Komnata Quest – Bullets and Broken Hearts [Review]

“This is puzzle for puzzle and by the gallons. These are the old days man, the bad days, the all-or-nothing days. They’re back! There’s no choices left. And I’m ready for an escape room.” – Almost Marv

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Date played: August 14, 2017

Team size: 4-10; we recommend 4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket on weekdays, $38 per ticket on evenings, weekends, and holidays

Story & setting

We stepped into the black, white, and red world of Komnata Quest’s massive Sin City-inspired world. We were on a mission to dig up evidence of corruption, murder, and other more gruesome crimes that went straight to the highest echelon of the city, or to die trying.

From the aesthetics to the story, Bullets and Broken Hearts leaned heavily on Sin City’s first (and most entertaining) volume The Hard Goodbye. This set was massive, especially for New York City. It was a dark adventure through the back alleys and casinos of Sin City.

In-game: A casino setting with cages. A roulette table in the foreground, guns and a painting of a stripper resembling Nancy in the background.
Nearly everything was black, white, and red… I just happened to shoot one of the only things that had another color.

Puzzles

As we’ve come to expect from Komnata Quest, Bullets and Broken Hearts was less of a puzzle game and more of a set- and task-driven adventure. There were a few things to reason out, but the bulk of this room escape was built around exploring the space and building connections between the strange things that we found along the way.

Standouts

Aesthetically speaking, Bullets and Broken Hearts largely achieved its goal of looking and feeling like Sin City’s unique style.

The set was huge, unusual, and fun to explore. Another thing we’ve come to expect of Komnata Quest is interesting use of space; they delivered that once again in Bullets and Broken Hearts.

The interactions were varied and mostly thematically relevant, which greatly added to the adventure.

The final moments of Bullets and Broken Hearts were badass.

Shortcomings

Komnata Quest tried something new to commence the experience and it didn’t work. Half of our group started with a tedious puzzle in a bland location, in comparison to where the other half of the group began. This split beginning also created a significant imbalance in knowledge of the gamespace for the group that was locked in the less interesting location.

Bullets and Broken Hearts included too much irrelevant reading material. Komnata Quest attempted to create that internal monologue exposition-y vibe that Sin City was so famous for, but it didn’t work in a live immersive game environment.

One key puzzle was coming apart and that confused the hell out of us. It ultimately worked, but if it isn’t rebuilt in a more stable way, it will get murdered by the villainous scum who visit Sin City.

The tasks and interaction only kind of told a story and only if you were already familiar with the story.

Komnata Quest sells up to 10 tickets to Bullets and Broken Hearts. The space was more than large enough to fit 10 people, but there was nowhere near 10 players’ worth of gameplay.

Should I play Komnata Quest’s Bullets and Broken Hearts?

I’d forgotten just how messed up Sin City’s The Hard Goodbye was until I reread it after playing Bullets and Broken Hearts. Through this escape room, Komnata Quest paid homage to Frank Miller’s classic noir tale and touched on all of the high points in an entertaining set- and task-based way. It was nowhere near as dark, demented, or frenetic as The Hard Goodbye… but if we’re being honest with ourselves, absolutely no sane human being would want to accurately recreate that story.

Many of Komnata Quest’s escape rooms put the players in an adventure scenario at the expense of more in-depth puzzling. This was absolutely one of those escape rooms. Its difficulty stemmed from its size and scale. Bullets and Broken Hearts’ entertainment was born of exploration and the strangeness of exploring dark alleys in an escape room setting.

Beginners can absolutely make it through Bullets and Broken Hearts as long as they are willing and able to simply explore the crazy space. Just know that this is an unusual game among escape rooms.

Experienced players will find a fairly easy and mostly intuitive puzzling game coupled with an entertaining immersive environment.

Regardless of your escape room experience level, at least one player needs to be mobile. Things get a touch physical. The more able-bodied you are, the more fun you will have in these dark streets.

Book your hour with Komnata Quest’s Bullets and Broken Hearts, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Komnata comped our tickets for this game.

(If you purchase via our Amazon links, you will help support Room Escape Artist as we will receive a very small percentage of the sale.)

 

Leave a Reply