How do you feel about spending up to an hour in complete inky darkness? We went hunting for dragon eggs in the UK’s first blind and visually impaired accessible escape room. Did we capture those eggs, or fade into obscurity?
- Location: Canning Town
- Players: 2 – 5
- We played: August 2019 as a team of 2
Great things about Dark Magik:
- Taking place in total darkness, Dark Magik features some intelligent ideas for puzzles and tasks which call upon other senses besides sight, and some of these ideas are very well-executed. A sensory puzzle of a type that we’ve seen overcomplicated elsewhere is presented here in a way that efficiently communicates what needs to be done and leaves little room for confusion.
- A lot of thought has been put into the practical and safety issues associated with a dark room. Our host gave us a sensible safety briefing (apparently it’s better not to run headlong into the darkness), and the area containing puzzles and clues is clearly delimited, to save any hazardous crawling or climbing around.
- We appreciated the use of audio feedback to let us know when we’d solved something or were on the right track. Audio recordings were also a way to add atmosphere and theming – not that easy in a room with no visual design.
On the other hand…
- The puzzle which should have been Dark Magik‘s best – involving several steps and communication between players – was also the most frustrating, as it had an ambiguous solution paired with a keypad that automatically locked down for five minutes after three wrong attempts. As this was our last puzzle, we weren’t thrilled about this.
- The audio hints in this room are pre-recorded and played when needed (not when requested). Yes, the booming warlock voice adds ambience to the room, but we always prefer receiving a hint that pinpoints exactly what we’ve got stuck on. When we were stuck, the audio hint system resorted to just telling us the first digit of the code we were trying to find, rather than explaining where we’d gone wrong.
Who should try this room?
This room is an interesting experience for anyone who wants a taste of what can be done with only four senses to work with. It’s dark but not otherwise scary, and would best suit 2-3 players.
Rating – 6/10