Location: Wilmington, NC
Players: 2-10 (We recommend 4-5)
Price: $26 per person
Time to Escape: 60 minutes
A pirate’s life for me!
Blackbeard has blockaded the port of Charlestowne, SC, demanding a meeting with the governor. You are a prisoner in the brig of one of his vessels, which has currently made port in order for Blackbeard to deliver his demands, giving you only an hour to escape. You’ll need to sneak out of your cell somehow, and maybe steal some of Blackbeard’s treasure for yourself before breaking out and disappearing into the bustle of Charlestowne before anyone knows you’ve gone missing!
To preface, I love pirates, or at least the romanticized version of pirates that are the norm in popular fiction, but I’ve never played a pirate themed room that has been amazing, so while I always go into new rooms optimistically, my history led me to make sure I tempered my expectations. The admittedly cheesy intro video didn’t really get my hopes up too much, but I reserved judgment for when we actually entered the room.
The room itself was one of the best decorated pirate rooms I’d been in yet, set design was extremely well done, and no small details were glossed over. There were a few fun, but not frustrating dexterity puzzles sprinkled among more standard escape room fare that I very much enjoyed fiddling with. Puzzle flow worked well, and there were subtle hints towards what went together, which helped lead us to conclusions without simply thrusting the answer on us. Everything within the room was a piece of the puzzle, and integrated into the game seamlessly. Though there was no technology present in the room, (appropriate, due to the theme,) the game did not feel low budget or less exciting.
Some of the same puzzles were used to open multiple locks, which was a little redundant. More modern locks were mixed with older, theme appropriate locks, which is understandable, but breaks immersion slightly and makes the room more of a puzzle room than an escape experience.
Blackbeard’s Escape has the best set design and game experience of any of the pirate rooms I had done before, and is the first one of that particular theme to feel like it was much more than simply good. While it has a couple of minor flaws, it would make a great introductory room for new players, and is still a fun and challenging experience for veterans. Book your time in the brig here!
Full Disclosure: Port City Escape provided Media Discounted tickets for our team.