Pirate Cave Escape Room [Review]

Pirates of the Great Hungarian Plain.

Location: Budapest, Hungary

Date played: August 27, 2017

Team size: 2-7; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from 6,000 HUF ($23) per player for a team of 2 or 3 to 2,800 HUF ($11) per player for a team of 7

Story & setting

We were captured by pirates and cursed. We had to escape captivity and break the curse in this movie-inspired pirate adventure.

Pirate Cave had a homemade pirate aesthetic. The space was a lot of fun, even when the details fell short of convincing immersion. The sense of adventure was also aided by a few large set pieces that set the tone for each act of the game.

In-game: A wood raft in front of the gated entrance to a cave
Image via Pirate Cave Escape Room

Puzzles

Most of the puzzles were born of the props and set pieces within the game. They played well. A handful of the puzzles felt a little escape-roomy, while still working within the theme.

Standouts

Pirate Cave Escape Room was first and foremost an adventure. It conveyed story through the set, props, gameplay, and even hint system. Each mission was personalized, ever so slightly, and we loved this little touch. It enhanced our adventure.

Pirate Cave Escape Room incorporated standard escape room puzzle types through different implementations. The puzzling was entertaining.

In Pirate Cave Escape Room, we encountered many locks we’d never seen before. Some of these were pretty old. These locks – as well as many of the other carefully selected props – truly enhanced the environment and made the adventure more immersive.

There was a surprising transition. The designer’s willingness to build this made it that much more exciting.

Shortcomings

With a story-first design, Pirate Cave Escape Room could feel a little light on substantial cerebral puzzling. We would have liked to see more complexity and challenge.

Pirate Cave Escape Room nailed so many little details that the few places where these were overlooked stood out a little too much.

For tourists in Budapest, Pirate Cave Escape Room wasn’t far, as the crow flies, but it was well off the beaten path and difficult to find.*

Should I play Pirate Cave Escape Room?

We truly enjoyed each and every game that we played in Budapest and Pirate Cave was our favorite of the bunch. It was large, interactive, and highly entertaining. There were a number of larger interactions that simply didn’t need to be a part of the game, but the fact that they were made it so much more enjoyable.

Within Budapest, we played more interesting puzzle games. We also played games with more elegant set design. However, the way these things came together in the Pirate Cave put smiles on our faces.

Regardless of your skill level, we wholeheartedly recommend Pirate Cave.

*Do note that if you’re looking to visit Pirate Cave, you’ll likely need a taxi. We used the Uber clone Taxify in Budapest and it worked well. You should also follow the directions on Pirate Cave’s website and navigate to their GPS coordinates, not their address. We made this error and it would have been avoidable if we simply read the instructions.

Book your hour with Pirate Cave Escape Room, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Pirate Cave Escape Room comped our tickets for this game.

 

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