Liverpool, Sep 2018
In Shipwrecked you’re seeking pirate gold on a haunted shipwreck. Although theoretically haunted, fortunately the captain’s ghost has generously decided to leave you alone for an hour before returning to drag you screaming to the bottom of the ocean, so all you need worry about are all the locks and puzzles standing between you and your prize.
I’ve remarked elsewhere that pirate themed games seem to have reliably impressive decor. That’s true here too… up to a point. If you have nothing to compare it to then all the swashbuckling paraphernalia will give a great impression, with plenty of chests and nautical implements and piratical doodads. If you’ve played similar themes elsewhere and regard authentically creaking floorboards as a bare minimum, then you’ll find it underwhelming.
As with most of Breakout’s games, the construction seams are not particularly concealed; you’ll spot wires connecting up the game’s electronics. In fact you’ll have a hard time not noticing the large microphones dangling on the walls in a couple of places. However, I’m loathe to criticise those, since I’ve seen older reviews of this venue objecting that the gamemasters can only see the players not hear them. The way Breakout have addressed that may not be very slick, but I’m thoroughly glad that they sorted out that weakness – when the host can’t hear the players it invites all sorts of problems.
As with most of the Breakout games, Shipwrecked is a decent game that manages to give a good experience despite the occasional blip in the puzzle design. There’s nothing particularly offensive here, though I did roll my eyes at finding three locks marked by colour in the same way, of which two were unlocked using a puzzle with a matching colour and the third was unlocked with something else altogether – that’s not going to spoil anyone’s game, it just means players may assume the code they’ve worked out must belong elsewhere and waste time before trying it on the off chance.
We finished quickly, which wasn’t surprising given the medium difficulty rating of the game, and there’s little to make enthusiasts put this one high on their list for a visit. Still, it’s a jolly pirate jape that’s well suited for beginners, and perfectly fun to rattle through if you’re passing.