The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=27024.
Control Room features a modern or sci-fi octagonal room with several sets of computer work stations and a central “command” stand in the center of the room. The entire room is enclosed in a bunker-like structure and the computer work stations are all very detailed including different sets of computer screens.
The Control Room battlemap is good, but I can’t see it being used for any sci-fi games. It has a very 1970s or 1980s feel to it and the computer work stations are not aligned against the wall like you would picture in Star Trek. As is, it could make a great pillar for a Cold War game or as a base for the threat of nuclear fallout, but the arrangement doesn’t lend itself well to sci-fi.
Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
The Control Room battlemap is laid out exceptionally well. The map is cut in a very favorable way considering its layout across multiple pages. More importantly, the square grid is aligned to the center portion of the floor where it drops a few steps from the main floor. This is a very critical alignment as anything else would look extremely awkward.
Visual Appeal: 7 out of 10
The visual appeal for the Control Room is influenced by a number of things. On the positive side, it has a lot of detail on the computer work stations including actual monitor displays for each computer, and a series of smaller monitors and keypads to go along with it. The textures throughout are very smooth and the walls of the bunker look fantastic (as they are all decorated in a military/sci-fi fashion). However, from an overview standpoint, the Control Room looks very awkward. The inner work stations look like they’re partially floating over the drop floor (this is most likely due to how they are designed from a 3D standpoint, but doesn’t always translate well to 2D) and the outer work stations are not aligned to the wall.
In addition, the Control Room does not look sci-fi or modern; it looks more like a military bunker during the cold war. The computer stations do not look or feel modern (or sci-fi) and the arrangement is quite scattered. If I were to visualize something modern or sci-fi, I would picture large banks of computer stations against every wall where there are no breaks between the stations and everything is actually mounted to the wall (think of a modern-day cubicle). Then surrounding the drop floor I would picture a railing with possible stand-up terminals along that railing perimeter. If it were sci-fi, I would also expect to see a number of large monitors around the entire room depicting multiple scenes.
Desire to Use: 7 out of 10
If you are running a military or political focused campaign during the 1970s or 1980s, maybe focusing on the Cold War or the looming threat of nuclear weapons, this is an awesome bunker to house your top officials (maybe even your President). If you’re running a modern game, it could be a more mobile control room or something tucked deep under the ground that has been there for decades with equipment that is nothing but reliable. However, for a sci-fi game, it may not fit the bill. This control room has more of a “retro” appeal.
Overall: 8 out of 10
The Control Room battlemap is a good map for its design. It can serve many purposes and its generic design provides a lot of flexibility when defining that purpose. The battlemap has a lot of detail and finding good maps for modern and sci-fi campaigns can often prove difficult as most battlemaps are designed for fantasy use.