Game Date: 11th May 2018
Game Number: 15
Price for Two: £50
A long time ago on the Carribean seas sailed the Spanish Galleon, Castoria. Captained by Zak Barrow and crewed by a gang of murderers & merciless cutthroats. Plundering ships of all kinds along India’s Malabar coast, Barrow was a Pirate,one of the most infamous Pirates of all time. Barrow’s ship Castoria battled with the India Merchant, a huge treasure ship of 350 tons. In rough seas, the merchant vessel fired but due to a sudden ocean swell, the shot missed its mark. The pirates threw their grappling hooks, bringing the two ships together. And rapidly boarded the ship, soon Captain Barrow was in the possession of one of the greatest pirate treasures ever. The ship disappeared in 1722 and was not seen again until now!
Arrival and Introduction
This was our second visit to Extremescape and again we marvelled at its location – such a tranquil and peaceful spot and so close to Manchester as well. As we had booked on the day and the owners were away we were met by their son, who clearly shared his parents love of escape rooms. Despite turning up 15 minutes early, we did not enter the room until 5 minutes past our time because we were talking to much! We love the relaxed nature of the room – we were told that if you needed the toilet or a drink we were welcome to leave the room at any time and even if you did not escape with the 90 mins, keep going and take as long as it takes. Extremescape puts a real emphasis on enjoying their rooms which is partly why we rate it so highly. We received the game brief via a video in an ante-room just outside the main room which really helped set the scene! I have seen whole rooms decorated and themed worse than this small ante-room!
What a beautiful room we walked into! Having played their other game we knew that the room was going to be implacably themed but even so we were shocked. I dont know how it could have look or felt any more like a real pirate ship unless in actually rocked like it would on water but that is probably pushing it a bit far! There was a lot to initially process within the room, with plenty of information already available to us and lots of space to search and explore. The number of puzzles were not particularity high but they were on tricky side and took us a while to figure out – in a couple of instances there was too much ambiguity as to what we were supposed to be doing and so we came up with a lot of incorrect codes. Most of the puzzles lead you to codes to retrieve things but there was also some clever use of technology with in the room – especially when you finally found what you were looking for! Thankfully this room was mostly non-linear, with many of the puzzles accessible from the beginning. This meant that if we ever got frustrated with one puzzle (which happened a few times!) we could leave it and come back to it another time. However, it did get to the point where each of the remaining puzzles had us stumped and we needed some help to work out where to go next.
We managed to find the gold and escape with 10 minutes of our allotted 90 minutes. In the game brief you are told that to request a hint you need to find two gold coins within the room, however more hints were given if you were stuck with anything – and we certainly needed a couple of them. Much like the start we then chatted for a long time about the room and what we enjoyed and what frustrated us.
Another superb room at Extremescape, both of which at the time of playing were in our top 5! We did have some frustrations with this room, and there could have been a little more direction and less ambiguity with some of the puzzles but we will happily over look that for the quality of the room design and enjoyable nature of the room. In 90 minutes, most sets of two players should be able to escape in time, but consider taking an extra brain or two to help give extra ways of approaching puzzles.
Customer Experience – 5 out of 5
Theming – 5 out of 5
Gameplay – 4 out of 5
Enjoyment – 4.5 out of 5
Overall – 4.5 out of 5