Escapepolis – Cosmos 05 Death in Space [Review]

“I’m afraid I can’t let you do that, Dave.”

Location:  Athens, Greece

Date Played: March 1, 2020

Team size: 1-5; we recommend 4

Duration: 120 minutes

Price: from €70 per team of 2 to €100 per team of 5

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [A] Push To Release

REA Reaction

Of all of the games that we played in Greece, Cosmos 05 Death in Space felt like a hybrid of Greek escape room style blended with influences from other parts of the world.

In-game: A seat in a cryo-freeze pod.

As with other Greek games, it was intensely story-driven with a rich world. At the same time, it was more compact and decidedly more puzzle-focused than every other escape room that we played in Athens.

By and large, this was a polished experience. However, the puzzles could have benefited from deeper integration into the already beautiful set.

Not only do I recommend Cosmos 05 Death in Space, but I think that this would be a good starting game for an escape room adventure in Athens.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Sci-fi fans
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • A strong opening scene
  • The AI character interactions
  • Well crafted, layered puzzles
  • A detailed and creative narrative

Story

Our interstellar crew had thawed from cryo-sleep on approach to our destination, Kepler-186f. As we regained consciousness, we were confronted by our ship’s AI supercomputer, ERIK… who seemed committed to prematurely ending our voyage by any means necessary.

In-game: Cosmos 05 ship door.
Continue reading “Escapepolis – Cosmos 05 Death in Space [Review]”

Ask Gratuitous Sets your burning scenic questions!

We’re fans of Gratuitous Sets and we want your help building a list of questions to ask them!

As we start the summer of RECON, we’re excited to be putting together our first video collaboration.

Gratuitous Sets logo

Their set design and tech videos are a fantastic resource for the escape room and immersive experience community. I find them informative, amusing, and honest.

Submitting your Question

We’re making this super easy by providing 3 simple options for you:

  • Write your question in the comments on this post.
  • Drop it in our Facebook post.
  • Reply to our Tweet.

You’ll get your question in the queue through whichever option floats your boat.

How’s This Q&A Gonna Work?

David and Lisa will read the questions and Gratuitous Sets will answer them… and it will all go up on their YouTube page which you should be subscribed to.

We will, of course, share the piece as well.

YouEscape – Electromagnetic Fields [Review]

Magnets, how do they work?

Location:  the Internet

Date Played: April 4, 2020

Team size: 1-4; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 90 minutes

Price: $30 per team (regardless of player count)

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

We enjoyed YouEscape games even before we could play puzzle games only from home. YouEscape games were puzzle-y and creative. Their delivery was rudimentary, but charming.

In the middle of a pandemic, these games are a delight.

In-game: The table setup for Electro Magnetic Fields. There's a strange assortment of objects on a table.

Electromagnetic Fields had the charm of previous YouEscape games and some unusual interactions that we’d never see in a real-life escape room.

I’d still love to see YouEscape refine the props further. Additionally, Electromagnetic Fields had a rough final puzzle that felt like it was floating in the strange gap between puzzle and outside knowledge… but it still managed to work.

Overall, YouEscape remains a charming way to play games with friends that you can’t physically see. YouEscape has no shortage of competition at the moment, but while many of these remote games will disappear when escape rooms can reopen, we expect that Nick will continue streaming from his table.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Interesting puzzles that you wouldn’t see anywhere else
  • The always charming delivery of Nick, YouEscape’s creator

Story

Everyone had said that we couldn’t build our own submarine… but we’d done it anyway.

Unfortunately while on a voyage, our compass had broken. If we didn’t get it fixed, that little problem would prove our detractors right by killing us. We couldn’t have that now, could we?

Continue reading “YouEscape – Electromagnetic Fields [Review]”

Lockhill – The Sanatorium [Review]

Hell-o Nurse

Location:  Athens, Greece

Date Played: March 1, 2020

Team size: 1-5; we recommend 4

Duration: 2.5 hours for Midnight Mode (reviewed here), 1.5 hours for Night Mode or Day Mode

Price: from €64 per player for teams of 1 to €30 per player for teams of 5 in Midnight Mode (reviewed here)

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating:  We’re unsure what fire escape measures there were, if any. More Info.

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Sanatorium was the best kind of bonkers. It was big, beautiful, menacing, and loaded with surprising sequences.

In-lobby: A building's entrance lit by lantern light.
Image from Lockhill’s lobby

The actors (and I’m not sure how many there were) were scary, yet smart. They quickly zeroed in on the players who were willing to engage with them, and eased up on those that were overtly afraid.

Traversing the environment and interacting with the actors felt like living a video game.

As a community we talk about escape rooms being “immersive experiences” and “feeling like real-life video games…” but few of them honestly achieve deep immersion or feel like real-life video games. The Sanatorium did these things, and sustained the immersion for 2.5 hours… which flew by.

If it’s not clear, The Sanatorium was a must-play. However, I think that if you aren’t playing Midnight Mode (full horror & full puzzle), you’re doing yourself and this experience a disservice. If you’re scared, find teammates with the nerve to help you through The Sanatorium.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Horror fans
  • Players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • Heart-pounding gameplay
  • Intense actor interactions
  • An incredible set
  • It was a truly immersive experience

Story

Professor Nathan Jones had asked us to investigate the abandoned sanatorium. The word was that the facility maintained an inhumane standard of living for their patients… and that’s why it had been shut down. But recently, there had been multiple reports of screams coming from inside.

In-lobby: A stone wall covered in orange leaves beside an old door.
Image from Lockhill’s lobby
Continue reading “Lockhill – The Sanatorium [Review]”

Virtually Tour: Chernobyl’s Ruins

Chernobyl disturbs me like few things do. The mixture of hubris, human error, and authoritarian stupidity that led to that disaster has long been a source of fascination for me.

A massive, rusted radiation sign mounted outside of a ruined building in Chernobyl.

While the Paris Catacombs might be the living embodiment of macabre, I don’t find them disturbing. Maybe it’s the age… maybe it’s the fact that it was deliberately created… or maybe it’s that the Paris Catacombs are so over the top that they feel less real.

On the other hand, Chernobyl was recent, accidental, and haphazard… all of which is on frightening display. There’s nothing graphically disturbing here, but viewing these ruins hit me in a way that few things do.

These videos are captured in 360-degree VR. While they are playing, you can look around within them.

Via Dread Central

Thank you to Mark from Walnut Creek, CA for sharing this virtual tour.