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 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
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.