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TerraNova: Escape Room Review

TerraNova: Escape Room is a first-person puzzle solving game with an eye towards emulating an escape room. The game is set in a police station of some kind, beginning with an interrogation room. As various puzzles in each area are solved, they unlock keys to getting into the next area. The puzzles are things like a slide picture puzzle where square pieces are manipulated to complete a picture or finding a combination to enter into a code lock keypad. The puzzles start out reasonably difficult for an average player, and progress to very difficult, very quickly.

TerraNova has the standard FPS controls and all of the controls can be remapped to any key, including the keypad. There are graphics and sound options, although for sound the options may have been over engineered. For example, there is music volume and “ambiance” volume. Music volume doesn’t do anything, it doesn’t matter how it is set, the background music stays the same. Ambiance volume controls the actual loudness of the music. The music itself is a short loop which becomes irritating to listen to. The graphics are fairly well done, and most computers can probably turn up the settings, as the overall environment is not overly complex or detailed. Several languages are supported, but there are no difficulty options, and that is a sore point.

TerraNova is pretty cut-throat difficult. The player can easily get to a point where the puzzle to solve is not obvious, let alone gathering clues. Some of the slide puzzles are difficult to solve without numbers associated with the slide pieces. Of course, the player can cut some paper and do this manually, but some sort of difficulty levels and/or hint system is really needed. Most of the time, like an escape room, the player needs to make careful observations of the area to figure out that some things they see are clues, even if they seem trivial.

There is some semblance of a back story to TerraNova, but it is totally unimportant to the game. TerraNova is an escape room game with a Los Angeles police station theme. Many of the items placed in the game feel authentic, security and interview cameras, lie detector machine, some pictures on the walls, etc. Many items feel out of place, like a Rubik’s Cube, doors where a golden coin and Chinese coin are needed to open, a live statue of a bull-man with a battle axe, etc. Although some of the puzzles can be brute forced, some will require making observations that may seem far-fetched, to be charitable. The bottom line is that TerraNova is a well-made, but difficult to solve puzzle game, it’s recommended for those with the patience for a no-hint game.

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Jacmac is an ancient gamer that loves open world, strategy, FPS, and tactical sims, but will play almost anything.

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