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SECRET TREASURE OF DUBROVNIK • DUBROVNIK ESCAPE ROOM/PUZZLE PUNKS • Remote Escape Room Review





Dubrovnik Escape Room/Puzzle Punks presents...

"SECRET TREASURE OF DUBROVNIK" (Remote Version)


✧ Mattster's Game #102 Overall; Game #7 for Remote ✧

(Played In: May 2020, With 5 Players, Success!)





► VENUE AND GAME INFORMATION


🏢 COMPANY: Dubrovnik Escape Room/Puzzle Punks

🏘️ ADDRESS: Josipa Kosora 22, Dubrovnik, Croatia | Google Map

🗾 COUNTRY: Croatia

💻 WEBSITE: Puzzle Punks (Remote) | Dubrovnik ER (In Person)


🕹️ GAME: Secret Treasure Of Dubrovnik

💻 WEBSITE: Game Info | To Book This Game

⏲️ TIME LIMIT: 60 Minutes 💬 DIFFICULTY: 4/5 (Official) | Easy (Mattster)

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 CAPACITY: Up To 6 Devices

🔐 GAME TYPE: Private

💰 PRICING: €60 Per Game (Combined Package Available)





► PREMISE AND OBJECTIVES



Official Premise (from Puzzle Punks): ​In the medieval times, Dubrovnik was a small but powerful republic, which gathered a lot of wealth through trade and diplomacy. In 1667, after the Great Earthquake, a big part of the city’s treasure was buried under the ground. Though it was thought to be lost forever, a secret society found it and hid it inside the Rector’s Office, now open as a museum, but no one knows where. A young historian employed by the museum, who went rogue, asked for your help to crack the ancient mystery and agreed to be your eyes and hands inside the museum, as long as you share the treasure with him. Find out interesting things from the past while solving the mystery, put your brain to work and figure out how to get to the treasure. (Game designed with real history facts!)





► ROOM ESSENCE AT A GLANCE


📚 NARRATIVE: Standard "find the hidden treasure" story

👀 VISUAL: Adequate, improves as story advances

🧩 PUZZLE: Sufficient amount for the general audience, good variety

🧠 IMMERSION: Light, it's more of a learn while you play situation

🎮 REMOTE INTERFACE: Sufficient, though user management required

🏪 VENUE: N/A

💁‍♂️ STAFF: Nothing but enthusiasm and positive attitude

💭 OVERALL: Casual, wholesome, and informative


🎟️ BEST FIT FOR: Families, children, history lovers, learn-a-holic

🎫 IDEAL TEAM SIZE: 2 if experts, around 4 to 5 if inexperienced





► REAL TREASURE OF DUBROVNIK IS...


Do you remember, as a kid in grade school, you would get activities from the teacher disguised as a game, but when in fact, you're having fun WHILE LEARNING?!


Oh, the nerve of those educators.


Well, add this one more to the list!


It really isn't often that I can say you may learn a thing or two when it comes to playing escape rooms. Laughter, sure. Thrills, theme dependent, but yes. But historical facts about city of Dubrovnik in Croatia?


"Secret Treasure of Dubrovnik"--a self purported "game designed with real history facts!"--has entered the chat!


Secret Treasure of Dubrovnik (Credit: Dubrovnik Escape Room/Puzzle Punks)

Now, I must admit, I am not a history buff nor am I one who is super gung ho about learning while I play. I've been in school for a total of... whoa, at least 20 years, and I am ready to be away from it all.


But objectively speaking, I don't think the informative aspect of this game hurts the product. Ultimately, you, as the player, have total control of how much you're willing to absorb. Much like on a museum tour, you can zone out, and come back in again when you want.


I, knowing that I am probably not this company's target audience, focused most of my time at solving the puzzles. And even then, it wasn't bad to have either passively read or heard some historical facts here and there.


If anything, I felt the passion in my avatar's voice. He seemed to really love sharing the beautiful history of Dubrovnik, and I am sure there will be players out there who resonate with his conviction.


An intriguing box of crystals

With that discussion aside, let's focus on the "escape room" side of things.


Plot wise, meh. When you incorporate actual history into your story, the game premise wouldn't deviate much from a real life scenario--Ivan, the young and eager historian, and his fiery urge to discover the truth behind lost hidden treasure--that sounds about adequate.


The set, decent. I've played enough rooms that took on a scholarly coat of paint, and most of these rooms would feature a library like setting, and this one was no exception. As the story built up to the ending, the production value improved, and I was excited as my team made a certain discovery.


Secret Treasure of Dubrovnik (Credit: Dubrovnik Escape Room/Puzzle Punks)

The most appealing factor of this room would be the puzzle themselves.


There were quite a lot to do right from the beginning. I would say the room was fairly non-linear, opening with 3 or 4 puzzles, any of which could be the starting point of the game. Most are gen 1, lower tech, and mental work.


Of course, solving one puzzle would lead to more clues to another. The flow was pretty standard, though the variety included was enough to keep me entertained. There were locks, some automated reveals via magnets and the likes, essentially things our team had seen before.


One particular physical puzzle or mini game would've been the highlight for this room had I given the opportunity to perform it in person. I love those things ever since I was little! Darn!


Due to my team's combined experience, we flew through everything. I would confidently rate this room as easy. We had roughly 18 minutes leftover, a good indication that this room was perfect for newcomers.


Children and families would be another very suitable demographic.


The overall remote experience interface wasn't bad, either. You have your one window for the Zoom live video feed. And you also have another window for displaying "Room View" and "Inventory".



Room view featured photographs of the actual room. I could rotate through the gallery to examine every one of the four walls. Point of interests were also clickable, showing the players more details when clicked on.


Inventory was managed by the team's designated group leader. With each password given by our avatar, when entered to this section, new items would appear for closer looks. Used items can be removed by all users. I would've preferred an automatic process, but this wasn't a deal breaker.


When combined with the Zoom feed, the interface worked efficiently. We did experience some slowness for items to show up in our inventory, but it could be due to incidental server issues. No big deal overall.


As mentioned, every single puzzle seemed to have some tie to actual events that occurred in Dubrovnik's past. As Ivan the historian, aka our avatar, multitasked to unlock padlocks while delivering a series of mini history lessons, I started to appreciate how efficient he was at his job.


There's something about his enthusiasm that I find admirable. Although I couldn't see his face during the game, he sounded very happy and positive. Perhaps he wasn't playing Ivan. On some level, he WAS Ivan.


Thank you, Ivan, for introducing me a piece of Dubrovnik's rich history (Pun intended)

And from that appreciation, I thought to myself, "Hey, maybe learning while playing isn't so bad after all."


Thanks, Dubrovnik Escape Room/Puzzle Punks, for offering something respectable that's not usually on the table.


Didactic escape room gaming, ah-check!


Signing off,

EscapeMattster


P.S. ...It's freedom.





► DISCLAIMERS

We at "Escape Mattster" appreciate this company's hospitality and the opportunity to publish an honest review. Though game access was complimentary, we aim to provide *only* genuine & unbiased opinions.

All official media are provided by or credited to respective contents owners, and are used with proper permission for the purpose of this post.

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