Confundrum Escape Rooms – Cypherspace [Review]

Out of This Wormhole

Location:  Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Date Played: June 12, 2022

Team Size: 2-8; we recommend 4-6 depending on experience level

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $32 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

In short, your experience in Cypherspace will be highly dependent on the puzzling aptitude your team brings to the table. Beginners will find this to be quite a challenge with little onboarding in the space. Enthusiasts will have a varied experience, with the difficulty depending on how much you click with the puzzles presented. Each puzzling aspect is matter-of-factly laid out, challenging you to hop in and start solving immediately. And by immediately, I mean please don’t waste time in your 60 minutes as there is a bit of a puzzle mountain in front of you.

You might even be wise to take advantage of an interesting feature that allows you to query the gamemaster on your completion percentage so that you can pace yourself. Not an exact measure (as it seemed to depend on the number of puzzles completed and not necessarily the complexity of the solves involved), it will give you a reasonable enough understanding of progression to be helpful on your journey into the wormhole.

Grey background with white lettering reads, "Confundrum wouldn't let us take photos... and never got around to sending them." The text finishes with a shrug emoticon.
Editor’s note: In the thousand+ games we’ve reviewed, this is incredibly rare.

There was certainly some variability in puzzle design; some hit home with solid aha moments and some made us shrug after the lock clicked and we quickly moved on. There was one discernible puzzle in the earliest segment of the game that required some guesswork to arrive at the right answer. With a similar mechanic and a few alterations in its execution (such as spacing out inputs provided), this could become a stronger part of the game flow.

If you’re looking for searching challenges or scenery immersion, one of Confundrum Escape Rooms’ other experiences will be what you’re seeking. However, if you just want to go solve some puzzles in Southern Ontario, and are an experienced player (or a group of beginners up for a stiff challenge), check out Cypherspace.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Space fans
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • For the puzzles… which get progressively more engaging

Story

We had been tasked by the Canadian Space Agency with retrieving data from a probe that had been circling a wormhole for a century.

Setting

Cypherspace was set in a fairly straightforward puzzling space that directed all of our attention to the challenges in front of us, with no searching required in the surrounding scenery.

Gameplay

Confundrum Escape Rooms’ Cypherspace was a standard escape room with a moderate-to-high level of difficulty depending on players’ aptitude with the puzzles presented. Much of the difficulty stemmed from the amount of content present to solve, not necessarily from the construction of any one puzzle.

Analysis

โž• A mixture of linear and non-linear paths played well together. Dividing and conquering (and sometimes swapping puzzles, for an alternate point of view) was necessary.

โž– Beginner players will likely struggle with the start, since there was little onboarding present.

โž• As we progressed through the experience, more and more of the puzzles tended to land solidly, with earlier puzzles seemingly focused on quantity solved and later puzzles prioritizing an intriguing mix of viewpoints necessary.

โž– In the middle of the game, there was an interaction with a screen that would have benefited from color differentiation in its execution.

โž•ย There was an appreciable mix of quiet additions to the experience, centered around gamemaster interaction. From the percentage complete upon request mentioned above, to the presence of a “gamemaster typing” message so that we knew they’d heard our request for help, we never felt alone while battling through the space. Of additional note, before the start of the game, our gamemaster took care to query our group on not only the frequency, but also on the type of hints preferred, allowing them to customize our experience.

โž–ย Select additions to in-game cluing may be welcome without taking away from the puzzle solve itself, such as the addition of in-game clarification on lock input format and a resource to aid with information that could be considered outside knowledge.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is plenty of off-street parking in front of this facility.

Book your hour with Confundrum Escape Rooms’ Cypherspace, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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