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In-Depth Escape Room Reviews

Review: The Pirate’s Den

5 Keys

RATING: 3 Keys         RESULT: Win          REMAINING: 24:00

Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate’s life for me — if of course a pirate’s life is mostly filled with multiple maze tables.

Story

The fate of pirates hasn’t always been this unlucky. Piracy is one of the oldest crafts, moreover, a lifestyle, profession and kind of a political resolution as well. There have been pirates from the beginning of sailing, as from the moment the first merchants ventured out to the sea with their products. With their small, but quick ships pirates attacked the great trade sailing ships by surprise, and they fought with their victims face to face amidst big battle noises. They didn’t despise psychological tricks either. Besides their frightening appearance, their fighting tactics were also strengthened by the skull-and-crossbones flag that appeared in the 18th century, called the Jolly Roger. The golden age of piracy was the 17th century, the primary targets were the Carribean coastlines, near the banks built by the Europeans.

The world’s been looking for the lost treasures of the most famous pirate, Henry Morgan for nearly 400 years. From 1676, Morgan retired from piracy, performed vice-gubernatorial duties in Jamaica, managed his estate – and drank like a fish. You’ll have to fight numerous hardships and challenges through your expedition! If you succeed, you’ll gain a worthy reward and be part of unimaginable wealth!

If you succeed, you’ll gain a worthy reward and be part of unimaginable wealth!

Again MagIQ Room proves they are a master of story, crafting a tale of adventure exciting and appealing to a younger audience set without leaving out the adults who brought them in the first place. The Pirate’s Den is a classic treasure hunt from an old pirate ship to an island’s shore, and from a narrative perspective, it works quite well.

Scenic

The Pirate’s Den is perhaps MagIQ Room’s best example of scenic quality and attention to detail – a profound statement to make in a venue full of great sets and decor. The first half of this experience takes place entirely within the lower decks of the ship – and everything about the space feels authentic. Wooden curved walls create a presence no square box office space ever could, capped by a fully themed ceiling and matching wooden floor.

And speaking of that ceiling – look up through a trap door and you’ll actually see the main mast and sales of the ship – a detail completely unnecessary from a construction budget that through its very existence takes the environment to another level of authenticity.

It’s difficult to sell the notion of “outside” when being built inside a small room, and as such we weren’t entirely surprised that the second room with its beach themed vinyl wall graphics isn’t quite as much of a wow moment – though it still works to the level it aims to achieve. With one wall continuing the motif of the ship, there’s definitely a decent amount of attention to detail left to be found.

Puzzles

The Pirate’s Den exists somewhere between themed, story driven puzzles and a PanIQ Room Maze Table Special™. Some of its steps instantly evoke the mood of pirate life. Others feel questionable in their “would this really be here?” existence, and honestly, there’s no doubt that their actual inclusion was due more to the fact that PanIQ Room San Diego’s venue closed down shortly before MagIQ Room was born.

We were left with mixed feelings on gameplay in The Pirate’s Den; On the one hand, this game had multiple maze tables, which seems like a questionable choice when even one can often be awkward for narrative purposes. On the other hand, some of it’s more unique puzzles were both fun and organic to the storyworld.

Overall

Even with it’s distinction as Maze Tables Central, The Pirate’s Den is a fun game – and one that probably was our collective favorite of MagIQ Room’s trio of offerings. This game had a solid flow and some clever moments mixed into its experience that we truly appreciated.

The Pirate’s Den likely could have claimed MagIQ Room’s highest rating, as it just barely missed a 4 Key distinction from us. Unfortunately the one thing it was missing to push it to the next level is also the one thing MagIQ Room does the best in The Secrets of Wizardry and The Pharaoh’s Legacy: it’s whimsical actor interaction. Although it may sound silly at first glance, the way it’s handled in their other two rooms is entirely charming and engaging, even for our group of adults.

For the younger audience set that makes up MagIQ Room’s key demographic, that charming and engaging interaction is no doubt the highlight of their experience – the kind of thing you’d likely be telling all your friends about at recess the next day. Perhaps it is possible that for some reason an actor was not available to join us during our time in The Pirate’s Den. We’d love to hear that typically that is apart of the experience, making it consistent with their other two games (and honestly, that would be enough to bump this one up to a 4 Key experience.)

MagIQ Room offers something very unique not just to the Los Angeles market, but to the world stage. Their games cater towards families with children, yet provide a challenge fun enough to keep experienced players busy for a little while. This is a great place to take some younger players to get them hooked onto the escape room genre – and a perfect setting for your little one’s next birthday party.

Venue Details

Venue:  MagIQ Room

Location: Los Angeles, California

Number of Games: 3

GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:

Duration: 60 minutes

Capacity: 8 people

Group Type: Private  / You will not be paired with strangers.

Cost: $32 per person (a minimum of two are required for booking, then prices vary depending on group size.)

 

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