Blackwing’s Cave Review | Holy padlocks, Blackwing! The evil games-master Doctor Drakker has broken out of jail and is on the loose in Knightsbane City, swearing revenge on his arch nemesis – Blackwing, dark crusader of justice. Drakker’s goons have tracked down the location of Blackwing’s secret base and riddled it with an onslaught of fiendishly twisted puzzles, trapping you – Blackwing’s trusty sidekicks – inside. They’ve hacked the security systems against you and planted an explosive surprise in the darkness… Time is running out. Blackwing cannot battle Drakker alone. Outwit the booby-traps, defuse the bombs, escape the cave and reunite your superhero family. So don your capes and pull on your masks – you’ll need every skill in your utility belt to defeat the villain and save the city!
Completion Time: 37 minutes
Date Played: 2019
Party Size: 3
This was another one of those rooms which we booked on a whim. Having done one of their other rooms previously (Sherlock’s Despair) I was interested in what their other rooms would be like, particularly going with a smaller, slightly more experienced group.
The theme of this room is a superhero’s lair, and it is more than obvious which superhero this is meant to be. They did a pretty good job with the room – they managed to pack a lot into a small space, and I was pretty impressed. I only had two quibbles – firstly, the set itself caused us to stumble a little with some puzzles.
In my opinion, when it comes to puzzles, you should never be confused between whether you’re doing something wrong, or something is broken. Here, the set did cause us a little confusion at one point.
My second quibble was the exit method – I won’t go into too much detail, but the method to exit the room was a puzzle in itself, which I don’t think quite worked.
The game itself started off quite interesting – you’re thrust into the dark, and you get a nice little voice over. I’m really not a fan of this – I’d rather get the brief before going in – once inside I just want to get started!
The room was very linear – there were only 3 of us there, and most of the time 2 of us were doing nothing. I strongly advise you don’t go with any more than 3 – there really would not be enough to do!
That being said, a lot of the puzzles were quite interesting and mostly unique concepts I haven’t seen before. Quite a few were co-op puzzles, and there were also a fair few technology puzzles. I think technology puzzles can be a little hit and miss, and this room was no exception – there were still a few parts where the technology wasn’t seamless, or felt like it was going on a bit long.
The hint system didn’t help things either – if we asked for a hint we had to get the GM up to speed with where we were first. It was also done via walkie talkie, which I often struggle with being able to understand.
I realised whilst writing this that I am coming off quite negative about the room, which was not my intention. I do think this was a good room, but I think we got lucky with our team. Any more than 3 people and we would have been too bored, especially if we were all experienced. I also think this would have been too hard for any novices. That being said, I did enjoy myself for the majority of the time we were in there, and would have put this on my list of places to return to, if not for the customer service…
Outside the room
The major flaw in our experience was the customer service before and after the room. When we arrived we were shown to their lovely big waiting area, with sofas etc, but then left alone with no indication about what was happening. We were told to lock our bags away, but there were no lockers available, meaning we took everything into the room with us.
When the ‘GM’ arrived she didn’t introduce herself at all or even attempt any sort of conversation about us, our experiences etc. We were pretty much frog marched to the room, with a brief pause in a doorway to point at a few different lock types (one of which wasn’t even in the room). We found her ‘brief’ lacked any enthusiasm or energy, and I was already getting not great vibes.
When we escaped the room, we were stood alone for a couple minutes until someone on the walkie talkie evidently realised we were out and sent someone to greet us. This was a different girl than before, and she was lovely, but it was apparent she hadn’t watched our game. She offered to explain anything we didn’t understand but had no comments about how we had done, or even our time. She took a photo for us, and then disappeared – again leaving us alone in the waiting room.
At this point we got the message and decided to leave.
I actually spoke to the manager via email after posting this review elsewhere and was assured this wasn’t the norm. However, it has made me think twice about visiting again.
A good escape room experience starts the minute you walk into the building and doesn’t end until you’ve left. I’ve done average rooms that I’ve thought are brilliant, thanks to the customer service we received. This room was the opposite; a pretty decent room that has been let down by the staff on the day.
Was it worth the money?
We paid around £28 each for the room.
I would say the room itself would be about average, but (as mentioned) the customer experience let it down. For that reason, I would say it was worth the money, but not the return trip.
From what I recall there was one step into the venue, but the rest was flat. The room was spacious, although you do need 2 physically abled team members. There is nowhere in the room to sit down, but you will not need to navigate any obstacles.
The room starts in the dark but soon becomes lit. However, it is still dim. I would recommend having at least one fully sighted team member.
You do not need to have full hearing for this room, although it would be beneficial to hear the briefing inside, and communicate via walkie talkie for hints.
TL ; DR
Pros; Technology, uniqueness, resourceful set
Cons; Customer service, hint system, difficulty level, linearity
Blackwing’s Cave can be booked by heading to Breakin’s website here.