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A Pirates Life • Try2Escape • Online Puzzle Game Review


A Pirates Life

from

Try2Escape (Based In The United Kingdom)


◣ GAME'S SPECS

🕹️ Stay At Home Games » Online Puzzle Game

💪 Difficulty not specified by company.

⏲️ Time duration not specified by company. But no time limit.

🔢 Recommended for 2 to 8 players by company.

💬 Hints available (3 total) at the bottom of each puzzle page. Solution also accessible should you need it.

🛒 If you PURCHASE GAME due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout out! ;)


MATTSTER'S TAKE

💪 Difficulty: For Mattster's Team of 1, most puzzles range from 2 to 4/10, but mostly due to repetitive tasks.

🔢 Ideal Team Size: This game format dictates appropriate team size; I'd recommend 1 to 2, maybe more if for kids.

🤷‍♂️ Best Fit For: Younger audience who are not yet overexposed to commonly found puzzles like crosswords, mazes, etc.

😕 Overall Takeaway: A mashup of classic games such as mazes, jigsaw puzzles, and ciphers, dressed in an also classic pirate theme of "Let's hunt for treasures!" Many activities to do in an hour, though not many surprises to be found.



Premise

Get your team ready to sail the high seas in our new online escape game in search of Blackbeard’s Treasure, you will have to use your wits and cunning up against pirates, sea monsters and many other interesting characters. (Our game also includes a printable PDF which includes learn how to speak like a pirate, drink ideas for cocktails and mocktails,  printable hats, eye patches and your own pet parrot.  Everything you need to become pirate legends.)


Analysis


PIRATES, BECAUSE, IT'S A CLASSIC


Try2Escape is a new division of Leisure King, a United Kingdom that specializes in event planning. Freshly venturing in the escape room territory, this company provides both mobile and online versions of escape rooms.


"A Pirates Life" follows what seems to be an unsaid rite of passage of all new escape game establishments, because once upon a time, somewhere, the God of all escape rooms just decided, "Let there be light! And pirates! Hoards of them! Never-ending supply of skulls, swords, and cannonballs!"


So yarrrrrgh. We arrrgh goin' treasure hunting tonight.


The overall narrative doesn't deviate much from what one would typically expect. You get jailed, you break out of said jail, and with your newly gained freedom, you recruit sailors, get a ship, and set sail to find your treasure chest. It's all been said and done before. If you're a die-hard fan, it's a well-cherished classic tale. For those who are looking for something fresh and new, this will most probably fail to excite.



HONEST EFFORT, BUT FEW MISSTEPS


The game puts in an honest effort in carrying a semi-engaging plot while introducing a relevant puzzle at appropriate reading break point. Each game webpage follows the same standardized format: story, puzzle, hints, and solution input.


I genuinely recognize the company's attempt in creating a story universe to house their brainteasers, and I appreciate that they did not do so with excessive amount of required reading. Alas, as already mentioned, this is a plot told countless times prior. For any diehard escape room player, or anyone of adult age, perhaps, this lacks that something special, that "it factor", that would successfully capture attention. As such, I couldn't bring myself to care as the mundane plot unfolds.


If I were to make my best guess, the true issue is the puzzle choices. I almost feel that all the puzzles are already pre-determined, as if the designers have already set their hearts on having one maze here, one sliding puzzle there, and sprinkle in one (or two) cipher decoding(s) for good "escape room" measures, and then try write their way around them into a compelling buccaneer adventure--it just doesn't work very well.


In fact, to bring customers an immersive and true pirate experience, crosswords, word searches, and trivia quizzes do not make up the best crew. No matter how one spins it, no matter how creative an author gets, at no point should a maritime adventure conclude in the format of a multiple-choice test, agreed? Let these unfit crewmates walk the plank and sleep with the fishes... Best to recruit a new team.



A COLLECTION OF CHILDHOOD CLASSICS


At its core, "A Pirates Life" is a greatest hits album of popular childhood games that stand the test of time. And while the likes of crossword and jigsaw puzzles certainly have earned their unwavering places in our culture, simply bundling them up all together in one package doesn't necessarily translate to greatness. Not in a pirate themed escape room--or any escape room, for that matter.


But! This is a collection of time-tried puzzles after all, so there is a handful of highlights that I deem enjoyable: A "Guess Who?" inspired puzzle is an unexpected reunion with one of my most memorable and beloved childhood toys, and it's programmed to run ever so smoothly and user-friendly as an online experience. Rebus puzzles also make an appearance late in game, and it's one of the few instances that I feel legitimately challenged and therefore mentally fulfilled.


A large percentage of the puzzles are seemingly more fitted for a younger audience. That is, my not having as much fun as intended may be due to my not being in the targeted demographics. While I find tracing my way through a circular maze marginally increases my happiness level, it could be the best time for a young tween with their parent. (Strangely enough, one cipher wheel puzzle gets so mindbogglingly yet unnecessarily difficult, I've ultimately chosen to skip it! Whoops!)


Yet, there is a silver lining: there are *tons* of puzzles to work through. If you're looking to fill an hour's time with something light and simple, this does the job more than adequately. I walked away having learned a couple of talk-like-a-pirate vocabulary terms, an unintended but certainly welcome side effect. However, for this company's next publication, I would undoubtedly treasure quality, along with innovation and surprises, over just plain ol' quantity.



FINAL THOUGHTS


Leisure King is an event planning company, so it's possible that while they've mastered certain aspects of a good time, (as evidenced by their delicious suggestions of accompanying cocktails,) they have not quite yet grasped what makes an at-home escape game ideal. As their new division of Try2Escape works through its growing pains, I hope they will find within themselves creativity and novelty that help them stand out in an already competitor-filled industry.



Signing off,

Escape Mattster

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Footnotes

⤻ Full disclosure: Complimentary game access was generously provided for review purposes.

⤻ All media credited to and provided by contents owners. No copyright infringement intended.

⤻ Speed code for on-site search: T2EPiratesLife

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