Try2Escape: A Pirates Life review
|Get your team ready to sail the high seas in our new online escape game in search of Blackbeard’s Treasure, you will have to use your wits and cunning up against pirates, sea monsters and many other interesting characters. Our game also includes a printable PDF which includes learn how to speak like a pirate, drink ideas for cocktails and mocktails, printable hats, eye patches and your own pet parrot. Everything you need to become pirate legends.|
|No time limit|
|2-8 players recommended|
|Difficulty level not stated|
|£20 per team|
|Online (based in UK)|
|Played by Daiman, Paul and Bharath|
|Completed in 1 hour 34 minutes|
I’m reminded of a previous game that we played, Escape Kit, which also placed a focus on the party potential of a play at home game. Try2Escape want you to play this game in a lively, communal atmosphere with the game including printable elements along with an awesome looking cocktail list!
Unfortunately, as with Escape Kit, the detail on the ancillary items doesn’t carry over to the main game which is just a series of fairly static webpages. The theming here isn’t all that cohesive and it really does just feel as though you’re clicking through any random puzzle website.
Try2Escape have really tried to incorporate the pirate theme into this fully online escape game. As well as it running through all the puzzles, they also provide you with a PDF with printable hats, eye patches and parrots for the kids, themed cocktail suggestions for the grown ups and more. The text based story progresses as you work your way through the game. There are minimal pictures and no videos or sounds though, which limits immersion. The website interface isn’t of a particularly high quality, but other than a known white screen bug which requires a refresh to fix, it works. Annoyingly, the field to enter your answers is masked so you have to tick a box each time to see what you’re typing.
Along with the theming, the puzzles had little coherence to them. I’ll happily say that they were logical and fair (although the difficulty curve uncharacteristically spiked at one juncture). But, again, it just felt as though we were solving a series of random puzzles that could easily be plucked from the internet within five minutes.
That said, one aspect that Try2Escape has pulled off better than most is that their webpage was fully interactive – no taking screenshots and then manipulating items in paint software or, God forbid, printing! This is definitely a strong point and demonstrates that there are the makings of something good here.
There’s a decent number of puzzles, but the majority I have seen before. These were pretty easy for us, in part because we know the techniques required. Two tasks were pretty tricky though, one of which we needed to use a hint on. The other involved traveling around a map. I really liked the idea of this, but there were oddities with a couple of the location clues which didn’t make sense to me. One of the best things about these puzzles is they are interactive so you can complete them on screen instead of having to print them or mess around with Paint, which is what we normally have to do.
You’ll find word searches, mazes, jigsaws, quizzes, crosswords, ciphers and other logic puzzles. Each completed task provides you with a word or number which you enter on the website to go to the next. Hints are available underneath each puzzle if you get stuck, and you may need to use Google for the quiz. There’s 3 levels of hints, then the answer if you’re completely stumped. On the whole, all the games are fair and there’s a nice variety of methods used.
Look, it’s not a bad game but it’s completely uninspiring, especially in the face of everything else out there. It’s a perfectly playable game and certainly isn’t broken in any way, but I just can’t really see why you’d elect to play this with the wealth of other experiences that can be played online.
That said, the party kit aspect of this one is definitely a neat feature and I can see it working well with a crowd at home. We haven’t been playing that way though given current circumstances so can’t really speak too much on that.
My enjoyment was diminished a little due to having seen most of the puzzle ideas before. But I really liked the fact this game was designed so that you didn’t need to print anything out as the puzzles were interactive and could be manipulated on screen. This means you can either play together in one room, or via a screen sharing platform like Zoom or Google Meet with the host controlling the puzzles, like we did. We took our time and read the story that interspersed each puzzle, giving us almost 90 minutes of playtime out of the game.
At £20, I really don’t think I can recommend this one. I have to stress this – it’s not a bad game. The problem is that it’s actually in the upper end of online game prices and the content just doesn’t match that.
If you can gather a group of people and split the cost, playing the game with the suggested cocktails and other materials, it could be worth a punt. Otherwise, there are better value games out there.
A Pirates Life costs £20 per team, which is a premium price for an online escape room compared to the competition. Although you get a lot of interactive puzzles which have been linked well to the pirate theme, the quality and originality is lacking a little to justify the high price tag. This game is better suited for families or for people who are relatively new to online escape games and so won’t have seen the puzzle ideas before.
Theming - 5.33/10
Puzzles - 5.33/10
Enjoyment - 5.33/10
Value - 4.33/10