Hamburg, Nov 2017
Sci-fi games often have particularly sophisticated sets. After all, if you’re going to build the interior of a spaceship or something equally futuristic, that’s an excuse to go all out, right? Not this game – here the decor is closer to a 60s low-budget TV show set in space, built with silver foil and recycled airplane components. But while it’s never going to blow away experienced players, it’s a perfectly decent, if average, escape game.
The setup is that you’re the crew of an out of control spaceship, currently stuck at warp speed on a collision course with Earth, and you need to help the onboard computer AI to regain control over the navigation systems to save the day. The AI is of course the hint system, but goes beyond simple hints to a couple of other interactions, sometimes necessary to make progress and sometimes included purely for entertainment.
Experienced players will rattle through the fairly standard puzzles in little time; our two slowest points were one puzzle which we enthusiastically overthought, and another where a technical issue meant the next piece of information wasn’t available until the operators worked out something had gone wrong. One bonus puzzle offered an extra minute on the clock that we never got around to using.
The recognisably recycled electronics may have been underwhelming, but also had some retro charm. In the initial briefing the operators emphasised that the game was non-linear and we should work on different puzzles in parallel; as you might expect that was truer earlier on, and we began to bottleneck more as we ran out of things to solve. There are certainly more interesting games in Hamburg, but Voyager 2076 was inoffensively entertaining with a couple of fun ideas that go the extra mile.