We had some experienced Escape Room enthusiasts stop by recently, and they gave us a quite thorough review we’re proud to share with you!
Review by Kyle Moore:
The steaming streets of Nassau juke and swerve. The aroma of roasted meat and exotic spices dance on the tropical breeze like a sensuous spirit, luring tourists to pastel colored delights. Soon enough the intrepid traveler finds one’s self in a sun-kissed courtyard. Statues that look like Disney rejects from their classic Pirates of the Caribbean ride stand motionless among the palm trees and cracked stone benches as escape room enthusiasts eagerly await their chance to take a crack at helping the infamous pirate, Blackbeard, escape the Royal Navy with booty intact.
Immersion is an important aspect of escape rooms, and one can’t overstate the impact of treading the same winding byways down which brigands of yesteryear may have drunkenly stumbled. A whiff of rum and salt on the air fills the adventurous mind with images of peg-legs and eye patches, cannonballs and black spots.
Thus one enters the world of Blackbeard’s Escape, Nassau’s first room escape challenge.
As is always the case with escape rooms, you are locked in a room. You’ve an hour to accomplish a task and find your way out the door. In this case, Blackbeard has already fled the room in which he’s been holed up, and he’s hired you to get in, grab his treasure, and get out before the Royal Navy help you learn how to dance on the wind.
Connected to the Pirate’s of Nassau Museum in the heart of Nassau’s tourism district, Blackbeard’s escape seeks to bring immersive puzzle solving fun to the bustling haven of pirates of yore. At the time my wife and I visited, they did only have the one room, with promises of more to come in the future, but if future additions meet the quality of their first room, regular visitors to the Bahamian city can rejoice!
Blackbeard’s Escape is an excellent experience for beginners. Seasoned veterans of escape rooms might find that this one veers towards the easy side of the spectrum but not frustratingly so. You are allowed three clues, and my wife and I used only one (that, after we received it we were slapping our foreheads so hard we were in risk of leaving permanent marks). Aside from what ended up being silly oversight on our part, we were able to solve most of the other puzzles in the room in the first half hour.
That’s not to say that easy can’t be entertaining, nor does it fail to be original. The puzzles were an absolute blast to solve with a few things I’ve not seen before. It was clear that this was a room put together by people who had a passion for escape room puzzles. Further, while this is a classic lock and key (or gen 1 for those that are really committed to industry jargon) mechanics, this has also ended up being one of the most interactive rooms we’ve played in where virtually everything is part of something else, and nearly every single item in the room is a vital part of the game.
For such a low tech room, we truly came away feeling as though this was one of the more immersive rooms we’ve experienced yet. Yes, you’re in the caribbean. Yes, street sounds are artfully pumped into the room to near perfection. But also care was placed into the story, one that evolves as you solve one puzzle after the next. There’s even a plot twist or two that manifest late in the game which is something I’ve not seen done before and I felt deserved special praise.
If I were to provide any criticism at all to this room it would be sparingly. Perhaps hiring someone to dress up in authentic garb to deliver a scripted introduction might have taken the immersion level, already laudable, and really elevated it to something special. Also, while this room is great for beginners, one does get the sense that if Blackbeard’s Escape is going to attract the greater escape room crowd, future rooms will need to be more challenging.
All of that said, this was a truly enjoyable escape room for us. Yes, the pirate theme is a pretty common trope in escape rooms, but this is the Bahamas! If ever there was a place where a pirate themed escape room belonged, this is it! A great, immersive room, friendly staff, and well designed (if easier) puzzles are complemented by an unusually intricate story making this room a must for those that find themselves in Nassau.