Location: Smithfield, NC
Players: 1-8 (We recommend 2-4)
Price: $23 per person
Time to Escape: 60 minutes
Plunder the Treasure or You’ll be Plundering the Depths!
You’ve made your way onto Captain Jack’s pirate ship, and there looks to be a chest full of treasure waiting for your crew’s greedy hands to claim it. The only problem is that it’s been locked up tight, and there’s no way to pry it open stealthily! Captain Jack is running on a skeleton crew right now, so you have some time to figure out how to get the chest open, but you’ll need to do so before he returns from shore and throws you in the brig!
We’d been trying to make our way out to Ready Set Escape for a while, but our travels hadn’t quite gotten us there. Eventually, we were able to get the scheduling stars to align, and we were ready to take on all three of their rooms. Though it’s a pretty common theme, I do enjoy a good pirate adventure, so we were excited to storm the decks of Captain Jack’s ship.
The owners of Ready Set Escape were incredibly hospitable, and we had a lot of fun trading stories with them about our escape adventures. It’s very obvious that they are passionate about the hobby, and that’s always a good sign. Pirate’s Plunder is a first generation escape room, using locks and keys during the entire experience, but this is not a knock against the room. This room is great fun even without any fancy tech. The game flow works very non-linearly, and with six players, we all still remained engaged for the whole experience. Early puzzles provide easy wins to get everything going, and the difficulty curve ramps up smoothly from there. This is definitely the easiest room at Ready Set Escape, and though we escaped quickly, it did not feel as though we did as we puzzled through a dense amount of fun enigmas and interactions. There were loads of props to work through, and it was a lot of fun to work through the mysteries and derive the purpose of each part. The puzzle threads intertwined well with each other, and contained a few great surprises along the way. The set is competent, converting the room into a wooden pirate ship, making sure the area doesn’t just feel like an office.
One puzzle felt out of place on the pirate ship, adding a small head scratching element theme-wise, but fit well with the light hearted, family friendly nature of the game. Once a solution has been derived there are usually several locks in which the answer will fit, so there is a fair amount of guess and check that could be fixed with some small cluing to add some connective tissue to the experience. One puzzle requires a small bit of outside knowledge in order to make the most sense of it, but can be solved another way, so it isn’t too egregious. Cluing for a couple interactions could be beefed up in order to turn some scavenger hunt sections into more robust puzzles.
Pirate’s Plunder was a lot of fun, and a great starter room for beginning escapists. Veterans may break out a bit more quickly, but it is still a good time, and a fun way to introduce friends new to the hobby to escape rooms. I recommend giving it a go if you’re in the area, especially if you’re a newer player or looking to have a fun outing with the family. Experienced players who would like more of a challenge will probably want to seek out Monopoly Mania instead, but we still very much enjoyed this experience. Book your siege of Captain Jack’s ship here!
Full Disclosure: Ready Set Escape provided our team with comped tickets.