RATING: 5 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 16:40
With our hero captured and the city doomed to be destroyed by D.R.A.T., it’s time to put on our capes and be the symbol of justice this world is going to have to settle for!
The adventure begins when your team receives a distress call from Night Fox, the tech-savvy side kick of our hero Captain Dynamo. It seems Cyber Titan is threatening the city with the D.R.A.T. (Destructive Roaming Armored Transport).
Your mission? Team-Up with Captain Dynamo, stop Cyber Titan and save the city! You’ll have to work together to perform puzzling tasks, hack mainframes, defuse doomsday devices and become heroes!
It’s been our dream to get the chance to team up with our lifelong hero, Captain Dynamo to rid our fair city of evil – and today was finally going to be our chance. There’s just one problem: Captain Dynamo has been captured by the evil Cyber Titan – who also somehow found time to rig his D.R.A.T. with a doomsday device capable of leveling the entire town.
Ok, I guess that’s technically two problems. And you know what? For once, that’s actually good news! Hero League – Attack of the Cyber Titan is in fact two completely unique thirty minute escape games, packaged together inside a highly themed mobile trailer giving would-be heroes-in-training the option of playing either in any order, or both in one flowing back-to-back hour-long experience.
It should come as no surprise that we opted for this back-to-back experience – in which we received the full stories of both Chapter 1: Prison Cell and Chapter 2: Ground Zero, plus a little extra exclusive footage that seamlessly bridges the gap between them. As such, we’ll treat this review as both a single game (with a great big asterisk) with two distinct mini-reviews contained inside it that highlight the differences between chapters.
Before we split the experiences into two, we’ll touch on scenic for both – something that seems sensible as the setting exists within the same world. What starts as a mobile trailer covered with vinyl graphics on the outside is instantly unrecognizable once climbing across its threshold. The world within is fully custom fabricated – with set dressing and scenic attention to detail far greater than one might expect from, quote, “just a mobile game.”
We find ourselves aboard Cyber Titan’s D.R.A.T. – which obviously stands for Destructive Roaming Armored Transport. Basically, it’s a giant armed tank rigged to the nines with one goal: destroy the world and spread evil.
Ok, I guess that’s technically two goals. But no one ever said super villains are good at math.
Theatrically lit and scenically distressed, the D.R.A.T. instantly conveys a sense of comic book urgency. It’s equal parts cartoony and sinister, making it the perfect (mobile) lair for an infamous bad guy.
Chapter 1: Prison Cell
RATING: 5 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 8:29
With our hero, Captain Dynamo, captured by the nefarious Cyber Titan, it should come as no surprise that Night Fox has called on our team to save the day. In part because we’re really awesome crime-fighters you guys, and, ok – fine, maybe a little teeny tiny bit because no other heroes were currently available.
Look, we could debate the semantics, but what’s important right now is that someone has to infiltrate the D.R.A.T. and break Captain Dynamo out of the evil Cyber Titan’s prison cell. Chapter 1 of Hero League focuses on exactly that, casting us in instantly active, immersive, and heroic-feeling roles.
The focal point of Prison Cell is, well, the prison cell that Captain Dynamo is trapped within. Throughout the course of this thirty minute adventure, the space will transform itself several times through the use of hidden access panels and a whole lot of tech. Lighting changes and even physical vibrations add a tantalizing sense of both reality and danger to our mission.
The game time monitor, beyond simply counting down, also doubles as both the standard hint system and not-so-standard plot device that furthers the clever and witty narrative of Hero League. At various points throughout our mission, we directly encounter (a very socially awkward in the best way possible) Cyber Titan himself. This bit of comic relief does wonders to both break the tension, humanize the villain and elicit some genuine laughs along the way.
Although Prison Cell includes a few numerical padlocks, this little mobile unit is absolutely crammed full of tech. After a short speedbump of determining our starting position in a small space that felt so immersive, each puzzle thereafter flowed smoothly and effectively into the next. We found ourselves always having a clear indication of not only what we were solving towards, but exactly what to do with the results we received.
Puzzles throughout Hero League’s Chapter 1 focus strongly on over-riding the power systems of Cyber Titan’s D.R.A.T. in hopes that doing so will allow Captain Dynamo to break free. Logically our tasks include flipping switches, swapping fuses, a whole lot of re-wiring and rerouting the power core to cause a total meltdown worthy of a comic book climax.
Chapter 2: Ground Zero
RATING: 5 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 8:11
With our hero, Captain Dynamo, now freed, it’s time to defuse Cyber Titan’s doomsday device and save the city once and for all. With a little help from Night Fox in an exclusive Back-to-Back Experience bonus scene, we’re able to hack our way into the inner most chamber of the D.R.A.T. to get straight to our mission.
Now, the time for comic relief is over. With a fresh thirty minutes back on the clock. there’s a massive bomb somewhere within the room we currently stand, and seconds are quickly ticking towards our doom. We’ve waited for our chance to team up with Captain Dynamo; all that’s left is to make him proud!
Hidden deeper inside the D.R.A.T., Ground Zero’s clear focal point is a towering central core structure, extending quite literally from the floor into the ceiling. We can only assume that it’s here that Cyber Titan’s doomsday device is stored. There’s only one problem – it’s sealed tight and will require some clever hacking to access.
This protective bomb cover isn’t the only advanced piece of equipment inside Ground Zero. Our surprise to a few transformative moments in Prison Cell was blown up like our fair city is about to be once we entered Mobile Escape’s second game. The D.R.A.T. manages to cram in one of the coolest hidden reveals we could have ever imagined in a relatively cramped mobile game, sure to set the tone that this super villain means business.
For such a small space, we found ourselves bouncing back and forth often, discovering some puzzles that required communication as well as others that included a fantastic amount of physical coordination that was just plain fun.
Naturally, defeating Cyber Titan results in us accessing the physical bomb, and, with the help of Captain Dynamo himself, disposing of it in a truly comic book-style way that provides the perfect storyworld climax.
Mobile Escapes offers something truly unique with Hero League – Attack of the Cyber Titan. Gameplay is fully catered to your group size – meaning gone are the moments where a team of two is at a disadvantage against the number of tasks to be completed, just as a larger team is far less likely to ever have one or two people standing around with nothing to do but watch. This fairly ground-breaking approach to puzzle flow would honestly be a welcome addition to many much larger permanent games across the industry.
Often times the term “mobile game” tends to evoke immediate thoughts of something minimal – be it in terms of story, scenic, puzzles and especially tech. Perhaps even more often times, it’s all of the above. Mobile Escapes shatters that mold with a story so immersive, scenic so world-appropriate and puzzles so original and tech-driven that frankly it could challenge may of Orlando’s permanent brick and mortar escape rooms. And if we’re being honest, it would surpass a large majority of them in overall quality of experience.
Simply put, beyond its understandably small footprint, it’s easy to forget during the course of Hero League – Attack of the Cyber Titan that we’re even inside a mobile game in the first place.
For the remainder of the summer, you can find Mobile Escapes – and their debut outing, Hero League – Attack of the Cyber Titan – parked inside the gates of Fun Spot America’s Orlando park. If you aren’t familiar, Fun Spot America is the only place in the infamously pricey Orlando theme park market where you’ll find both free parking AND free admission, embracing a pay-per-ride (or unlimited wristband) operating model for their go-karts, roller coasters and other rides. And if a quick spin on White Lightning in addition to playing two of Orlando’s best new escape games isn’t enough to entice you, Mobile Escapes is offering a special (ridiculously low) price of only $10 per thirty minute game (or $20 for the hour-long Back-to-Back Experience) – only while they’re parked inside Fun Spot America! Saving the world and riding roller coasters may never be this affordable again!
Venue: Mobile Escapes
Location: Orlando, Florida
Number of Games: 2
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 30 minutes (each, or 60 minutes for the double header flow-through version.)
Capacity: 8 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $10 per person (per game, or $20 for the double header flow-through version.)
We thank Mobile Escapes for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.