Escape Zones – Black Beard’s Brig [Review]

Pirates of Eastern Alabama.

Location: Auburn, AL

Date played: March 31, 2017

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $22 per ticket

Story & setting

Tossed into Black Beard’s brig, we had a brief window of time to escape while our captors were off plundering and pillaging.

Black Beard’s Brig was Escape Zones’ first game. As such, it looked like a fairly typical first game. The set wasn’t particularly immersive; it was a cute but basic pirate ship.

In-game: A skeleton propped against a wooden wall.
That’s a pretty cunning shirt.

Puzzles

Just as Black Beard’s Brig looked like a first game, it largely played like a solid first escape room design. It balanced searching with puzzling, offering the standard, old-school escape room experience.

In-game: A bird skeleton in a a cage. The cage is locked with a 5 digit combination lock.

Standouts

Black Beard’s Brig was appropriately balanced for the Auburn escape room market, where Escape Zones was the only company in town and nearly all of the local players are first-timers. In terms of puzzling, it was neither a pushover nor brain-buster. More importantly, the puzzles flowed well.

It had a well-hidden surprise.

Shortcomings

In many instances, technology was visibly out of place on the brig. Escape Zones should build housing for their technology so that it can be better integrated into the experience.

Some of the props were in rough shape. We had to contend with breakage and wear, which made puzzles either easier or harder depending on the puzzle and the breakage.

One particular prop had an unintentional red herring built in. It should be modified to avoid leading players away from its actual function.

Should I play Escape Zones’ Black Beard’s Brig?

Black Beard’s Brig was a solid escape room for new players. It combined many escape room elements: searching, puzzles, locks, and tech.

If you’re new to this type of entertainment, you’ll most definitely enjoy a surprise or two.

More experienced players will likely move through it quickly, but will still enjoy a few truly satisfying solves.

Book your hour with Escape Zones’ Black Beard’s Brig, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Escape Zones comped our tickets for this game.

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