|Game experience: VERY GOOD
|A unique virtual reality immersion.||Relatively classical puzzles.|
Presently living near Montreal, I wanted my first escape review in this city to be a special one. ‘De-composed’, the virtual reality game at Escape masters, sounded like a perfect opportunity. I had already made a couple of solo virtual escape rooms (which I will review some day), but this is the first multi-players virtual escape game I have ever tried.
We were first explained some rules in a pleasant waiting space with a few boardgames in a mezzanine. From there we entered a room that made us feel we fell in an episode of Black Mirror: large computers hanging on the wall, incandescent red lightings, and a curtain mysteriously separating the room in two parts.
Once your gear is set, your first virtual steps will take place in a quite impressive sandbox environment – a beautiful open air villa with some objects to exercice your virtual manipulation skills – while the gamemaster installs the equipment on each player. As you remain seated during your VR experience, you (virtually) move by clicking on your destination point – and of course, you can freely look around you to discover your surroundings (the rotating chair gives you a full freedom in this respect).
Once everyone is ready, it’s time to start the real deal! (well, “the virtual deal” I shall say)
“You and your friends have been invited to a private concert of newly discovered music by the brilliant and demented composer, Hans Komisch, recently deceased. Upon entering his mansion, you realize that the invitation was a trap… you have all been transformed into ghosts! Your souls will serve as the crucial pieces to his final opus. You must defeat the inner workings of his mansion and his mind so you can recover your human forms, before they get completely… DE-COMPOSED”
The game is played in two phases of respectively maximum 25 and 30 minutes – the second part is actually the continuation of the first one in the same scenario. This is a good idea: this way, even if it took you too long to get used to your new environment, you can still start over the second part without any penalty.
Here you are, a team of cursed ghosts in a spooky attic – and before you can make your first steps, you will have to get rid of your (virtual) chains! The oppressing atmosphere of the mysterious manor is perfectly reproduced – and we were all flabbergasted by the immersion.
The puzzles mostly revolve around the musical theme. Clearly, the strength of this experience lies in its immersion rather than in its puzzles, which are relatively classical – though not bad, and in the spirit of what you would find in a classical escape room.
Finally, Cristina was a sympathetic and attentive host. One of us had the possibility to ask the gamemaster for clues by pressing a button under the arm of his chair – but we did not need any.
Overall, the game was quite easy, but given the necessity to adapt to the VR and the exhilarating freedom to explore the environment, you’re probably bound to finish not so early in time.
You now know all you need to try the virtual reality experience! And if you succeed the game, you will face the most difficult challenge: managing to virtually high five your ghostly friends!
Game tested in February 2018
A promotional video of the experience can be found here.
Other reviews (in French): NotreMontrealite