Doldrick’s Escape Room – Captain Spoopy Bones and the Magnificent Quest for Some Other Pirate’s Treasure (Review)

Location: Kissimmee, FL

Players:  4-8, Always Private (We recommend 4-12)

Price: $33.99 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

That dastardly… uh… other pirate won’t know what hit ’em!

Theme:

From the Doldrick’s Escape Room website:

Raise the anchor and set sail with Captain Spoopy Bones in this lighthearted tale of nautical nonsense! Navigate the treacherous waters aboard the Captain’s massive ship, and race against time in this grand adventure on the high seas. With teamwork, determination, and a little bit of luck, the players will uncover the secret of Captain Spoopy Bones and the magnificent quest for some other pirate’s treasure!

First Impressions:

Super Bomb Squad: Commandos Awesome was easily one of the absolute best games that I had ever played, so when it was time for Captain Spoopy Bones and the Magnificent Quest for Some Other Pirates Treasure, (henceforth to be known as “Spoopy Bones” for my sanity and yours, as much as I’d like to artificially inflate my word count,) we were jazzed.

High Points:

Spoopy Bones starts off with the team separated into two different cells. All seems lost until the titular Captain appears on screen to… tell us a story? About us? Intriguing! And the genuinely hilarious adventure only builds from there. The entire experience takes the ubiquitous pirate escape room, and absolutely refuses to fall into stagnant tropes. While the story line boils down to the usual, find the treasure and win the day style room, the character of Spoopy Bones and the journey to the treasure, (and it truly feels like an epic journey,) allow the room to evolve beyond the usual trappings of a pirate themed escape! The puzzles and interactions included within the beautiful set are, for the most part, highly original, with some awesome set pieces that will only reveal their secrets to the most inquisitive, and determined, minds. The room utilizes the space provided well, and packs a highly dense game flow into each area. In fact, once we had reunited and made our way to the ultimate room, we figured we were almost at the end of our quest, as most other games would have been just about out of ideas at that point. Not so, as we were presented with loads more to do, which was an excellent surprise!

Speaking of excellent surprises, Spoopy Bones is absolutely chock full of them, especially during the climax of the game. There was a point in the game in which the story really started to pop off, and when it did, it was astounding the level of detail that had gone into making this area feel highly authentic. It was just capital c, Cool. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it, really. The lighting and sound design really helped tie the whole game together into an immersive experience, and it’s really something that has to be experienced. Words can’t quite capture how fun the atmosphere of this room was. Teamwork is really the most important part of this room, and success or failure truly hinges on how well the group works together. Luckily, this room is always private, so you don’t have to worry about going in with someone you aren’t going to work well with.

The puzzles remained within the theme throughout, keeping us working together with fantastic nautical props and interactions. A favorite puzzle of mine involved a satisfyingly tactile interaction that helped us overcome our piratical competition in an explosive way, and was an exemplar of how engaging Doldrick’s rooms can be. The game flow itself was mostly non-linear, and with the minimum of four players, we stayed very busy throughout. This is one of the few rooms I could see a maxed out group staying occupied. I wouldn’t recommend it to enthusiasts, but could definitely see a group of new players staying busy with the dense amount of puzzling to do here.

Low Points:

Splitting up the teams is always such a good idea on paper, but the charm unfortunately always wears out its welcome. Splitting the group really only works, it seems, when the game has been strictly designed for all puzzles leading up to the reunion to demand teamwork. When they don’t, one team inevitably runs out of puzzles to solve before the other, and it becomes a less than ideal waiting game for that team. It is also disappointing because each team effectively misses out on a few of the puzzles, and while you can always ask what they did, it isn’t the same as helping out during the puzzle. Or at least having the option to. One, and only one, puzzle was a fairly common riddle that was intended to clue a certain solution, but the leap of logic was vast and somewhat nonsensical. It was the only puzzle I didn’t enjoy within the room, however. Actually, I think it was the only one I didn’t like in the entire business, which is saying something!

Verdict:

Though I enjoyed Super Bomb Squad a bit more than Spoopy Bones, I think this room is still spectacular and one of the finest we’ve done! This pirate adventure is truly a step above the rest, evolving the overdone pirate theme of escape rooms beyond the simple cliches. I whole heartedly recommend assembling a team you communicate well with and joining Captain Spoopy Bones on his Magnificent Quest for Some Other Pirate’s Treasure here!

9/10 (Excellent)

Full Disclosure: Doldrick’s provided our team with discounted tickets.