More fun than being on a real pirate ship (I’d imagine)
Trapped onboard the ship Polaris, you and your crew of have been thrown in the brig, however, there’s been a mutiny onboard and all remaining crew members have abandoned ship!
Navigate the stars and the seas and figure out how to sail the ship through thunderbolts and lighting back to land!
Margate, Margate, Margate, all I see on the enthusiast group on Facebook is people talking about how amazing the rooms are in Margate. With all this praise we had to go and check them out and see what the fuss was all about, our first room for the day was ‘Pirates of Polaris’.
We arrived 15 minutes before our allotted time and were greeted by the owner, Lewis. Straight away you knew this place was going to be special, the waiting room was well designed and beautifully styled and we were offered tea and coffee on arrival (there was also a free water cooler) – top marks for hospitality!
Despite arriving 15 minutes early we actually went into the room about 15 minutes late because we spent 30 minutes or so talking with Lewis about their operation and the escape room world. It makes a nice change to be able to chat with the owners and see their passions coming through, rather than just being seen as a time slot to get in and out of the door. That’s one thing that you notice about this place, time is fluid.
After a short briefing on rules etc. Lewis showed us to the room, with a beautifully styled door that was a sign of things to come. You start the room in the brig (ship’s prison) , which is probably where we belong, and then time starts and you have to work out where to go from there.
The room felt like a journey and because of this it was fairly linear with one puzzle leading on to the next seamlessly. At no point did we not know where to go or what to do, well maybe at a couple of points but that is because we were being stupid and certainly not due to the room design. A kind nudge by the GM got us back on track and there were some very clever things in this room to give you subtle hints about what you were supposed to do with certain items. One thing you are told when you go into the room is that there are no red herrings, everything has a purpose, and we found that to be true.
Full confession we did break the room on the last puzzle as we didn’t move a chain fully out of the way, despite us breaking the room we found a work around and were still able to complete the room without the GM needing to manually override anything. Fortunately they have a talented team on site and got it repaired ready for the next team.
This room is everything an escape room should be, clever, creative, immersive, fun, and beautiful. We didn’t know what to expect when we came to Margate, but this blew everything else out of the water.
There was a good mixture of findings things, and solving things. It may have been our experience or the way our brains are wired but we found the puzzles in this room to be on the easier side, that’s not to say they were easy, just easier.
The thing that you notice about this room is that the puzzles that are in there all fit the theme and didn’t feel like they were just in there to slow you down. There were padlocks but with the exception of one or two they all felt like like they fitted the theme perfectly, and even the ones that didn’t were used because there probably wasn’t another option to use.
The last puzzle was multifaceted and the way it all came together was wonderful. I won’t give it away but if you have always wanted to be a pirate (who hasn’t?) then you will love the ending and what you have to do, we did!
It looks like when this room was designed ‘immersion’ was the key word and that is what everything was built around. The whole time you are in the room you are part of a journey, from the brig through to the deck of the ship and the design, sounds, lighting changes according to where you are. In fact the use of sound and light were big parts of the game and the weather changed to either help or hinder you.
This room is beautiful, it really is, and when a room uses genuine artifacts there is no doubt it is going to be something special.
Clues and nudges were perfectly timed and delivered via a screen through a porthole in your starting location. Your countdown timer was also displayed on this screen.
The GM was very good and if he could see us faltering slightly he would give us a little nudge in the right direction. After the game we were given a thorough walk through by the GM where he explained the puzzles and some aspects of the room design.
It seems weird to have a favourite escape room company and not just a favourite room, but The Escapement is certainly that. They’re doing everything right and are so passionate about their work that they deserve to be up there with the best.
Team Size: 2 people – escaped in 42:18
Address: 65 Northdown Rd, Margate CT9 2RJ