Pirate’s Prize

8.7 Overall
Pre-Room
Room Quality
Immersion
Puzzle Design
Fun Factor
Users (0 votes) 0

Pirate's Prize

  • Played November 2016
  • Richmond Hill

  • 60 minutes
  • 2-6 players
  • $25 Wed-Thu, $28 Fri-Sun

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When Freeing Canada invited us out to try their newest room, I was overjoyed. I had heard great things about this company, especially about Unforeseeable Pyramid, but so far I had not had the opportunity to visit. Based on what I had heard about Unforeseeable Pyramid and their other rooms (all general opinions, not specific spoilers, of course!), I had high expectations. Did Freeing Canada live up to these expectations?…

The location is not all that hard to find, though with a large parking lot separating the building from the closest major street, it’s definitely a good idea to figure out your route ahead of time. Once upstairs, the staff was quick to welcome us, and offered us FREE popcorn to munch on while we waited for the other half of our team. The lobby area is very spacious, with space for three full teams to relax and/or play games while they wait for their room. We pulled out one of the games, of which there are a number, to entertain ourselves while we waited. In addition to the FREE popcorn, drinks and snacks are available for purchase, if you so desire. Once the rest of our team arrived, we split ourselves into two groups (as we had decided to partake in a little “friendly” competition), and embarked into the room. Just to clarify, only one group participates in the room at a time, so don’t misunderstand this as saying that Pirate’s Prize can accommodate two groups at once! After being blindfolded and chained up, we received the story via recording, which set up our humorous backstory and serious objective.

Upon removing our blindfolds, it was easy to believe the story that we had just heard, as the decor really looks like the interior of a pirate ship. Wooden planks on the walls, barrels and chests on the floor, and an “at sea” soundtrack playing overhead. Just awesome, and we hadn’t really started yet! The construction is all very solid. We didn’t notice any wires, broken pieces or gaps, and there were only a few “do not touch” symbols that we found. The props were quality, fitting the theme extremely well, and to anyone that ventures into this room, take note of the light… Definitely one of the best set designs I have seen thus far.

The level of immersion is high immediately after the blindfolds are removed. The introductory recording sets up the story quite well, and the set design delivers you right into it. The soundtrack is a key feature of the room; a constant reminder that you are indeed on a pirate ship. Even the countdown clock is thematic, and quite a clever and humorously innovative feature. One area that we thought could have used some development was the story development during the experience. While the initial story set us on our way, there wasn’t much narrative to be discovered as we progressed through the room. As we came across the puzzles, they too all fit into the theme, and there really wasn’t anything that pulled us out of the experience.

Not only were the puzzles thematic, but there was such a variety that we never felt like we were doing the same thing twice. There was a great mixture of physical and intellectual puzzles, and each person in our group felt like the contributed in some way. Added to that, the fact that there was almost always more than one puzzle available at one time or the one active puzzle required multiple people to complete, our entire group was involved throughout our escapes. While there wasn’t a “wow-factor,” or something none of us had seen before (which gets harder and harder to do when we think about our combined room count…), we all enjoyed the puzzles and how well they flowed with the theme.

To answer my question, I would say that Freeing Canada exceeded my expectations. I cannot wait to get back there to try out their other rooms, so if anyone needs an additional team member, let me know! The combination of theme, set design, puzzles and props really makes this room a FUN experience. For those of you aching to hear who won the competition, I’ll just say that one group beat the other by a decent amount of time, but to find out who was on the winning team you will have to visit Freeing Canada and take a look at the current (as far as I know) record holders for Pirate’s Prize!

Final Verdict:

8.7/10

1 response

  1. Veronica says:

    We recently did this as a 3 person group (2 adults and one 12 year old) and we’ve done about 20 escape rooms.

    Overall it was extremely well set up – the setting was wonderfully immersive, from wooden walls to stained glass windows, and the countdown and help bell were a hoot.

    All the puzzles were enjoyable and in theme. It was nice to have puzzles that we could work on separately so we all easily kept busy. One time I called for help because I was worried I’d broken something by accidentally forcing it open but thankfully that was not the case and it was supposed to open that way. I was feeling overly cautious after accidentally breaking a prop in another of their rooms 🙁

    We were graciously allowed a bit of extra time to complete but we finished it just a few minutes over the clock. We had difficulty with one early puzzle (rookies mistake, never move pieces without paying attention to where they came from!) and some difficulty with very precise placement puzzle that didn’t quite line up (one of the workers had to help us with it and even then it was finicky). We are definitely learning we need to be exactly precise and patient with more puzzles.

    The staff were lovely and helpful, and the overall experience was positive. We are looking forward to returning to try more of their rooms.

    We would highly recommend this to families with kids who love puzzles, but it would probably be easier to finish on time with a group of 4 players.

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