Cryptology Sheffield: First Contact

A few weeks ago, we made a trip to Sheffield to visit the new branch of Cryptology, having previously enjoyed their games in Barnsley and Nottingham. They’ve got plenty of space for more rooms, but for now, open with just one – First Contact…

“Discover something that will change the course of history, but how?
You have been tasked to find out what has happened to a stranded Tayson Research Vessel ship just off Mars.

You soon realise that what you have discovered will change the course of history, but in which way?

You must choose your path and the path of all humanity for better… or worse!”

First Contact at Cryptology Sheffield

The game starts in a little area outside the main control room of the ship, which you can see temptingly through the glass. There’s a few quick puzzles to complete to get in, and they were all innovative ideas that gave you a real taste for how unique the rest of the room would be.

Once in, you can explore the space of the main room, which feels a lot bigger than it is, as there’s so much crammed into it. Everywhere you look – lights, eye-catching screens, gadgets – it’s actually quite overwhelming at first, but it looks great.

It’s a heavily technology based game, which lends itself to having some innovative, unique puzzles, while there were some specially designed pieces that were the centrepoint for a lot of the gameplay. The flow was good, and we enjoyed playing puzzles that were different to the norm. There was also a great way to obtain new items throughout the game, which despite actually being quite simple, worked brilliantly due to the theatre of it all.

Around halfway through the game, you’re given a choice of what action to take, following your “first contact”, which takes you onto one of three (I think) different game paths, with a displayed list of different tasks to complete. It’s a great way of playing, and offers you a completely different set of puzzles based on your choice.

We played this game in the early stages of opening, so there were a few small problems. There was a slight technical hitch with a puzzle at one point, and the ending to our game felt a bit anti-climatic (to the point we thought we’d actually failed), though Simon did say he was looking at changing it.

Overall, another good game from Cryptology, that’s very different from all of their others. We definitely enjoyed it, and we’re looking forward to coming back for future games.

Host: Our host was Simon who was great as always – good, well-timed clues.
Clue System: Clues were delivered by the on-board computer that had a name I’ve completely forgotten.
Success? Yes, we escaped in 51:48, taking what I think was the easiest route.


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