A student of the mystic arts is kidnapped by a Necromancer and must use her skills to travel the realms to solve the mystery of her abduction and escape to freedom in a virtual reality escape room from Stitch Media — Flow Weaver.
Waking in a cell situated in what looks to be a castle tower, you are quickly introduced to the flows of magic in this dimension. Given your mystical training it’s possible to weave these flows to your advantage to solve a number of puzzles set out before you.
However you are trapped, and the items before you are not going to fix that. Using your skills some of the items you find can be used to create paths to other planes of existence. So, rather than directly escape the room, you can move to another point in time and space where the environment, items and situations differ offering you more potential tools to assist in your escape.
Rather than free movement in VR, Flow Weaver keeps your character planted to the spot and everything else is built around that premise. The locations are enclosed but different enough to make a real change and are filled with different characters or interactions on some wildly different worlds you can visit without making a single step. In fact, Flow Weaver is best played seated but make sure you can stretch out your arms as some items will be at the end of them and you may find yourself inadvertently punching the sofa arm.
Alone for much of your adventure with your own thoughts, Flow Weaver takes the phrase to heart and utilises a hint system that builds on the idea of your character’s inner monologue. As you find new items, devices or pass certain checkpoints in the solution of a particular challenge you will find a new thought accessible. Grabbing it with either hand you can essentially drop it into your head. It’s then played back as a “voice in your head” delivering either new aspects of the story or hints and tips on the utilisation of skills you may have or need to progress further.
Rather the blind trial and error, you also have the ability to meditate at any time. The benefit of this is that magic focus points are highlighted around you helping you differentiate between artifacts that may be interacted with. It’s not that simple as drawing you a path from A to B though as you may not have the correct spell or items to interact with a highlighted artifact until much later in any puzzle.
Flow Weaver does a decent job of walking you through the major obstacles in your way although it’s pretty much up to you to solve the chain of events in order to succeed, and these can be fairly long. The only gripe with the tutorials is the lack of explanation you get around travelling between realms with objects which is needed pretty early.
Progress is checkpointed as players solve certain puzzles but there’s no option to return to a particular story point to play that section again and there are no save files to differentiate between multiple player progress. The downside is that Flow Weaver is pretty linear. Once you know the process a second playthrough is going to be about speed, there’s enough puzzles that you may forget some and lose a step but it’s a small victory in the overall replayability challenge.
With a length of just under or just over 3 hours, depending on your puzzle solving abilities and the battery life of your Oculus Quest it’s not a lengthy experience when compared to recent games such as Asgard’s Wrath, Half Life: Alyx or Yupitergrad but every puzzle is different and there’s no recycled material in the content.
Overall Flow Weaver is a decent escape room puzzle which is improved by its story, voice cast and magic mechanics which although really only playable to completion once will leave you looking to a potential follow up in the series.
Flow Weaver is available now on Oculus Quest