Escape 60′ Jardins: Os Piratas de Montserrat [Review]

logo-escape60Location: Escape 60‘ Jardins, São Paulo (SP), Brazil

Date completed: December 2017 (2 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 6.5; Difficulty: 6; Atmosphere: 7.5; Fun: 8.5

Requirements:

  • Fluent Portuguese, English of Spanish
  • 2-8 players

It was just another pirate day on board Captain Ghost’s ship, the Montserrat. But while we were doing our rounds (as the good mates we are), we noticed El Pancho docked Montserrat unexpectedly at an unknown island. Was this Brazilian game going to be another treasure hunt?

Nope. In Piratas de Montserrat, your not-amigo El Pancho actually snitches your team to the Dutch Navy, and players have one hour to get all valuables out the ship and run before they are executed! Trapspringer was not there to play this time, so escaping was on the hands of me and my gamer/escaper sister!

First: the room is not a real ship, so you will not feel seasick. Second: it does look a lot like the interior of an old Spanish galleon. Escape 60′ did a good job in decorating this room. Wooden furniture and “glass”, with the eventual rum bottle, gave it a nice look. I noticed most furniture and props were bolted to the walls, as in a real ship. According to the GM, it also made the room much more resistant to rough players!

We had played other Escape60′ games two years ago, and even though they were pretty good at the time, would probably feel dated today. I was curious to see how their rooms have evolved, and Piratas de Montserrat did not disappoint. It had better setting, better puzzles and discreet tech well embedded in the scenario, a clear sign that the company is following the evolution of the escape room industry. This game was probably the most satisfying I’ve played in the Escape 60′ franchise. It may not have scored high, as it had nothing groundbreaking, but it was an all-round nice room.

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Piratas de Montserrat is not a multi-room game. From the start, you are very aware of the space you have to explore, and it is not big: a storage area and the capitain’s office, which is locked. The room can be played in Portuguese (the local language), English or Spanish. Most puzzles, except for one, actually do not require language, so knowing one of them is necessary basically to understand any hints that will come through the sound system. The puzzles were varied, with some mechanical intelligence, association, minimal search and decryption. It was not a hard room and the game is mostly linear, but it can pose some challenge to small teams.

My sister and I actually needed a hint right in the beginning, after exploring most areas and not finding how exactly to interact with them. We were quite embarrassed once we heard the hint – we missed something that was almost as big as a huge treasure chest and quite shiny. The GM was quite shocked in disbelief that TWO people could actually miss it! Despite our fabulous visual issue, we finished the room with a few minutes to spare, having had “a-ha” and “duh” moments along the way.

Our gamemaster was very attentive and the entire venue in Jardins is very family-friendly. While Piratas de Montserrat is suitable for all ages, one of their other rooms is actually aimed at younger players.  Escape 60′ was the first Escape Room company in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, and since opening in 2015, they rapidly expanded to many other cities throughout the country. They rotate their rooms around the venues, so check their website to see if the game you want is somewhere near you.

In Escape 60′ we also played Death Row, Dr. Mortare’s Lab and Rescue Operation, as well as the retired licenced room Assassin’s Creed.

Out of the Room

Service: The staff at Escape 60′ Jardins was very friendly. We played on a tranquil day and got a detailed briefing from our GM. The venue has a large-sized waiting area with a soft drink machine for purchases. There are lockers for personal belongings outside the rooms and toilets. There is parking for up to 4 cars at the venue.

Communication: Hints are given through a sound system in the room when the gamemaster notices you are stuck.

Surroundings: The Jardins branch of Escape 60′ can be easily accessed by bus and is located just 5min by car from Paulista Avenue, the commercial heart of São Paulo. There are plenty of options to eat, see and shop over there. If you prefer to walk, Irish pub O’Malleys is just two blocks away. A fancier option is the traditional barbecue at Vento Haragano – delicious, but pricey!

 

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