You step into the engine room corridor. As the darkness lifts and you take in your surroundings you notice something strange – you are standing in a spaceship.
Welcome to Deep Space. An experience unique to Brunswick, Melbourne, which many have likened to an escape room. However, as the game’s creator Michael Armstrong explained, it’s best to have no preconceptions about Deep Space before entering. While it is an immersive, physical gaming experience, doing Deep Space feels far more like participating in a LARP than it does solving an escape room. Deeply psychological and highly immersive, it’s an experience like no other.
The thing about Deep Space is that I don’t want to ruin your experience of it by divulging any story details, which makes it very hard to talk about, as it is a highly narrative-driven experience. What I can say is that if you enjoy space exploration games – such as Elite Dangerous, Sins of a Solar Empire, or EVE Online – or if you’ve ever daydreamed about joining Starfleet, or becoming part of the Resistance in Star Wars, then you’ll definitely get a buzz out of this experience. The website of Deep Space explains a little of what to expect story-wise:
Your own exploration ship, the Ishtar VII, has found itself the victim of an inexplicable series of malfunctions. You and your crew are alone, drifting through the unnerving silence of the void, isolated from all communication stations.
Tormented by the mechanical rumblings of your failing ship and the defective ramblings of your robotic companion ‘Columbus’, you start to sense the presence of an intruder. Something illusive. Something intelligent. Something not quite human…
The experience involves solving puzzles, philosophising with artificial intelligence, navigating the universe, assessing your sense of morality and learning how courageous your friends truly are. It’s a 2-4 player experience with multiple endings and lasts around an hour.
Deep Space is impressive in so many ways; the quality of the set, the design of the puzzles, and the programming that is constantly being used to improve upon the digital side of the game all build to create a deeply immersive experience that is excellent, thought-provoking fun.
You can book online here. Sessions are available every day from 12.20pm til 10.20pm. It’s around $30 (the price varies slightly depending on the number of players) and is worth every cent. You won’t be disappointed.