Published June 16th, 2017 @ 11:48 pm EDT by Paul

REVIEW: Pirate Adventure by Lockbusters Escape Game (Orlando, FL)

4/5 Claws

Challenge: 7
Awe: 8.5
Care: 8.5
Theme: 8
Team: 7
Signature Color: Indigo


“After months of waiting for construction to finish, I finally got to take on Orlando’s newest escape venue!  Still in their first weeks of operation, Lockbusters set out with a specific goal in mind; to push players beyond hunting for 4-digit codes by offering challenges that blend into the theming rather than relying on padlocks, which tend to stick out.  The result makes Pirate Adventure one of the most immersive rooms in town.  The puzzles and clues are so organically hidden, that more than a few times I had hardly realized I’d even found a puzzle until I solved it, receiving rewards that appear as if by magic, earning this room the Signature Color of Indigo for wonderous and mystical.

The secret to the artful execution of their organic design philosophy lies in the skill with which Lockbusters creates their decor; it’s clearly much easier to blend game elements into an environment that is as rich with detail as it is with spectacle.  Moments of AWE are packed into this experience and happened so frequently that by the time we escaped I would not have been surprised if the titular Captain Bonefish’s skeleton stood up and shook my hand.

We were lucky to be paired with another team of true escape room enthusiasts; we worked so well together and had so much fun that we took Lockbusters up on their challenge to escape Pirate Adventure in near record time and won a discount for their second room, which we unanimously decided to tackle immediately afterward.  But, truth be told, our match-up may, in retrospect, have been a mixed blessing; with a group of 5 vastly experienced players, we sailed through the tasks at a speed I would not have thought possible.  Don’t get me wrong, the challenges were by no means easy; they were varied and original, calling for just about every useful skill I would associate with escape rooms to be applied in new and clever ways.  Still, this particular gang of grognards could definitely have solved twice as many puzzles in the time allotted, but I would assuredly return if I learned Lockbusters made them harder (or more numerous).”


“I loved this marvelous room. If you don’t think of yourself as a pirate enthusiast, this room could change that. Blessedly free of padlocks, the look, weight, and mechanisms of the puzzle-contraptions collude logically and thematically with the intellectual challenges. Be advised, it’s not a difficult room–might be best for a group of two or three, so that you have more time in there.

Pirate rooms face several hazards, and the abundance of pirate-themed doo-dads in party supply stores makes the genre a suspicious one to me–it’s all to easy to throw up an ultra-cheap pirate themed room that’s basically a bunch of party favors. And for designers who are pirate enthusiasts, there’s there’s the danger of making the room too heavy with historical detail, and a preference for accurate or scholastic “authenticity” over, you know, fun. But this isn’t one of those rooms where players are sighing through history textbooks looking for the year such-and-such a ship was looted.  Pirate Adventure balances its beautiful visual elements and deeply satisfying puzzles, particularly conducive to team efforts, with no math, no overly precise map-related brain-tortures, and plenty of shiny treasure to remind you what it was like to wish you could jump off the boat on Pirates of the Caribbean and play around in their glittering hoards.

Ways I might like to see this room develop: I know I just said historical accuracy is dangerous, but real pirates used a lot of codes and ciphers to protect their gold–there’s an opportunity here to include a vintage and historically accurate kind of conundrum. This isn’t a gripe, or even a suggestion, but given their top-notch set design, it will be interesting to see if the venue decides to bend its considerable talents that way at any point.”

8326 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 930-0822

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