RATING: 4 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 4:02
To anyone else, a Caribbean Cruise is the very definition of relaxation, but with us on board, it should come as no surprise that something would go terribly wrong.
We’ve just set sail on a much needed cruise vacation when the unthinkable happens. A group of hijackers boarded the ship at the last port of call. After managing to take over the control room, the hijackers have set the ship on a course to run the ship into a great barrier island and sink it.
I suppose no one is at all surprised that after all the other sticky situations we’ve found ourselves in since launching this site, even our well-earned cruise would go terribly wrong, diving us into yet another life-or death adventure!
Hijacked at Sea! is one of the more unique game themes we’ve encountered – and given its proximity to Florida’s famed Port Canaveral cruise ship terminal, it couldn’t possibly make more sense. 321 Escape embraces their real world location to craft a storyworld instantly familiar to each and every one of their visiting guests. What results is an immersive experience that allows one to easily suspend disbelief and become apart of the action.
Hijacked at Sea!’s scenic decor is a bit more minimalistic than that found next door in The Heist, and while at first glance that might sound like a bad thing, anyone who has been lucky enough to actual set sail on a cruise knows how realistic that is. Though the public areas about these ships are always decked to the nines with larger than life grandeur, retiring to your cabin, as well as the hallways leading to it are an entirely different affair.
Average staterooms are small – much smaller than an average hotel room, in fact – with very little luxury to be found in their furnishings. 321 Escape embraces this reality to create an entirely believable fictitious cabin that – if anything – might actually be *too big* to be real.
Hijacked at Sea! further embraces a clear strength of this venue, featuring yet another great hidden passage way that both provides a fun “wow” moment as well as solidly furthers the storyworld narrative. Once through it, we find ourselves in one of the ship’s inner hallways, and, if we’re lucky, ultimately on the bridge – full of controls and switches to power this mighty oceanliner itself before it’s too late to save ourselves from a watery grave.
Much like The Heist, 321 Escape again aims high to keep all of their puzzles interconnected to storyworld in an organic way. Hijacked at Sea! carries a distinctly aquatic flavor, and true to itself, keeps its puzzles locked within that theme.
Our morse code, nautical flag signaling and sailor’s knot skills are solidly put to the test. But even if you’ve never cruised the seven seas before, there’s no need to worry; you won’t find anything aboard this vessel that requires any type of prior knowledge.
Physical puzzle steps, interestingly used here as a sort of series of milestone moments, is something we always look forward to finding in a game. 321 Escape embraces this effectively, while still keeping the overall game balanced with equal parts logic and problem-solving activities.
Appropriately our experience climaxes – if we’re lucky enough – by restoring power to the ship itself aboard the actual bridge. This creates a satisfying story conclusion for our adventure in a way that is more compelling than simply escaping a room could achieve.
Located inside Adventure HQ – a massive indoor playground to the extreme – full of physical activities that cater to a wide range of age groups including rock climbing, playground structures and even a full-scale American Ninja Warrior-style challenge course and even a quick service café, 321 Escape is uniquely situated to be a full-day activity..
We always feel it important to stress when we encounter a classic “mom & pop venue” – and 321 Escape is the very definition. With a team made up of mom, dad, son and daughter, this venue couldn’t possibly be more of a family affair. Impressively, every aspect of their operation is handled in house, from operations to marketing to game design and installation.
Their pride of ownership is evident, and their eagerness to constantly better themselves and their product is clear the moment you speak with them. This is definitely a venue that welcomes feedback from all players, and one that recognizes that there’s always room to improve, no matter how good they may already be.
More than their great games, it is for this reason that we very much look forward to setting sail on our next adventure with them.
Venue: 321 Escape
Location: Palm Shores, Florida
Number of Games: 3
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 8 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $28 per person
We thank 321 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.