RATING: 3 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 17:26
Trapped aboard an alien junk ship, it’s up to us to save the universe, yet again.
Your mission is to board the Pandorus class spaceship of the Federation of Axis Planets and use the alien technology to create a nanobio weapon capable of eradicating the parasitic species that is threatening the universe.
Can you traverse this derelict ship and use its alien tech to eradicate the parasitic species, earning your well deserved credits? Or will you risk the wrath of the Federation?
We’ve traveled the galaxy aboard our fair share of spaceships at this point, but The Pandorus Mission really succeeded on giving that somewhat cliched set up a really fun spin. It uses a strong narrative to craft a storyworld that’s easy to become immersed in, accentuated by some great video bits along the way.
Countdown Live Escape Games yet again took an existing remnant from the building’s former tenant and performed a true Extreme Escape Room Home Makeover™. On every level they improved the scenic presentation with The Pandorus Mission, successfully transitioning from “generic spaceship” to a rich storyworld full of unique environments that both connect with and further the over-arching narrative.
Pandorus was clearly once a grand ship, yet she’s fallen into an evident state of disrepair. Vines of alien flora grow through the vents giving the impression our ship, and the only hope for inter-galactic survival has been abandoned for years, left to rot in the cold recesses of space.
To further sell the story, Pandorus has been retrofitted with a whole host of alien technologies that will aid us in our mission. There’s just one problem: we have to figure out how to turn it on.
Some of The Pandorus Mission’s puzzles played out a bit tediously – like the repeated use of custom-printed 3D maze boxes used to hide our next clue. That action might have been fine once in the game, but it became a bit frustrating to have to repeat it several times using several different similar objects.
However, on the other alien hand, some of the puzzles in this game were absolutely brilliant – perfectly interwoven into the narrative in a way that not only provided a fun reveal but also steadily progressed the story closer and closer to its ultimate climax.
With the exception of the aforementioned maze boxes, there was not a single puzzle for puzzle’s sake – as everything in one way or another connected to the them of the ship itself or the alien technology at our fingertips.
The Pandorus Mission, overall, is still quite a good game – and it’s a massive improvement over The Spaceship it replaced. Its clear focus and shift deeper into an immersive storyworld is proof that Countdown Live Escape Games clearly understands the importance of and value of weaving a tale that places guests in the main character’s active role.
We’re completely impressed by the creative vision and execution Countdown Live Escape Games has consistently exhibited. They walked in to a venue that was not without its flaws and after taking over, completely changed the quality of the product for the better on every level.
Countdown Live Escape Games also shows a clear understanding for the value of unique themes, with some pretty different game concepts like The Krampus and The Tiki Palace that work on multiple levels, providing consistent and intuitive gameplay mixed with a completely immersive setting. It’s no wonder this venue has quickly become one of our favorites in the Los Angeles market.
Venue: Countdown Live Escape Games
Location: Los Angeles, California
Number of Games: 3
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 6 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $30 per person
We thank Countdown Live Escape Games for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.