The Puzzle Effect – Curse on the Emerald Seas [Review]

“It’s just a flesh wound.”

Location:  Northglenn, CO

Date Played: September 8, 2019

Team size: up to 6; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Curse on the Emerald Seas was a particularly difficult, yet fair escape game… and we don’t make that statement lightly. Every single puzzle was clued well and resolved cleanly, but, oh boy, did The Puzzle Effect make us work for the win.

The game itself looked good. Elegant set embellishments really sold the space.

In-game:

If you aren’t a strong puzzler, winning this game without a heap of hints will be a tall order. Respect Curse on the Emerald Seas, matey, and play it if you know the ropes.

For those who know their way around escape rooms, there were some exhilarating solves in this one.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Cursed pirates – arrrrgh
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Brilliant and dastardly puzzles
  • Some beautiful and well-used set pieces

Story

After enduring a storm, our crew had discovered the legendary pirate ship the Emerald Seas. The story went that the ship’s crew had cursed themselves by trading their captain’s heart for treasure. Locals told of the ship rising from the depths for one hour every 20 years. That was all the time that we had to break the curse and seize the treasure for ourselves.

In-game:

Setting

Curse on the Emerald Seas was staged within a pirate ship. From floor to ceiling, the game was paneled in weathered wood. It generally looked sharp.

The puzzles stood out as looking especially escape room-y, but that didn’t take away from the experience.

In-game:

Gameplay

The Puzzle Effect’s Curse on the Emerald Seas was a standard escape room with a high level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, and puzzling.

In-game:

Analysis

➕ Curse on the Emerald Seas looked pirate ship-y. It wasn’t all wooden planks either. The back deck looked out into the bright night.

➕ The gameplay flowed well from one puzzle to the next, one open to the next.

➕ Curse on the Emerald Seas was a challenging escape room with some complex, layered puzzles. These were well-clued, and especially satisfying solves with multiple “aha” moments.

➖ While some of the cluing was integrated into the world, much of it was on laminated pieces of paper.

➖ Curse on the Emerald Seas needed better lighting for one complex puzzle with small visual cluing.

➕ The difficulty curve worked well. Curse on the Emerald Seas built up to the challenging puzzles. Then we rode that wave back down to the game’s conclusion.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • The Puzzle Effect offers this game in other cities as well, including San Luis Obispo and Phoenix.

Book your hour with The Puzzle Effect’s Curse on the Emerald Seas, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: The Puzzle Effect comped our tickets for this game.

Disclosure: Our trip to Denver was sponsored by the Denver escape room community. Contributions were anonymous.

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