Government Secrets

6.2 Overall
Room Quality
Puzzle Design
Fun Factor
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Government Secrets

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The ERA Toronto team recently had the privilege to head out to LA for a few days and join up with our LA team to do a few rooms in the area between our visits to Hollywood and Six Flags. One of the companies we got to visit during our trip was Xscape Pods. Xscape Pods are a relatively new company, having been in business for just over a year. They’re a small, family-owned company who have done a good job of coming up with some cool and unique room designs.

Finding our way to Xscape Pods was fairly straightforward. They’re located in a strip mall, so there was plenty of parking, and they had a nice big sign above their storefront. The lobby was very creatively decorated, with quite a sci-fi feel, some nice comfy couches, and a few unique and interesting decorations. We were given a warm welcome by the owners, after which we watched a short rules video and then we were off to play the room! The intro video was shown in the room itself; unfortunately, due to some technical difficulties, we only got to see about the first half, but it was still enough to get the gist and set the tone for the game to come.

The room itself felt slightly spartan, but this was appropriate given that it was supposed to be a generic government office. The props felt authentic enough and got the job done, although a few of them were starting to show signs of some wear and tear. One puzzle was a little bit fiddly, but another puzzle did a good job of making use of a cool, high-tech prop that really added to the atmosphere.

The immersion was decent, with background music and sound effects evoking a military base. Again, we missed out on some of the intro video due to technical difficulties, so the story was a little unclear, and there didn’t appear to be much by way of story development as we progressed. One cool reveal helped pull us back into the story for a bit, but at other times we were simply going through the motions.

Similarly, the puzzles generally felt merely competent. There were no team-building puzzles, no big “wow” moments, and quite a few coding/decoding puzzles. Most things made sense, and there weren’t any large leaps of logic required, but at a few points we found ourselves a little lost and unsure what to tackle next.

In the end, we did enjoy ourselves while playing this room, but weren’t necessarily blown away by it. There were a few cool moments, but nothing that really made it stand out. Overall though still a solid room and worth playing should you find yourself in the area.

Final Verdict:


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