Location: Herndon, VA
Players: 2-10 (We recommend 4-5)
Price: $28 per person
Time to Escape: 60 minutes
Here there be py’rates!
From the Escape Room Herndon Website:
The pirate captain Ravensbeard has been cheating you and the crew out of your rightful share of plunder! Now that hornswoggling scoundrel has barricaded himself in his quarters. You and your mates must break in to reclaim what be rightfully yours and send that scurvy dog to Davey Jones’ Locker. If you’re crafty enough, mayhaps you’ll even commandeer the whole galleon. All hands on deck!
Most of the Keyed Up! A-team love a good pirate theme. While they’re fairly ubiquitous, especially over on the east coast, our main stomping grounds, we still have a soft spot in our hearts for them. Knowing Ravenchase rooms’ proclivities for great sets and interestingly engineered puzzles, we were excited to see what sort of high seas mischief we’d be getting into!
Maritime Mutiny is housed within yet another beautiful set from Escape Room Herndon, who does an amazing job with their designs. The set reminded me of the astounding Lost Jewel of the James from sister company Escape Room RVA, with a more streamlined and easier to traverse set. Every technical item has been hidden away well, and the room itself has been artistically created to evoke a high level of immersion. Lighting and sound design add to the experience greatly as well, and I always appreciate a good ambient sound track that ensures players feel as though they’re within a living world rather than a converted office space.
The game flow itself works fantastically, with a bevy of well clued puzzles that will cater to an array of puzzlers. Each prop within the room feels important, and the intuitive nature of the enigmas within Ravensbeard’s pirate ship ensure that everyone will be completely engaged with the adventure at all times. The signposting is subtle, and presents an almost invisible road map for players that keeps the game challenging while ensuring that there are no red herrings to drive them off track. This is a very tactile game, and when the set opens up to present its secrets due to an action taken in the room, it’s a very satisfying. Progress is well marked during the game, and it never feels like the game is dragging at any point.
Maritime Mutiny is a special game in that the advertised difficulty is a 5/10, unless players opt for the bonus puzzles, in which the game becomes a 10/10. The decision to take these puzzles on is made after escaping the initial room, so no need to worry about if there’s time (or mental energy,) until the option presents itself. This is an awesome way to ensure folks who tend to fly through easier rooms still get their full 60 minutes with the game. I also love that solving these puzzles grants a better climax to the room, as hinted at in the room description. Our team definitely felt the pressure as these were some devious challenges, but know that the reward for solving these optional puzzles is absolutely worth it!
While the bonus puzzles are a great addition for seasoned players, they were more puzzle hunt style than most are used to seeing in an escape room. I personally am not the biggest fan of this style of puzzle, which tend to feel overly vague and logically unsound. However, most of the puzzles presented are well implemented and they are, of course, optional, so it’s a small matter of mostly personal preference as to whether you’ll enjoy the bonus. Overall, we did, but I can certainly see where they would become frustrating. The initial set of puzzles are definitely some of the easier ones, so escape room veterans looking for a challenge will have to wait for the bonus puzzles. Overall, the dichotomy of the room is best for new players who don’t mind missing out on the bonus and better climax, or hardened escape enthusiasts looking for a bigger challenge, but not as much for those in between experience levels.
Maritime Mutiny is an astounding room that accomplishes the impossible task of being a great room for new players and those looking for a mind melting challenge as well. Couple that with the beautiful sound and set design, and you’ve got a game that I can absolutely recommend to everybody! Book your time escaping your Maritime Mutiny here!
Full Disclosure: Escape Room Herndon provided comped tickets for this room.