Deckscape Crew vs Crew: A Team Based Competitive Escape Room in a Box (Spoiler Free Review) | Casual Game Revolution

Deckscape Crew vs Crew: A Team Based Competitive Escape Room in a Box (Spoiler Free Review)

Deckscape Crew vs Crew

Two pirate teams set sail in search of Blackbeard’s hidden treasure. Race through puzzles to collect the most doubloons and be declared the pirate winner!

The newest game in dV Giochi’s Deckscape series (a line of escape room games contained in a single deck of cards), Crew vs Crew brings something new both to the series and the genre by pitting players against one another.


The game is contained in a single deck of sixty-four oversized cards. Players split into two teams: blue and red pirate crews. You can split teams equally by number or by experience level, just so long as the teams are as balanced as possible. There’s a card that can be given to a team if everyone agrees they are at a disadvantage.

Throughout the game there will be cards marked red or blue which are given to their respective teams. These colored cards are used to solve puzzle cards and often show various clues. Puzzle cards are in the center of the table and both teams can look at them. Your team can look at both sides of your colored cards and can discuss them. In many cases a puzzle will have a different solution for each team, but some elements of solving the puzzle will be the same, so you need to be careful with exactly how much you say.

There is only ever one puzzle card to be solved at a time. When a team believes it has the answer they shout ‘stop’. The puzzle card is then flipped over and the answer checked. If the team was correct, they take the puzzle’s reward card, if they were wrong then the other team gets it. If neither team can find a solution they can agree together to simply give up, check the solution, discard the reward card, and move on.

Each reward card shows a number of doubloons on one side which is kept facedown during the game. The team with the most doubloons at the end of the game is the winner.

Deckscape Crew vs Crew Components


The concept of a competitive, team based escape room game is clever and this is the first of its kind that we’ve encountered. It adds a unique element to the puzzle solving as players have to tread carefully in choosing how much they say that might be overheard, which adds a neat layer to the interactions.

Crew vs Crew also manages to capture part of the time tension of an in-person escape room, more so in fact than you typically find in similar games. Usually the time it takes to complete one of these escape rooms in a box simply determines your final score, which doesn’t usually feel that important. Here this idea is thrown out, and instead the need for speed is introduced by the necessity of beating the other team to the solution.

Introducing teams also increases the number of players the game works well with. A regular Deckscape game can sometimes suffer at higher player counts, with not enough cards for everyone to be working on at one time, and the difficulty of everyone being able to see the card. We liked that with the team gameplay this issue is resolved (as long as no one team is too large).

Deckscape always comes up with a nice range of puzzles, and this is once again the case here, one or two of which even lean into the team based gameplay in clever ways. Difficulty is always highly subjective in these games, depending on player experience and just which puzzles click with your brain, but we did find the difficulty level pretty well balanced here. One puzzle did have an element that felt a little bit too hard for players to figure out, but it was a fun enough idea that we appreciated it just the same.

We liked that there is a mechanism for balancing teams a little. This is a thoughtful touch. The fact that doubloons are kept secret until the end also adds a nice element of suspense as to which team is in the lead. If your team really falls behind though on puzzle solving, or you just enjoy the pure cooperative nature of escape room games, the idea that you can technically lose at the end might sour you on the gameplay experience.

Crew vs Crew is a fun twist on an already enjoyable game series. There’s plenty of what makes Deckscape good with a new gameplay element that is nicely implemented and leads to some fresh new puzzle ideas.

Pros: Competitive play brings the element of time into the genre better than most similar games, scoring system, combination of communication and player interaction

Cons: Losing an escape game may spoil the experience for some players, particularly if your team struggles to solve enough puzzles to be satisfying

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of these games.