Breakout Manchester – the obsession starts

This is where we popped our escape room cherry, so to speak. Breakout Manchester encompasses a prime city centre location, which lends itself well to multiple bookings. For example, this first trip, we played out first game early afternoon, popped off to the Red Hot Buffet World in a wonderful attempt to eat our body weight in food, then attempt to play another game  ( although slightly full and sluggish to start with)

On that fateful day, our first room was the John Monroe room:

john monroe pic

John Monroe was a famous detective. Sadly, he was murdered in his office and you are being framed as his killer. You are on the run and have gained access to his office , the crime scene, for one hour. Can you save yourself by finding out who killed him, why someone killed him and how they killed him? ( taken from Breakout Manchester’s website – many thanks 🙂 )

So we were set. We found the premises easily, and were brightly greeted on arrival. Our host did seem genuinely thrilled to see us, and mentioned the twitter chat we’ve had with them prior to arrival. Once we’d had a few minutes and settled down, she went through what escape rooms were about, some general health and safety information, then she used her wonderful personality to take us through the scenario.

We then go into the room, put our things down, we see the clock, and it starts!!

Now, we’re not going to give anything away about the room, the clues or the solutions, but we will say this. There were 4 of us playing, and we were immersed in the story within a couple of minutes, and even though there were 4 of us, there were always things to be involved in, both as a team and individually. They have screens that can pass on information, and when we needed a little prompt, they did, but they did so personally which was amazing, ie Julie, have you found the ……… yet? From this, we had the sense that the host actually cared that we enjoyed ourselves and had a great experience, and this all added to the fun.

Looking back, it was this enthusiasm and great customer service that took the 4 of us from the merely excited about playing, to actually addicted. John Monroe, in our minds, was the perfect first game to play. Not too hard, not too easy and plenty for all to do.

I’m happy to report we did escape, but being 4 months ago, none of us can remember the time!

The second room was Virus

virus pic

Can you slow down the outbreak and find the cure? You only have 60 minutes to do so or the fate of mankind may be in jeopardy. Virus was our 2nd room to open in Breakout Manchester. It has some great, unique and ingenious puzzles that make the room very special indeed ( again thanks to Breakout Manchester)

With all of us feeling quite full after our buffet, we went into Virus. Any thoughts of sluggishness were immediately banished as we got cracking in a well set up room. The room was set up as a lab environment as we’d expected, and Julie got us in the mood by dressing up in one of the lab outfits. As the blurb above mentions, some of the puzzles were so off the wall, that I, AHEM, managed to solve one of the puzzles before we had the correct way of doing it! We were warned about cheating on the screens, which obviously we weren’t, so we left that lock on until the correct time to solve it.

Virus was definitely a bit tougher than John Monroe, so the game got that tense last 10 minute time, as we did get stuck on a couple of clues, we started checking and re-checking everything. It was this that helped us, and a bit of solving the last few clues rapidly, we got out with under 2 minutes remaining.

The team from Breakout really got us hooked on live escape games, so blame them when we turn up and destroy your rooms ( and hopefully record times!!). They did this in numerous ways, including great personalities, amazing customer service, being treated as individuals and not as numbers, with the number and variety of puzzles enough to keep us enthralled and entertained.

We can’t thank Breakout Manchester enough for this start off experience ( even though they were rewarded with goodies on another visit), and even though we have now played every one of their rooms, they still talk to us and we have plenty of twitter banter with them.

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Just a quick one for now

We have several blog posts pending, but we don’t want to spoil you all with too much too soon, and then not post for weeks at a time. We’ll be looking to post maybe every 7-10 days, as we want it to be damn good.

The reason for the quick post tonight is for a thankyou. This is a mega thankyou to Breakout Manchester for allowing all 4 of us to be the first outsiders to test their up and coming new room Classified, that is due to open on Saturday. A big shout out to Ed and the team 🙂

We’re obviously not going to give anything away, but we will say this. Some of the puzzles were completely off the wall and unique, and challenging.

We managed to “pass” with just 55 seconds remaining!

That’s now 10 games we’ve now played, and we’re now regrouping to try and figure out what’s next on the list ( and sorting out the money, and the time, to do so).

The who we are post

As mentioned in the first post, there’s a team of 4 of us that play these games. From left to right we have:

Adam – Liverpool fan, poker player, heavy metal fan, WWE fan, plays cricket as well as umpiring.

Leese – Liverpool fan, obsessed with anything to do with Gibraltar, and a huge heavy metal fan ( I have to mention Fozzy and Breed 77 here or she’ll probably kill me!)

Julie – fitness mad, plays American football, heavy metal fan, cake baker extraordinaire, and it’s entirely her fault we’ve gotten into these games.

Asa – Man City fan, poker player, console game enthusiast and massive sports fan in general, though just plays cricket these days.

We all have differing strengths and weaknesses, which is a reason why we absolutely adore playing escape games, and are relatively successful at escaping. Julie is the commander, the organiser, she takes charge and keeps us all focused. Leese is the destroyer, a tidy thought out room becomes a huge mound of destruction in seconds. She also never misses a clue. Adam is the nimble fingered one, no lock is safe in his grasp! Asa is the geek, the go to guy for any general knowledge or number puzzles. He’s also the level headed one, keeping everyone calm when the pressure mounts.

Adam, Julie and myself, since we started in late October, have played 9 escape games so far, Julie has escaped 7/9, Adam and myself 6/9. Leese has played in 3 and has a 100% record in escaping.

As a group we are now becoming known in the Escape game community. We have, as a group, played all 5 of the available games at Breakout Manchester, both the games at Clue HQ in Warrington, and we hold the current record for the quickest escape at Escape Quest in Macclesfield, beating 2 teams from Breakout Manchester!!

Only last week, we helped test the Secret Lab for The Escape Room in Manchester, and we are also due to help test the new Breakout Manchester room, Classified, in the next couple of weeks. We are also in the planning stage to get together for the other 4 rooms in The Escape Room, and as soon as they are announced, the 2 new rooms at Clue HQ Warrington, and Clue HQ Blackpool.

There’s a lot more to come from us, we’ll go through each location and tell you what we think!

And the point of the blog…

Is to communicate the how, what, where, why and who’s of live room escape games, and the experience of these of a group of 4 friends ( + occasional others) in playing these games. The hope is to show people the joy we have in playing these games, and to hopefully build a sense of community around the people that play the games, alongside the owners and designers of these games. We will be giving completely honest feedback around the experiences we have had so far, as well as documenting the games we play in the future. We will also give general hints and tips to help successfully play these games, but at no point we will give any specific information about the rooms, nor any clue within them.

We will also provide links to places we have played, or are intending to play, and hopefully be able to provide some generic photos to give people the idea of what to expect!