[At the time of this review, The Crux Escape Rooms was called The Hour.]
Yarrr… [insert generic pirate cliché].
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
Date played: August 30, 2015
Team size: up to 6; we recommend 3-5
Price: 20 CAD
Theme & story
Mutiny at the Hour was beautifully constructed to look and feel like the different areas of a pirate ship. It was an exciting and fun to inhabit a pirate ship for an hour.
The story: Your ship has been overtaken by pirates. You and your teammates are locked in the captain’s quarters. You must escape from there, through different areas of the ship… and into the ocean?
We want to walk the plank? I guess that is better than being captives of pirates? The story doesn’t hold water.
The puzzles and their props generally stayed to a nautical theme, but they didn’t tell a story. This game packed a lot of story potential that went unrealized.
The folks from The Hour hand built this massive game. The settings, scenery, puzzles, and much of the decor are all clearly handmade with a ton of love.
It’s easy to feel good about a game that was so clearly born of passion and care. Mutiny at the Hour is a unique experience and is as close to a fully custom construction as we ever find.
This game has very few locks, and zero combination locks. The few key locks that are in the game are of the old-timey, heavy metal variety that feel at home on the ship.
Most of the puzzles resolved automagically: You do something, and a something else triggers via technology.
Many of the puzzles in this game relied on teamwork. The game was expertly crafted in this regard so that it could not be a one-man show. During our hour, I worked in tandem with each of my teammates to solve different game elements.
We escaped at the buzzer with just four players. It may be possible to escape with three, but this is a six person game.
Puzzles & difficulty
Overall the puzzles were physically and mentally engaging. In at least one instance, a player needed to climb within the set. This was well designed to be safe and fun (this also didn’t require much exertion).
There were a few instances where a player could determine their task relatively quickly but the task itself took some time to complete. Perhaps this would work well for larger groups, but with only four players, we struggled when multiple people were tied up completing concepts they’d already worked out… One or two puzzles overstayed their welcome.
Should I play The Hour’s Mutiny at the Hour?
Mutiny at the Hour brought a cleverness that exceeded that which we frequently see. The set was designed in a unique and engaging way. Puzzles were crafted such that they interacted with the set and players could not circumvent elements. And ultimately, these puzzles were fun. The pirate ship experience was exciting.
In this game, The Hour has upped their game design substantially, adding the automagic puzzles. Their sophomore effort far out-shined Jail Break. They still have a ways to climb to integrate the setting and puzzles into a cohesive story whose ultimate goal makes sense. However, this did not detract from the in-game experience.
Experienced players will enjoy the custom design of this game. New players may find this game a little out of their league, but I think it’s still worth a go. If you only have time for one game at the Hour, play this one.
Book your hour with The Hour’s Mutiny at the Hour, and tell them the Room Escape Artist sent you.
You guys are creeping towards Toronto!