The Mine

6.6 Overall
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A different take on escaping, where you don’t get to physically interact with your teammates, or the room – District 3 has a couple Virtual Reality options in their location and the technology makes it flexible to add in more. They’ve made it simple to not run over your cables by sitting you in a very nice gaming chair but that does take you away from the feeling of walking around in the VR space.

The game master will set you up for the game, and then you take over the controls. The interaction with the set was such that beginners to VR could spend some time trying out the controls and exploring while others could start working on getting out of the mine. The first response was, of course, to play with everything, as you typically would in an escape room, but not all elements were interactive. It was interesting to see which elements were able to be picked up and which ones weren’t. This could lead you to to think that some elements were critical components when they were just there for show. There are elements which do interact together though, so be sure to try every combination before you put something down, because it may be hard to pick up again.

The puzzles were in the style of classic point and click video games, but with better graphics. There was no need for your teammates to help you with anything, though without them you probably wouldn’t get out in time. The puzzles let you interact with the room and the audio clued you in if you caused something to happen out of your visual range.

The headphones for the audio were connected to the VR headset. It did cut out most of the outside noise, but you could still hear your teammate speak into the room and then hear them through your headset with a slight delay. Hints were given by the GM speaking while standing next to you, which could be hard to hear without removing yourself from the room audio.

The puzzles covered a variety of difficulty levels and types. This was a fun way to get an introduction to VR while still getting to play some escape room puzzles in a new way. The VR world does allow a game designer to do more elaborate puzzles with any piece of equipment of any size they can imagine. However, you will miss the tactility of the real-life experience. On the plus side, this is an experience you can bring friends of all ages and all experience levels to.

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