Escape the Crate Review: Escape on the High Seas
Escape the Crate is a subscription box for those looking for the fun puzzle solving experience of an escape room right in their own home. Every other month, this box delivers a new adventure to your doorstep, and you will solve the puzzles in challenging scenarios such as escaping from a pirate ship, solving a murder mystery, defusing a bomb, and more. This is a box I look forward to receiving just to see what new adventure awaits.
This box was kindly sent to us for review.
How it Works
Escape the Crate ships every other month for $29.99 plus shipping. Each box contains letters, ciphers, puzzles, tools, and other objects that may help you in your adventure.
As players, you take on the role of an agent working for E.M.I.T. or Emergency Mediation In Time, a time-traveling organization that goes back in time to fix issues. Each mission is a self-contained adventure with a beginning, middle, and end. Older “retired” boxes are available for a one-time purchase at $39.99 plus shipping.
Escape on the High Seas
“A great treasure has been taken by some of the most infamous pirates to ever sail the Caribbean, Calico Jack and Anne Bonny. The pair have recently fled the safety of Nassau and are on a spree attacking ships big and small, including other pirate ships. Among their recent takes is an object you need… a time machine, hidden within a chest of gold. It is up to you to infiltrate the crew, gain their trust, and escape with the treasure before they grow wise of your plan. The only issue is that Anne Bonny is not an easy pirate to deceive. Wicked and clever, she sees through your rouse and is ready to make you pay for your deception.”
This box brings us right into the world of pirates. The game is split into three separate chapters, each one more difficult than the last. You do not have to play all three chapters at once or in order to enjoy the game. It’s like getting three games in one! The first chapter is meant to be a nice introduction to escape games and the last is a challenging battle to claim your riches. I love the idea of increasing difficulty levels to ease in new players.
The box contains an information sheet with instructions to start. It has a link to the Escape the Crate website that will guide your team on your mission. You will need an internet connection to enjoy the game, so be sure to have your computer or smartphone ready.
The box contains an assortment of papers, cards, and physical props containing puzzles and clues that will be used throughout the game. As you play, the game will give you directions on which pieces to use.
Tip: Be sure to study all the included pieces carefully, there are clues everywhere, including on and inside the mailing box! A side note, unlike previous months, the box this month came wrapped in a white mailer. I really appreciate this extra touch to protect the box from the elements, especially since it is raining a lot here.
My husband and I played the missions over our Christmas break. We decided to take it slowly, and played only a chapter a day. First, there is some preparation work. The website provides instructions to cut up and assemble some clue pieces before starting.
After reading through the instructions and setting everything up as directed, we got to work. There is a clear picture on the website showing how all the pieces should be laid out. You have the option to set a timer for yourself if you want. We usually opt to skip the timer and have a relaxed experience.
There are a couple of envelopes that you should not open until the website tells you to.
Each section of the adventure has information laying out the problem. You can choose to either read or listen to an audio recording of each section. I appreciate the effort to cater to different preferences. I generally prefer to read while my husband likes the audio. We ended up listening to the audio recording first, and then reading through the written version to look for additional clues we may have missed.
You have to key in a code to move on in each step of the mission. This will be a number or word from solving the puzzle. If needed, you have the option of using a series of hints. There is no penalty for using hints and completely up to the players how much they want to depend on them. Each hint will reveal a little more of the solution. We decided not to use any hints since we were not timing ourselves.
Escape the Crate provides the option to download and print the papers again if you want to replay the game. If you are a player who likes to scribble on the clues, this allows you to do so!
Escape the Crate Review – Final Thoughts
Escape the Crate is one of my favorite subscriptions to receive. I always look forward to seeing what new adventures await. I love pirate stories, and enjoyed the chance to go on a pirate adventure! My box got delivered right before the Christmas break, and these puzzles kept us entertained throughout the holidays. The stories, puzzles, and materials show great level of detail and all the work and creativity that went into creating each box really shows. My husband and I agreed that there was a good mix of difficulty in the puzzles. Some were straightforward, and some required a lot more puzzling over. Definitely give this box a try if you are someone who enjoys puzzles and escape room type games.
Toby & Rocket – http://www.tobyandrocket.com