After visiting Breakout, we immediately set plans to play their other 2 rooms that were available, Sabotage and Madchester. In the immediate aftermath of the first games, Julie had booked the first available slot for Sabotage as a treat for her mum, therefore she wouldn’t be playing that one with us.
The date we chose was the 28th November, which was part of a very busy weekend for Adam and myself. On the Saturday and Sunday, we were both playing in the APAT poker team championships that were being held in Manchester, and with 250+ people coming for that, we thought it would be a good tie in ( especially on the Friday night for a “few” drinks).
We chose to play Madchester first, with Sabotage a couple of hours later. Leese was unable to make this one, so we played Madchester with just the 3, then for Sabotage, Julie obviously wasn’t going to play again. She was tasked with “helping”, and in her place we drafted in a good friend in Tom Clark, a complete virgin to escape games, but all 3 of us know him from the poker world ( one of the many who had come down to Manchester). In addition, another group of friends had also booked 2 rooms for earlier in the day, and they were playing Sabotage and John Monroe, solely from our recommendations ( more on that later).
Manchester is famous for many things: football, relentless rain, musicians and bands such as the Smiths, Stone Roses and Oasis, Coronation Street, incredible night clubs such as the Hacienda, The Warehouse Project and Sankeys and artists such as LS Lowry. What would you do if you were stuck in a time warp of Manchester? You are about to find out. Madchester is our hardest escape room game.
Madchester is a different style of game than pretty much all others we have played. The room and artistry are both designed specifically for Manchester, and they’ve managed to add in some sound as well from the area to add to the impact. Pretty much every live escape game is to solve puzzles to find an answer. Madchester is different in that you have to eliminate answers. One part of this means there are many more clues to find and solve, which all adds to the difficulty, then the game itself wasn’t particularly linear, and as the above mentions, Breakout believes it is their toughest room.
With this in mind, we set off ripping the room apart. I will be honest and say we didn’t seem to find this one too tricky overall. Of course, we got stuck a couple of times as we do tend to destroy rather than look, and that in this instance cost us some time, but a bit of thinking plus the odd hint here or there and we finished with over 10 minutes to spare.
Again we popped out for a quick bite to eat, and of course, to meet up with Tom, who had travelled down from Scotland… and was greeted with Hi Tom, ready to be locked in a room? Just the thing he needed after several hours of travelling!! We did manage to grab a quick bite to eat then we were on to….
Can you go deep behind enemy territory and stop a missile strike which endangers the safety of the entire world? There is 60 minutes before launch, you need to break into the control centre and stop the launch or the consequence will be catastrophic.
As mentioned, Julie, who is probably our strongest player having grown up being infatuated with the likes of Broken Sword, had already played and escaped Sabotage. She had therefore arranged to do something slightly different, and had been allowed to help Breakout’s host run the game, as she had at that point completed all available rooms.
I’ve got to say that the hardest actual puzzle I’ve done was part of this room, as it was absolutely unique, and nothing we have seen similar before or since. It took us in excess of 15 minutes just to solve this one clue. There were also some multi-room clues which we particularly enjoyed, and some completely ingenious hidden solutuions to puzzles.
This was also the closest result in terms of time we have still ever had. We had solved the final puzzle and on the way to the exit when the time went. Which was completely gutting to get so close!! Julie in her escape was half out of the door as time elapsed, which was counted as an escape.
Afterwards, we had no time to mess about. Julie and Adam were off to Liverpool to go and watch Lee Mack ( unsurprisingly she got a stalker picture to go with it), and Tom and myself off to the casino to play poker and generally get absolutely hammered!!
And the friends… well we had an interesting briefing to Sabotage. They mentioned don’t go climbing up into the roof… and we found out that the friends we had recommended ended up trying to check in the roof! Obviously gave us something to laugh with the guys the next day when we all met up!!