RATING: 4 Key RESULT: Win REMAINING: 6:15
Can I say it?….I’m just gonna say it……Houston, we have a problem!
You are a group of scientists working at Area 53, a top-secret government lab on the moon. The moon has been chosen as the location for this installation due to the hazardous nature of the research being conducted, where any mishaps could have catastrophic consequences. So, when the siren begins to blare and the voice on the intercom repeats, “Quarantine initiated–please remain calm,” you know that remaining calm is the last thing you should do!
You have 60 minutes before the facility self-destructs. What caused the lockdown? A live test specimen has broken from its containment in the Dark Sector, the sector of the moon’s base where the most dangerous and unstable experiments are carried out. You’ve never had the clearance to enter this part of the base, but now is the time to promote yourself because the mysterious black projects of the Dark Sector may be your only hope. You must find a way to get yourself and Area 53’s valuable research back to earth before the self-destruct sequence is complete. But be careful, some of the research at Area 53 has been classified as: HOSTILE
Space sector is a familiar movie style story that I personally have not seen done in the escape room industry. The story plays and develops as you play the room complete with a thrilling escape back to earth in an escape pod. The nice part about this particular story is that given the environment and what actually caused the self-destruct sequence to initiate you almost feel like your racing against a clock and a dangerous alien to get out!
The scenic for Space Sector was well done. As you walk into the room the first thing you notice is the clean, custom built walls that give off the distinct feeling that you may actually be on the moon. The only thing that would have made me believe we were floating in the stars more would have been some sort of viewing window showing those stars outside.
The room itself feels like a moon lab complete with everything a scientist would need to conduct experiments. While the small nuances bring the room to life it’s the main objects that really draw your attention, most notably the tube that once held the alien hunting you now. The use of video and some small animatronics lead to a pretty thrilling moment the first time you happen upon the alien’s former cage.
The room itself is very quiet, which adds to the uneasy feeling that an alien may pop up at any moment. Mix that with the fact that you are in the dead of space and any lulls in conversation with your teammates can be down right eerie.
The puzzles were also well done for this room. The owners did an amazing job of hiding the puzzles in plain sight, forcing us to interact with objects in ways we had not originally thought we needed to. The puzzle flow was logical and some of the solutions provided a very nice “wow” moment.
There is one puzzle that I thoroughly enjoyed that I had never seen before and figuring out how to use the centrifuge in the room to get results was immensely satisfying. While solving this puzzle I found myself struck by the thought of how well integrated these puzzles were. We weren’t solving puzzles for puzzle sake, we were solving puzzles that felt as though it was a part of the story.
The only SMALL knock on these puzzles were the some of the answers provided combos for locks. It was a bit of a break in the overall immersion to think this moon lab would have combo locks as it does and a bit of a stretch for me to believe that combos would be hidden inside some of these pieces of lab equipment. This was minor in the end as our team was too busy thoroughly enjoying the game and some of the effects to notice too much.
With a well done scenic and solid logical puzzles Space Sector is a good room at one of the newest venues in the Sacramento area. The price point is a bit high for the area, $35 per ticket, and I was a bit nervous it would not live up to expectations. The room itself is not quite worth the ticket but this venue believes in private games which makes up for the difference.
Anytime a new venue opens I always find myself anxious to see what the quality level will be. After playing Space Sector and talking with the owner for a bit I can say with a fair bit of confidence that California State Escape is a venue on the rise in Sacramento. A solid mix of immersion, story and puzzle is a perfect launching pad for this venue. If they can continue to install games and experiences to go beyond what they already offer, California State Escape has the potential to be one of the best in Northern California.
Venue: California State Escape
Location: Sacramento, California
Number of Games: 3
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 12 people
Group Type: Private / You will not be paired with strangers
Cost: $35 per person