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Review: Starship Desolation

RATING: 5 Keys          RESULT: Win          REMAINING: 4:00

Lost in space, again, perhaps it’s time to reassess our life choice of becoming astronauts; clearly we’re not very good at this career path.


As a member of the crew onboard Starship Desolation, you have been chosen to be part of an expedition to a distant star to search for planets with signs of life and a possible second home for the people of Earth. If your mission is successful your legacy will live on for the many generations to come.

However, as fate would have it, you will have to worry about your own survival before the rest of humanity. 

I’m not sure what we were expecting when we agreed to take a job floating through the darkness of space on a ship called ‘Desolation.’ In hindsight, this may have been a poor choice, but it is probably not the best time for second guessing.

So we’re lost in space. Again. But this time we don’t even have a functioning ship. And also there’s an alien creature loose on board. We’ve gotten ourselves into a lot of messes over the years, but this one certainly ranks high up there with its sense of urgency.

Starship Desolation creates a palpable mood of danger and consequence, quickly immersing us into its storyworld. The mood is tense from the start, and in true cinematic fashion, things always get much worse before they ever improve.

Through a mix of lighting, audio and physical effects, heightened and truly brought to life with interstitial video segments, Cyph3r Escape Experience creates a heavily story-driven world aboard Starship Desolation. Immersive from the start, this adventure builds steady excitement throughout, culminating in a satisfying cinematic climax.


Starship Desolation is a large, sprawling ship, and clearly once was a grand and powerful force soaring across the galaxies. But something happened on board. With the entire crew gone, Desolation has become a bit too much like its namesake.

Brave astronauts will have much to discover across Desolation’s multiple rooms – each of which has a distinct feel of being a vital part of this vessel. From the maintenance power bay to the bridge, a high tech laboratory and, in the event of emergencies, a waiting escape pod, the storyworld of Starship Desolation crafts a vivid sense of intergalactic authenticity.

Throughout the course of our journey, the central narrative continues to evolve in exciting ways thanks to well timed video bits that not only offer reward to puzzle solutions, but also build the already apparent sense of urgency for the many problems awaiting us in the dark recesses of space.

Theatrical lighting and custom sound effects further raise the immersion level, making Starship Desolution feel truly out of this world.


From the moment would-be astronauts board Desolation, the sense of world-building is apparent. Dark as the abyss we’re hurtling through, this would be our first taste of how story-driven the tasks would be throughout this adventure.

But struggling to restore power and life support systems would be just the beginning of our problems. We must regain control of the ship, contact off-board crew for help and conduct scientific experiments – all with the threat of an alien creature loose somewhere onboard. No big deal.

Cyph3r Escape Experience artfully created a game full of puzzles which are not only logical and intuitive, but that each blend seamlessly with the storyworld to create an adventure through space that is instantly immersive. Starship Desolation presented a satisfying challenge for our experienced team, but is most certainly attainable for newer players. Even better – the tasks are so story-driven that it will no doubt appeal to an even wider audience than just the hardcore enthusiasts like us.


We entered Cyph3r Escape Experience not really knowing what to expect. For a venue with locations in some major markets – Los Angeles and Atlanta – we truthfully hadn’t heard a lot beforehand. Walking out, we immediately wondered how people aren’t talking about them more often.

It’s no secret that we’ve seen more than our fair share of space-themed games – and in truth many of them start to blend together. Very few do the genre justice – but without question Starship Desolation makes that shortlist. From start to finish, this adventure across the galaxy felt unique, offering a satisfying challenge and compelling narrative that kept us both engaged and immersed.

Starship Desolation is a fantastic game for any venue – but it’s made all the more impressive when you realize this is just the beginning of Cyph3r Escape Experience’s story. This is a company that should be on everyone’s radar – and not just because their abandoned spaceships could come crashing down to earth destroying a small city at any given second.

Venue Details

Venue: Cyph3r Escape Experience

Location: Studio City, CA

Number of Games: 1


Duration: 60 minutes

Capacity: 6 people

Group Type: Private  / You will not be paired with strangers.

Cost: $36 per person


EAR Disclaimer

We thank Cyph3r Escape Experience for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.

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