A monochromatic mystery
Location: San Diego, CA
Date Played: March 6, 2022
Team Size: 2-5; we recommend 2-4
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $30 per player
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
Black & White Cafe was adorable. The set, theming, and puzzles were sweet, joyous, and full of character.
This room did a lot with a little. It was a small room with almost no tech, yet it was aesthetically pleasing and filled with a feast of fun puzzles.
In standard mode, Black & White Cafe would be a delightful introduction to escape rooms for newer players. In advanced mode, this was still not a difficult room, but some of the puzzles were presented with more steps and less handholding.
There’s a particular type of immersion when you step into a space that looks absolutely nothing like our everyday reality, like this colorless cafe. Black & White Cafe was a break from real life, a land where solving puzzles can help restore color to the world.
While MindFox Escape’s second room, Moriarty’s Manor, was a major step up in set design and size, exploration, and puzzle refinement, Black & White Cafe still had its own unique charm. This was especially impressive as the debut room from new creators who were learning everything as they went, and it was clear that a lot of love went into every detail. I highly recommend a visit to MindFox Escape Rooms when you’re looking for a dose of lighthearted fun.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Scenery snobs
- Any experience level
- The black-and-white set
- Lots of puzzles
Upon entering our favorite cafe, all the color inexplicably disappeared from the world. We had to find a set of special items that would unlock the diamond prism so we could return to the land of color.
Black & White Cafe was a fully black-and-white room that felt like we were in a coloring book come to life. The decor, other than being monochromatic, felt like what you’d find in a typical small bistro, with a cash register, a few tables for customers, and kitschy wall art.
MindFox Escape’s Black & White Cafe was a standard escape room with an easy or moderate level of difficulty.
You can choose between a regular and an advanced mode prior to the start of the room. The regular mode is well suited for first-time players, while the advanced mode is for players with escape room experience who would enjoy slightly longer puzzles with subtler cluing.
Core gameplay revolved around solving puzzles and making connections.
➕ The set was carefully handmade. Clean lines and generally meticulous upkeep sold the illusion.
➕ The puzzles were straightforward, yet consistently fair and fun. Some adorable interactions cleverly took advantage of cafe elements and the black-and-white theme.
➕ Black & White Cafe had a thoughtful approach to difficulty levels. We played the hard mode, which really was just standard puzzle difficulty. There were no unclued leaps of logic or the like, and the puzzles all flowed well. We learned about the easier mode after our game, and it sounded like it was perfectly calibrated for those newer to escape room puzzling without being trivial.
➖ We encountered a few red herrings — countable elements that weren’t part of any puzzles. This could be easily fixed by making sure any structured data is above the 0-9 range and couldn’t be as easily interpretable as a padlock combination.
➕/❓ An overarching puzzle involving discs had a visual, thematic reveal, but the way its components were presented allowed for it to be partially solved midway through the game. For puzzlers especially, I’d advise waiting until you have all the pieces before tackling this puzzle.
➕ There was not much narrative in Black & White Cafe, and there didn’t really need to be. The game strongly wrapped up its simple story with a colorful, audiovisually stimulating finale.
Tips For Visiting
- There were some reserved spots for MindFox guests in the parking lot.
Book your hour with MindFox Escape’s Black & White Cafe, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: MindFox Escape provided media discounted tickets for this game.