A mysterious Pirate Ship has crashed into the Pier. Rumour has it this is the ship sailed by notorious Pirate Sharkbait Sully but he and his crew are nowhere to be seen. You and your team need to solve the secrets of the ship before the ship sinks and your team become shark bait themselves.
Completion Time: 36 minutes
Date Played: 16th March 2021
Party Size: 4
Recommended For: Actual pirates
Pirate Plunder is a real life escape room playable at Escape Live Essex *however* if you look at the date we played, yep- you guessed it- we were still in lockdown! Instead of being able to visit in person, we gave the virtual “Telescape” version of the game a go. Essentially Escape Live have fully digitised their physical escape room into a rather cool point-and-click environment, complete with interesting puzzles, exciting ‘aha’ moments, and a pre-recorded live actor to guide us around the room. Almost as good as the real thing!
For this mission, I joined the Escaping the Closet team both as a little warm-up for an upcoming competition and a Tuesday evening hang out, and we aced it! Again, I couldn’t have asked for a better team! We hopped into the game link and barely 30 minutes later ‘yo ho ho’-ed ourselves to victory (wow remind me not to say that phrase ever again please haha).
Pirate Plunder is built in Telescape, meaning you have a complete 360 view of your room and a pretty handy inventory system. If anyone in your team finds an item, it goes into the collective inventory for all to see! At all points in the game you can see everyone else’s mouse (mice?) on the screen, which works well for communication.
The story of Pirate’s Plunder goes… You are invited onboard a mysterious pirate ship only to discover the crew are all missing. But there’s a mysterious rumour about this ship. Hidden somewhere in the captain’s quarters is a cursed *cough* piece of treasure: The Golden Anchor. You must work your way through the ship and get at that treasure. Curse? Oh, don’t worry about that. I’m sure it’s nothing… Right?
This escape room is three rooms deep and makes excellent use of the whole pirate-y vibe. In fact, the theming is one of the best I’ve seen in a while! It looks and feels like a real pirate ship, complete with weathered barrels, ropes hanging here and there, and a very exciting second room which takes you up onto the deck! I can almost smell the sea air and hear the seagulls ‘caw’ up above!
The main thing to say about the puzzles in Pirate’s Plunder is that they are very pirate-y, again – big compliments on their use of rope puzzles and mysterious chests and fanciful locks hidden around. In each section of the game you’re looking for items which will help unlock the next room. This makes it quite a “search and find” game – but this worked very well in a digital environment, giving everyone something to do right from the offset.
Players can also expect to encounter a sliding puzzle, a find-and-sort puzzle, colour puzzles, hanging rope puzzles and more. There was just one red herring I can think of- and even then, it wasn’t too much of a red herring but we did spend quite some time repeatedly clicking on it hoping for a clue. Haha oops!
Overall, we had a lot of fun! Escape rooms are always bound to be better with good company, but Pirate Plunder was a sweet room with lots of surprises and great set design all the way through. For a digital experience, not bad at all and I’m glad to have the opportunity to play this game without travelling too!
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.