RATING: 3 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 10:00
With us at the helm, this beautifully crafted ship may just run aground.
The year is 1710. Your team has had a little bit too much to drink the night before, and when you woke up, you found yourself tied up on board Queen Anne’s Revenge sailing towards the open Ocean. Your entire team will be sold into slavery or worse.
Storytelling is a bit of a mixed bag in Queen Anne’s Revenge. There’s a clear sense of a story world existing around players because of the detailed environment, but the narrative thread is a little jumbled in this pirate adventure.
The disembodied voice of the ship’s captain speaks to players throughout the game and warns them of the dangers of their actions. Actions which don’t always follow with a sense of logical. There is some type of curse plaguing the ship and players are working to destroy it. Or maybe the curse is coming after us? I’m not quite sure. Either way the captain is intent on stopping players and does feel like a oppressive presence—one that even manifests in a cool physical effect. The hows and whys are murky, but there clearly is a story of some kind trying to be told.
The aged wood and rock work in the space give it a real authentic feeling. The ship especially is built to such a high quality that with the right perspectives one could be tricked into believing they were on an actual old ghost ship.
A great element is a transition from a very small cramped space into a wide open area with a beautifully lit night time scene. These transitions always serve to make the second space feel more expansive than it is and in the best way possible. On this “exterior” deck of the ship, wind and rain effects hit players with the unpredictable forces of nature. Some other cool physical design elements also lend a fantastical quality to the room.
Throughout the entire space is a fine attention to lighting detail. It accentuates all the best parts of the space and sells this eerie moonlit night in which we find ourselves on this cursed vessel.
There are no traditional lock and key puzzles in Queen Anne’s Revenge. Instead a tech and mechanical based approach fills the puzzles in the space. Unfortunately many of the puzzles just don’t work in the way that they should, either by a fault in design or a fault in programming. And I use the word unfortunately very specifically in this instance because this game could be something special if it all worked as intended.
Often we would come to the conclusion that the way to solve a puzzle was to follow a particular line of thinking. We’d follow that line, do an action or two, and then find that nothing at all happened. We’d look around to see if we triggered some unknown effect or if some object in the world behaved differently, but found no such luck. Puzzle after puzzle we’d radio in to the gamemaster and find out that yes, that’s the right thinking, but some other illogical action had to be done for the puzzle to be solved. Or worse, find out that a sensor puzzle just wasn’t registering our action and the gamemaster couldn’t tell what was happening to try and bypass it for us in the moment.
Many great ideas are scattered throughout the ship, they just aren’t executed to the degree in which they should be.
Pirate games are still somewhat of a rare breed in the escape space, but they’re slowly gaining more prevalence. Queen Anne’s Revenge sets a high water mark for the standard of quality a pirate game can scenically have, but in other areas is lacking the fine polish needed to be a truly great product. With some more clearly defined story beats and a refinement of gameplay steps across the board this could be a ghost ship we wouldn’t mind taking out for a long sail.
The Quest Factory (formerly Maze Quests) has a massive warehouse right on the edge of Downtown LA. Currently they have two games open, but their space has enough room for many more games with a very large footprint. Once The Quest Factory is fully built out they’ll be a full day venue that could offer a unique and varied experience for players in Los Angeles.
Venue: The Quest Factory
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Number of Games: 2
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 6 people
Group Type: Public or Private
Cost: $35 per person for a public game or $189 for a private room
We thank The Quest Factory for inviting us to review this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.