Back in August, publisher Winking Entertainment released 18 Floors for Playstation VR, an escape room title developed by Aoga tech. Now, additional content has been released for the game by way of a free update – time to check out the game and see how it ranks among other Playstation VR escape room titles.
18 Floors puts you in the shoes of Andrea, an intergalactic queen from the Naoh star who went into exile after her home was destroyed. As she eventually stumbles upon an anomaly known as “18 Floors”, she has a chance to uncover more about the mystery surrounding her fate and identity by completing its challenges – which is where the game starts.
It’s a grand setup that could even be a somewhat obscure part of Star Wars/Star Trek lore, but unfortunately that’s all it is – the actual game isn’t in any way narrative-driven. Although it’s a missed opportunity (I always enjoy having a story to drive me forward), it doesn’t hurt the game’s core as an escape room too much – you can ignore the entire backdrop and instantly comprehend that you have to travel up 18 different floors in an elevator, one by one, tackling each floor’s puzzles before you can go on.
Taking place outside the normal confines of space and time, each floor can be dramatically different – the second one transporting you to the inside of a train. I loved this concept, as it feels a little like Total Recall in the sense of being able to enjoy a wide range of random experiences that are cherry picked to be exciting, rather than doing the same thing over and over again.
Obviously, this makes the prospect of having 18 Floors to explore a very appealing one, especially because each floor takes about an hour and a half to two hours to complete and the game has a budget price point. However… the release of the game back in August only featured two out of a potential 18 floors, hitting players with a “to be continued” ending after completing them.
Now, Winking has released an additional two floors free of charge, and although you’re still only four floors into game at the end of them – you’re already looking at six to eight hours of gameplay time. And the good news if that, both in terms of technical prowess and gameplay design, 18 Floors is one of the better escape room titles on Playstation VR so far – and the quality of the DLC is consistent with the first two floors.
I had to fiddle a bit with the camera setup and controls at first, but after that it was fun to traverse floors that each had multiple rooms to explore – all of them with interconnected puzzles. The ability to use a pair of Move controllers helps in terms of transporting you into the game and allowing you to manipulate objects, uncover hidden clues and solve riddles as well. Much like a real escape room, you might eventually get stuck for a bit – but the difficulty level feels just about right and never descends into full on frustration.
Obviously, not actually having all 18 floors available to play is a bit of a nuisance – mostly because the content that’s there is actually very good and you might very well expect all 18 rooms based on the game description. It’s too bad that 18 Floors wasn’t released in an episodic format, as having six chapters of three floors would probably have people pumped for the next few, happy to pay 10 Euros/Dollars or so each time, rather than wonder if, when and how the remaining 14 floors will be released. Nevertheless, the current four floors are excellent, and well worth the 15 Euro/Dollar asking price.