Gnome & Raven – Shipwrecked [Review]

Pirates of the round table

Location:  Richmond, VA

Date Played: October 2, 2021

Team size: up to 12; we recommend 3-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per player, 4 player minimum

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Playing Shipwrecked felt like taking a journey. We traversed a number of interesting environments, each with its own opportunities for exploration. All of this was accentuated by the scale of the gamespace. Gnome & Raven likes building big and beautiful things.

A cave wall with little compartments, each containing a candle. Wax drippings run down the wall.

Shipwrecked played like a traditional escape room, but because of its scale and style, it felt fresh and unique.

Gnome & Raven could improve Shipwrecked by removing the remains of a ghost puzzle, and potentially balancing the use of the impressive space a little more… but overall, this was a stellar experience.

The final room of Shipwrecked was a party room, with an impressive table. One day I hope to throw a party in this room. It seems like it would be fun.

If you’re anywhere near Richmond, I strongly urge you to pay Gnome & Raven a visit and get Shipwrecked.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Pirate fans
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • That party room
  • The right big interactions captured the theme

Story

While exploring the libations in an old pub, we happened upon a note that suggested that Davy Jones shipwrecked in a nearby cove. We set off in search of his ship, seeking adventure and riches.

Setting

Gnome & Raven deals in large, beautiful sets.

Shipwrecked opened in an old sailors’ pub that looked like a legitimate pub. It was also large enough to be its own singular 60-minute escape game at a more typical company.

A ship at the bottom of the ocean, the hull is based in and heavily damaged.

Once we exited the pub, we found ourselves in the meat of Shipwrecked, and it was even larger and more detailed. Gnome & Raven does a stellar job of creating immersive environments, and each of them culminates in a final room with a large table that doubles as a party room.

A large, intricately designed circular wooden table on the other end is the skeleton of a pirate captain in a chair beside a ships wheel overlooking the sea.

Gameplay

Gnome & Raven’s Shipwrecked was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

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

A large wooden bar with an assortment of bottles on the shelf beyond it.

Analysis

➕ Shipwrecked was gorgeous. It was also huge. Almost every inch of each set was designed and purposely constructed. It was a really fun space to play in.

➖ The gameplay-to-space ratio felt a bit off. We spent barely any time in the opening act, and it felt like a missed opportunity for the large, inviting pub set. In contrast, we spent a lot more time in the smallest, least interesting transition space.

➕ Our favorite moments in Shipwrecked were the result of taking unusual, but themed, set- and prop-driven actions to solve puzzles.

➕ We also enjoyed the set transitions, which included some atypical doors. We love creative doors.

➖ We encountered one ghost puzzle in a prop that looked too inviting.

➖/➕ There was a lot of reading; many puzzles had an accompanying written clue. That said, these came in the form of scrolls, which felt appropriate in the space. It was also clear how to connect clues to props and gameplay flowed well.

➕ Shipwrecked was bigger than it needed to be in most every dimension, and this was exciting again and again. It made for an overly dramatic conclusion that we greatly enjoyed.

🎂 Gnome & Raven uses their beautiful gamespace to the fullest, courting birthday parties and other group events. The final set of Shipwrecked had the most magnificent party table. Who wouldn’t want to extend their merriment aboard this pirate ship?!

➕ At Gnome & Raven, our experience transcended our time in the game. Not only was our gamemaster a character of the world, but so too were all the staff members we encountered. The lobby was its own designed space. Although Shipwrecked was a standalone, themed adventure, it was also very much at home in the fantastical land of Gnome & Raven.

Tips For Visiting

  • Gnome & Raven is located in an open-air mall surrounded by a moat-like parking lot with plentiful free parking.

Book your hour with Gnome & Raven’s Shipwrecked, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Gnome & Raven comped our tickets for this game.

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