Russ Builds: Airlock

In the not-too-distant future, on a mission to preserve mankind, Squad 38 are missing in action! Can you save their only survivor? Russ Build presents Airlock!

Rating: Epic!
Completion Time: 50 minutes
Date Played: 23rd October 2020
Party Size: 2
Recommended For: Escape Room Enthusiasts!

You play Mission Control, with Officer Cadet Russ November as the eyes and the ears on the ground. He is stranded in the escape compartment of a spaceship. The oxygen has failed everywhere but there, and the rest of the crew are dead. It’s up to you to disconnect the capsule and send Russ to safety – before it’s too late!

If you’ve played any previous games by Russ Builds, you’ll know the drill! They’re lovingly made by Russ, an enthusiast and playable remotely via a Zoom call. In my opinion, Airlock is a step up from End Game – notably there are more puzzles to solve, a rich story to get stuck into before and after your game, and a few very cool mechanics I’ve not seen before!

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The points system is simple, you start with 20 points and lose points as your timer ticks down. For every clue you ask for, you lose an extra half a point. We asked for 8 clues (oops!) and completed in around 50 minutes, giving us 7 points total. Yes, yes, I know! We’re not winning first place any time soon – but we might just win an honorary award for asking for the most clues in an hour?

I mean, my mentality was that I’d rather ask for a bunch of clues and still save Officer Russ November in time… Right? Which was one of the things I loved most about this game – there was a real sense of peril. The game (and the format of Zoom) was totally believable! You get a real sense of being Mission Control with your avatar’s life on the line if you can’t crack the controls in time. We enjoyed it.

In terms of controls (*cough* I mean puzzles), you have 5 distinct puzzles to complete. These are 5 boxes in the control panel in front of you. Each is a little different and contains some reference to the pack of information you download in advance. You must quickly cross-reference all the information given to you, spot patterns, and decode the aircraft’s mechanisms. Exciting!

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Overall, we enjoyed it! As always, a lovely way to spend a Friday evening – I’d recommend this for enthusiasts all around the globe looking for something a little bit different. A game with a lot of love and care, good fun, and exciting to boot! Thanks Russ!

Photos provided by Russ Builds.

Airlock can be played for free (donations encouraged) by getting in contact with Russ Builds directly.

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