SKY ODYSSEY (ENCORE) - Maze Rooms LA | Review
Maze Rooms LA presents...
"SKY ODYSSEY (ENCORE)"
✧ This marks Game #69 for Escape Mattster ✧
(Game played on: 02-17-2019, With 4 Players)
Company: Maze Rooms LA (Koreatown/Vermont Branch)
Company Website: Click Here
Address: 132 S Vermont Ave Ste 204, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Game Name: Sky Odyssey
Game Website: Click Here
Time Limit: 70 Minutes
Capacity: 4-10 Players
Room Type: Private
"A hot air balloon ride takes an unexpected turn and you find yourself in Ancient Greece as a war between Greek Gods and Titans. Do you have what it takes to wield the power of Gods and save Olympus? / Mount Olympus is under siege, and only you can save it! / Eons after their defeat at the hands of the Gods of Olympus, the ancient and evil Titans have broken free from their prison and waged war on the world once again! Zeus and the other deities have been turned to stone, and the Titans have laid siege to Mount Olympus itself! Summoned by Gaia, one of the few Titans loyal to Olympus, you and you band of explorers must travel on a hot air balloon to the land of the deities, where you must activate a magic weapon that can turn the tide of conflict before it is too late." (via official website)
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ROOM 67 & 69
SKY ODYSSEY / Grade: A
(For reviews on Abyss, Magic Kingdom, Secret & Lunar Mission, see "previous review" below.)
Best Maze Room location! What sets this branch apart is not just the amazing selection of rooms, but the genuinely personable staff. I'd like to thank my gms, but also especially owner Armen who has been nothing but exceptional ever since our first interaction. It's the actual connection I was able to make with the very maker of these games that lead me to prefer his location. (Sometimes, businesses just feel so cold, you know? Anyone who makes an effort to reach out for their fans is great in my book!) Armen takes part in designing, building, and also fixing of props for Sky Odyssey--I really tip my hat to you, sir.
Though titled Sky Odyssey, the actual game had very little to do with, well, sky. It's actually a fantasy narrative taking place in the Greek heavens of Mount Olympus, where all the Gods reside. Their arch nemesis the Titans are waging a war against the Greek deities, and we the hot air balloon sky travelers need to lend them a hand, and help defend their otherwise soon-to-be-fallen kingdom. This theme's fresh & intriguing, and it gave an enthusiast like me something different to look forward to. Designers often get into a rut when creativity runs out, but not here!
(For those who love "Magic Kingdom", consider this its Greek cousin, though with less Potter, & more Zeus.)
Production value was out of this world. (Get it? This is no longer the secular world of the mortals?) Anyhoo, this room is not bought "off the shelf". Although some Greek statues were probably purchased from props store or the likes, majority of the room had a DIY vibe, but it's DIY DONE WELL & RIGHT. And I mean this in a positive way because you're getting a one-of-a-kind experience that's not available elsewhere. During my 2 runs of Odyssey, I just appreciated so much of the time & effort that must've gone into making all this possible. And because of the setting of this story, you won't see one single traditional lock. Instead, lots of automation were involved, along with sound, lights, and animation fx. The wiring behind-the-scene must've been cray!
Segue to game play--fantastic! This room's rated medium officially, but it may actually feel harder since there're SO many action steps required to progress from start to finish. Most puzzles, if you will, weren't actual puzzles. They're tasks that involved you moving item to the correct location, which triggered the next step. The more difficult portions were mostly deferred to the bonus section (more on that later), so if you're a hardcore puzzle lover, adjust your expectation. Though I must say, the reveals after many solutions were so dramatic, both visually & audibly, it felt so rewarding to advance through this epic adventure. The room fits up to 10 players, but I recommend maxing it at half capacity of 5, especially for veterans. You have a non-traditional 70 minutes to complete the game (for both main story and bonus modes). While 5 is plenty to comfortably finish on time, be sure to communicate loudly and constantly, because it's easy to miss something over the large gaming area. (Trust me, so many details were stuffed into this room, you may even feel overwhelmed!) If not, this room has replay value, as I played this game 2 times just to fully witness, absorb, and digest all its glory.
Of note: crouching/sitting down, crawling, & stairs are all required for completion. Plan accordingly, or call in for advice.
As mentioned, the room looked great, but immersion could be iffy depending on what you think Mount Olympus should look like. Odyssey definitely took all the elements of Greek literature into consideration, but it felt more like a Greek museum with interaction aids, or an arcade even, than the actual Mountain. As shown by my grading of A though, this mattered little in my mind, as this game worked so well on its own for its entertainment value, little things could be forgone. Continuing this venue's tradition, you can wear a costume (toga) for the hour, which's a plus in this dept.
Though the game has debuted for 2 months now, they're still continually tweaking the game to maximize enjoyment for its mainstream customers. The overall structure of the game is actually logical & well thought out, though difficult to comprehend by the average player on the spot. Therefore, a guide map's provided to facilitate progress. The more time consuming and challenging puzzles are sectioned off as bonus side quests, thereby allowing more patrons to successfully complete the main plot. Game hints were available from both a built-in system, and via walkie with gm. All these crucial enhancements demonstrate this branch's never-ending pursuit of perfection, and as someone who's played every single game at this awesome, awesome location, I firmly attest: Sky Odyssey is a must-play in LA!
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