ARRRRgh, Matey – Room: The Captain’s Quarters – May 21, 2016 – FAILED!!


Play if… you like searching for buried treasure.

Avoid if… you use Google Maps to get home from work. Every. Single. Day.


Escape Quest:

Address: 1127 King St, #200, Alexandria, VA 22314 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-574-8175

The Room – Captain’s Quarters:

Description (from the company website): You and your team have been sent to recover a chest of stolen treasure hidden in the private office of the notorious and sinister Captain Jack Buckingham. You have 60 minutes to retrieve the treasure and escape the room before Captain Jack returns to send you to a watery grave!

Difficulty (1-10): 8/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 + tax per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 6

Staging Area: Lobby has a lot of space to sit on couches and chairs, and the tables have a few puzzles to work on and get your mind revved up before starting your room. The front desk attendant will also offer a small bottle of water. Restrooms are right next to the lobby.

Metro Access/Parking: King Street metro w/ a .4 mile walk (or take the free King Street Trolley to N. Payne St.); street/garage parking.



Description of the room: Pirate-themed room complete with treasure chests and buried-treasure-maps.

Understanding of the Mission: Using the clues in the room, solve puzzles to determine the location of the buried treasure as well as a key to GTFO.

Did We Escape: This room was 1 of the 2 rooms we, regretfully, did NOT escape. *GASP*

Time Remaining: >_<

Our Suggested Party Size: 6 is well chosen, but since we booked the entire room, we added 2 more.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Dalia, Hailey, Shanell, Stuart and Stephanie.

No photo available from company Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Our Scoring:

Overall Expectation (Summary)
Can’t say I was really expecting anything other than a treasure map and maybe a treasure chest? The description of the room didn’t give us much to go on, so I can’t say I was really disappointed with anything. I’m not a huge fan of pirate-themed anything, but Jason got a Groupon for when his family was in town, and I’m not one to miss out on an Escape Room experience.

However, I’m always up for a scavenger hunt, so this seemed like a pretty cool room to do.

Story (Rating)
The story was your typical pirate theme. I guess you can say I felt like I was a Goonie being chased by the Fratellis…

Rating: 6/10

The story was fine. I think it could have been made more compelling with some backstory or during the pre-room briefing.

Rating: 5/10

Puzzle Diversity (Rating)
This was one of the few rooms that didn’t essentially rely on clues to decipher combo locks. For that, I am thankful. However, I absolutely HATED one of the puzzles. I think it was poorly thought out and the in-room instructions (clues) on how to use it were TERRIBLE. I won’t give detail, but if you do this room, you’ll know the one.

Rating: 7/10 (that includes a -1 for the terrible puzzle)

Despite what my counterpart says, I think that the puzzle diversity was pretty good. We even saw a puzzle that we hadn’t seen before, and that’s hard to do for the number of rooms we’ve done.

Regarding the one puzzle that is mentioned on the left… I agree that it was completely frustrating. However, we did solve it and that led us to the last clue, which we totally missed. Our fault. Game over.

Rating: 8/10

Puzzle Complexity (Rating)
Though I hated that one puzzle, the room was sufficiently complex to remain enjoyable. Until we didn’t follow Rule #3 again. (Do you sense the recurring theme here…?)

Rating: 9/10

Well, obviously we got stumped to the point where we didn’t solve the room’s mission (even with help). We did get all the way to the end, though… just that last damn puzzle threw us.

There was a point where we had some technical difficulty, but solved it pretty quickly.

Rating: 9/10

Flow/Cohesiveness/Uniqueness (Rating)
Oddly enough, with the one puzzle I keep hating on, this room flowed very well. While the entire group was essentially split up into teams to figure things out, once we got one puzzle down, that clued in another team to speed up their solving process (see what I did there?).

Rating: 9/10

The puzzles themselves lent themselves to the mission and were designed in a way to strengthen the story (one of my biggest expectations when doing a room). There were enough that small groups of us could be working in different parts of the room

Rating: 9/10

Fun/Amusement (Summary)
Overall, the room was good. You know what I’m going to say next.

Rating: 7/10

I had a good time until we were stumped. Not the room’s fault though. We should have followed our own rules.

Rating: 8/10

Game Master (Summary)
I’m not one for sugar-coating. This was the 2nd room he’d helped us with and when he came in to tell us what we did wrong, he did NOT have any bedside manner whatsoever. The only GM I think was worse than him was the girl at a room I did with my parents, sister, and 4 random teenage girls up in NJ. The GM did the standard briefing and monitored us until we had to ask for help on the last clue. I don’t think he did anything wrong, but he could have been into the game a bit more. The GM can make or break an experience, even if you do solve (or don’t solve the room).
How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)
Again, back to the horrible puzzle. He had to spell that one out for us because there was really no way to give us a hint on it. Not knowing what we were doing wrong, it’s difficult to say whether the clue was helpful. It’s hard to give a clue on something so overlooked that any clue would have given us the immediate solution.
Anger Level Score ERG (pronounced URG, as in “we should have known better”) Score
At the end of this room, I needed a drink. Or 3. So I went and got one. Between Rule #3 and that one. Damn. Puzzle. I give this a…

Rating: 5/5 Fists

We just missed the puzzle, so I don’t think I actually had an ERG moment. I did feel a bit stupid once we saw what we did wrong, but we were headed in the opposite direction anyway, so it wasn’t a matter of face palming.

Rating:     FacePalms – 0/5


Final Thoughts: This was one of two rooms to date that we didn’t escape, so we have to tip our hats to the room, despite our own stupid mistakes.