RATING: 5 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 1:16
Yar, avast mateys! We’ve set sail with a bounty of epic pirates in our day, but this one’s different. This one is… noticeably plastic. And he’s about to walk us off the plank into a sea of absurdity befitting an equally absurd title.
The great Captain McKraken was a lot of things. He was a pirate. He was a captain. In fact just about the only thing he wasn’t was, well, great. And now he’s dead.
But none of that really matters to our story, because he’s back with a vengeance – a word which here means “turned into a $20 plastic skeleton and changed his once menacing moniker to ‘Captain Spoopy Bones’.” But hey, when this ship goes down, at least we know he’ll float!
Captain Spoopy Bones is now ready to enlist us as his new makeshift crew – and no, it’s actually not because we’re “the best team of pirates to ever set sail,” or any cliché like that; to the contrary, he just happened to find us still locked in the brig of his slowly sinking ship[wreck.] So, obviously our qualifications are clear and we’re fit to be sent on a truly magnificent quest (for some other pirate’s treasure, though it doesn’t entirely matter whose.)
I know what you’re probably thinking; you probably can’t quite tell from the story if we’re being sarcastic or if we actually enjoyed the experience. Here’s the thing – in any other scenario, something like a plastic skeleton as your main character would be a massive design faux pas that we’d never accept. But here, oh, me hearties, it’s just perfect – especially when you find him crudely puppeted as the narrator of the game’s brilliant preshow video.
The reason Captain Spoopy Bones and the Magnificent Quest for Some Other Pirate’s Treasure works so well is that right from the second you arrive – and find a title too long to actually fit on the attraction poster (leaving the tail end of its words falling off the side) it becomes abundantly clear that this game is not about to take itself seriously. It’s goofy and stupid in the best possible ways – and the end result is a comedy on the high seas that you won’t soon forget.
Landlubbers begin their voyage split between two separate, adjacent brigs, clearly once the final resting place for several very pernicious pirates. Though worry not; only their very plastic skulls are left hanging around as warning to other prisoners (and a reminder of just how silly this swashbuckling-ish adventure is going to be.)
As lanterns flicker to life, darkness gives way to a realization of just how large The Jolly Doldrick is. Multiple cabin areas (naturally dotted with windows to the treacherous ocean outside) hide the secrets of our new captain. Maps chart seemingly irreverent courses – perhaps each to other pirates’ treasures, or, you know, perhaps to no where in particular given our fearless, hollow-boned leader.
And beyond it all, at the bow lies this once mighty ship’s helm, naturally complete with a wheel (that probably hasn’t actually steered her course for years.) Cannons line the prow, offering a ready broadside of passing enemy ships (thanks to a fully animated, entirely wrap-around projection screen that offers open and unobstructed sea views from port all the way to starboard.)
If this seems like a lot to take in before gaining your sea legs, help is just a squawk away thanks to a snarky animatronic parrot who may well be the only other remaining living creature aboard this vessel. It all comes together to create the perfect balance of lighthearted pirate adventure that’s sure to immerse even the most grizzled of your crew.
Captain Spoopy Bones and the Magnificent Quest for Some Other Pirate’s Treasure is that rare mix of clever, engaging storytelling, a high-tech immersive environment and puzzles that connect everything together. Each step on this adventure is logical and intuitive – keeping a solid, smooth flow as strong as the projected waves that surround us. Better yet, each task directly connects to actions you might logically do if manning a pirate ship – from charting a course to raising the Jolly Roger itself.
Perhaps more importantly, Doldrick’s Escape Room embraces the split start nature of this game in the right way – offering a balance of tasks that will keep both halves of your team moving at a steady pace without one ever finding themselves standing around waiting for the other. In fact, this would prove to be a benchmark for the entire experience. There was no point in time that any member of our team wasn’t actively working on something – and even more so, each puzzle created a task that we all wanted to participate in.
What results is a game that literally had our mixed team of four (two experienced players and two newer players) quite literally running back and forth across the ship from the moment we broke free of our respective brigs until the moment we stole… um… some other pirate’s treasure. There is a non-stop energy about this game that makes it instantly memorable.
Our voyage with Captain Spoopy Bones also marks the single greatest use of red herring puzzles we’ve ever seen in a game. And while normally that, too, would not be a good thing, perhaps you should just wait and see for yourself before considering to walk the plank over the very thought.
Doldrick’s Escape Games is still new to the Orlando market, but they instantly become a venue that has ever since been easy for us to recommend. Their first outing, Super Bomb Squad: Commandos Awesome! gave us a taste of their sense of humor and creativity – but Captain Spoopy Bones and the Magnificent Quest for Some Other Pirates Treasure takes things to a whole other level. In a town seemingly overflowing with Egyptian tombs, mad scientists and zombie viruses, this venue strives to be different – offering us the chance to become immersed in clever stories the likes of which we’ve not seen elsewhere.
And while we’re confident you’ve probably dug up some pirate’s treasure before, you’ve never encountered one like, uhh, some other pirate’s treasure. In just their second outing, Doldrick’s Escape Room boasts one of the most active and engaging games we’ve played in quite a while – keeping us on our toes while literally running and laughing for the duration of our time at sea – and easily solidifying itself as the Orlando market’s best new interactive attraction.
Venue: Doldrick’s Escape Room
Location: Kissimmee, Florida
Number of Games: 2
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 12 people
Group Type: Private / You will not be paired with strangers.
Cost: $33.99 per person
We thank Doldrick’s Escape Room for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.