While you and the rest of Jacques Cousteadians research team are exploring the Bermuda Triangle with your Zoom enabled sea drone, you got sucked into the lost wreck of the Ghostly Galleon and then Electro-Ecoplasmically connected to the spirit of the Banshee Buccaneer! Now seeing through their eyes, you must break the curse or lose your mind and soul into the abyss…. forever! Muwhahahah!
We’d been hearing good things about Hourglass Escapes for quite a while. Their ‘Evil Dead II’ room has been touted as one of the best out there so we had high hopes for their new online game, Ghostly Galleon. As you won’t be surprised to read, Ghostly Galleon is a pirate themed escape room and is a slightly modified version of their real life Ghostly Galleon game.
We were invited along to play this game by our friends over at Brit of an Escape Habit and were also joined by Charlie and James from Deadlocked, so we had a pretty experienced team of six players ready to break this curse.
Unlike many online games, our experience actually began before the game when we received our player packs. ‘Ye Olde Player Pack’ contained items that don’t directly affect the game, but offer ways of making it more of an experience for your team; instructions on how to make a pirate hat, a guide to talking like a pirate, and also tips on how to dress like a pirate are all contained with in this pack – it’s up to you if you choose to follow them. Oh, and of course there is an optional Zoom background you can download to use to make it look like you are playing the game from your own Ghostly Galleon.
Having closely studied our player pack, and brushed up on our pirate-lingo, we assembled our team on the Zoom call and were ready to step onto the poop deck…
Hourglass Escapes have a reputation that is well deserved, everything about this experience was refined. The camera feed worked well, the avatar was responsive and humorous (while being in character the entire time), and the inventory system worked well – pretty much everything we expected from it.
While the video feed came through on Zoom, the inventory was done using Telescape. Telescape is a great system that allows everyone on your team to access the inventory simultaneously while only one person needs to enter the ‘code word’ to add items to it. Telescape was also the location where we were able to see a 360 view of the room.
The galleon contained a number of items which helped set the scene but there was nothing that felt like a red herring or took our attention for more than a short moment, just good set dressing.
The puzzles on the Ghostly Galleon were unsurprisingly all on theme and connected with the piratey world in which they were located. There was some searching, although it didn’t feel overly search heavy, a fair amount of observational puzzles, some decoding, and a rather heavy logic puzzle.
Many of the puzzles resulted in combinations that unlocked padlocks, either words or numbers but once again, these fitted with the theme. The logic puzzle was the culmination of all of our work in solving everything else in the room and felt like an anti-climatic way to finish, primarily because it was hard to get everyone involved in this task so it fell to one person to work it out while the others just waited. The Telescape system did offer an interactive way to make solving this a little simpler and helped give the rest of the team an insight into what was being done.
Some companies can produce great rooms but be let down by poor gamesmasters/avatars. Hourglass Escapes are one of the good ones, they know that they need to put as much time in training their hosts as they do in building their experiences, and it shows.
The Banshee Buccaneer was great from the start. She was friendly and welcoming and at no point did she break character, she even went along with some of our bizarre requests (top marks there). If at any point we stumbled in the game she would strategically pan around the room to remind us of what items we perhaps didn’t use yet.
There was a timer in the room which was also easy to get a quick look at to make sure we were still on course to complete our mission, and the countdown stopped when we successfully lifted the curse.
The Ghostly Galleon was a really fun pirate themed room, that was enhanced by a great gamesmaster. For us, it was not quite as good as their Evil Dead II room, but they did set the bar very high with that game. Any way you look at it, this is a good game.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Number of connections: 3 – 6 players
- Price: $25 per person (min. 3 players)
- Devices: Computer recommended
- Platform: Zoom
- Inventory: Yes
- 360º View: Yes
- Time Zone: Seattle (Pacific Standard Time)
|Value for Money|
Team: 6 players
Time Taken: 46 mins