Going back to my childhood and teenage days, the tv choice back then was limited but some of the programmes are far better than what’s on today. I absolutely loved Knightmare where children had to escape from 3d rooms. I also loved The Crystal Maze which again involved escaping from rooms and solving puzzles. One of my favourite film series also happens to be Saw which again involves puzzles and escape combined with the horror and fear factor. To add to this I also enjoy playing escape games and apps and often download different ones to my phone.
Well a week ago I got to live a dream and take part in a real live puzzle room myself along with my sister and friends.
Breakout is a live escape room game located in Manchester. You are locked in a room with friends, family or work colleagues for an hour and have to solve a series of puzzles and mysteries to escape. You will have to search high and low for clues and work together if you want to escape. You have 60 minutes to escape by using only your brain (this may be a problem for a lot of you), there are no physical activities or challenges involved in the game.
The Breakout rooms are located in the busy city centre about a minutes walk from the town hall. There are currently 4 different rooms to play, each with a different unique theme and different levels of difficulty. The rooms are John Monroe’s Detective, Virus, Madchester and the room we played – Sabotage.
We arrived at 1pm and greeted by a very friendly staff member who went through a few rules and safety instructions. Then we were given the story and taken into the room and locked in. The first thing to notice in the room is a big digital clock display counting down from 60 minutes which is how long we had to stop a nuclear launch, music also plays throughout.
Due to the secrecy of it all and future players I was not able to take any photographs. Scattered throughout the rooms are various cupboards, locks, boxes, items. We have to search every to find clues and codes which then open locked boxes to reveal even more clues. We are given prompts and hints throughout which appear on a screen. The clues in the first room help us eventually get into another room. Then even more clues and codes to stop the launch and get out.
It was quite funny at times and even a little stressful it certainly isn’t easy and we had to search high and low for the clues. I’m glad there was 4 of us as I think 2 would find it very difficult.
With just seconds to spare we did it. We cracked all the codes, solved the riddles and stop the launch and then got out of the rooms alive.
For getting out in time we got a group photograph holding up our “We Escaped” boards.
I did not feel unsafe or claustrophobic at any point during my lock in. It due not feel like I had been in there a whole hour and the time seemed to pass very quickly. We could ask for clues if we got stuck and someone is watching us the whole time. We were also free to leave at any point.
Now that I have done this once. I would love to try another room. I hear Madchester is the most difficult so we may just try it in the new year.
Information on Breakout rooms is on their website here
It is recommended for those aged 10 years and over and prices vary depending on number of players.