Gather, me hearties, and I’ll tell you a tale…
Location: Cibolo, TX
Date Played: August 28, 2023
Team Size: 2-8; we recommend 4-6
Duration: 75 minutes
Price: $36.95 per player
Accessibility Consideration: All players must cross one stair
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
As with its sibling room, Mayan Jungle Rescue, this game aimed above and beyond the average escape room experience in an attempt to blend a strong set, unusual puzzles, and a deep and evolving narrative. Though the result could use some polish, the heart still shined through as a good time for any experience level.
From our first moments in the room, the set revealed itself as the star of the show, followed by puzzling, then narrative. We found ourselves in a believable brig separated into cells, making for some straightforward but fun collaboration opportunities. As the game progressed, the environment got denser and more extravagant, and the puzzles kept pace in ingenuity. We enjoyed manipulating various objects and set pieces, and even a glitch was entertaining because we got to meet a fun character. Immersion was clearly the goal, and most components served it well.
However, there were parts of the room that could be streamlined for clarity. We accumulated copious amounts of information throughout the game that we barely seemed to use. More than once it felt like we stumbled onto a solution before using all of the relevant clues, leaving us to wonder whether certain things were still in play. Overall, I had the feeling that I was missing signposts, whether they actually existed or not.
We also struggled to piece together the story with confidence, grasping intriguing plot points but lacking the mental bandwidth to make complete sense of them while puzzling. To be fair, though, this type of fuzzy understanding could be by design. Kwest Club Escape Adventures is creating loose tie-ins among its rooms, so perhaps all will become clearer with time.
Voyage of the Crimson Ruby was an ambitious effort for sure, one worth continuing to refine. It was an entertaining (if also somewhat confusing) experience aspiring to a depth that doesn’t exist elsewhere in the San Antonio market. I’m eager to see how Kwest Club Escape Adventures pursues its vision in future creations.
Who is this for?
- Story seekers
- Puzzle lovers
- Scenery snobs
- Pirate fans
- Any experience level
- For the rich, pirate-y ambiance
- To try to untangle the mysterious background of Captain DeLeon
We found ourselves captured in the brig of Captain DeLeon’s ship, The Crimson Ruby. While the captain was out on port call, we took the opportunity to search for the source of his powers.
We spent our time exploring The Crimson Ruby. From our tiny brig cells and beyond, it was a convincing pirate ship. Every surface, fixture, font, and fabric had been considered in creating this quality illusion.
Kwest Club Escape Adventures’ Voyage of the Crimson Ruby was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Gameplay consisted of observing, making connections, communicating, and searching.
➕ The set was the highest quality we’ve seen in the San Antonio area. Everything felt ornate and solidly constructed. I was particularly enthralled with a particular set of gorgeous props for a late-game puzzle.
➕ We appreciated the variety of collaboration and communication puzzles that spanned multiple spaces in the experience.
➕/➖ The gamemastering was in character and engaged, keeping us focused and providing witty commentary on our actions. However, sometimes it wasn’t clear whether they were nudging us along past oversights or actually filling a necessary cluing purpose within the gameflow.
➕ For those of us still wearing face masks, the gamemaster suggested a work-around for a mask-unfriendly puzzle. Many thanks for this accessibility consideration; it meant a lot to us and will be useful in other rooms.
➕/➖ One clever interaction was fun to execute, but we weren’t sure how we were supposed to have the confidence to do it without the nudging of our gamemaster.
➖ Some puzzles seemed to have redundant routes to the solution. This cluttered the experience and left us wondering whether the extra information served another purpose.
➖ One tool overstayed its welcome. We weren’t sure when to stop using it.
➕/➖ I left feeling like I had discovered some important secrets that were both intriguing but also extraneous. We certainly found the source of the captain’s power, but it wasn’t clear how that power related to our role or experience within the game.
Tips For Visiting
- There is a parking lot.
Book your hour with Kwest Club Escape Adventures’ Voyage of the Crimson Ruby, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Kwest Club Escape Adventures provided media discounted tickets for this game.