ We were a bit terrified by compartments that opened down very abruptly from the ceiling. One of my taller teammates had a couple of close calls, and I’d warn other height-privileged players to watch their heads.

Galactic War‘s soundtrack dynamically aligned with our progress in the game. So, even though we finished the room in just under 30 minutes, the audio built up in intensity as we progressed through the room, and we experienced a dramatic audiovisual ending sequence.

➕ A showstopper interaction toward the end of the game was highly unexpected and really fun to play with.

➖ The final puzzle of Galactic War was a stellar but somewhat anticlimactic interaction compared to what had just come before it.

Tips For Visiting

  • Parking: Street parking is available nearby.
  • Food: Our team (including both vegetarians and non-vegetarians) enjoyed the lunch specials at Chen Vegetarian House, just a block away from Encrypted Escape Room West Reading.

Book your hour with Encrypted Escape Room West Reading’s Galactic War, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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