You are part of a gang of street racers planning a major heist in New York City. Your goal is to hit the 5 major banks in Manhattan in one night, under the cover of an illegal street race where you will be participating with two of your tuned up cars.
Everything was set for tonight but all your plans went haywire when one of your rival gangs broke into your garage, stole one of your cars and wrecked the other one.
Now you have only one hour to fix the engine of your broken car, find the car park where they have taken you second car and steal it back and then make it in time to the race and finish the job. Do you think your crew has what it takes?
Team 1 – Simon, Stu, Mark, Jackie
Played – 11/8/18
Team 2 – Ster, Ni, Rachel, Ben, Anna
Played – 8/11/18
(Reviewed by Ster)
Breakin was easy to find, just a few minutes walk from Highbury and Islington station and we were all really impressed with their waiting area, lots of seating and well decorated too. The doors to the rooms in this place are all really well themed and we were picking the room that we wanted to try next based on their door decorations!
There isn’t a great deal of interaction with the hosts here, a cheery hello when we arrived and a quick briefing before we went in followed by a quick photo opportunity on our way out and then we were left to our own devices on the sofas. We really liked this approach as our team was full of Londoners who were all heading off in different directions, so it was nice to have somewhere to chat afterwards without the pressure of needing to be out of the way for the next team as space really isn’t an issue here! The first team of Simon, Stu, Mark and Jackie found it a bit impersonal and would rather have had a bit more input from the host, so I guess it depends what you’re looking for!
This room was really well decorated and the puzzles were interesting and different, with some physical aspects that we had a great deal of fun with! We did get something stuck and have to call someone in to unstick us during a puzzle very early on, but it was just the nature of the equipment and it didn’t really slow us down as once we’d seen it be unstuck we could unstick ourselves the next time, and we were having quite a lot of fun with it!
The clues are given via a tablet mounted near the door and need to be requested via the walkie talkie. We only asked for a clue once so we didn’t really have much of an opinion of the system – it worked fine the one time we used it! The first team didn’t get on with it so well and found it a little frustrating. When a clue is requested a code is sent through that will unlock a clue on the tablet. Each puzzle has a number of clues and they seem to be given in a pre-set order, so team 1 were given 2 clues that didn’t help them at all before finally receiving enough information to continue which was quite frustrating for them.
The puzzles in this room are pretty linear, though we managed a couple out of order as we played through. While I’m not usually a fan of linear rooms, I did enjoy the story of this one and it was easy to get everyone involved with the different puzzles so it didn’t feel as restrictive as some linear gameplay can do. The story was also building to a conclusion, which wouldn’t have worked if the puzzles had been completed in a different order so the set up did work pretty well.
The penultimate puzzle was an interesting one, and I can see why the first team were frustrated by it (as always, their comments are below) but while I agree that it has its flaws – it’s fiddly, slightly repetitive and could probably be improved by higher quality equipment – I really enjoyed the way that, even in a team of 5, everyone found a role to fill. We ended up with 2 up front, 2 in the back and a communicator in between yelling instructions between the pairs and it worked really well. Admittedly, not everyone was necessarily playing a key role, but in a puzzle that took a little bit of time to complete, it was nice that everyone felt involved in some way and it fit really well with the theme of the room as a final task in the linear structure of the game. It was also pretty entertaining and it made us all smile when we discovered it, everyone falling to their different roles quite naturally depending on what they thought was part of their skill set.
The final puzzle was a bit of an anti-climax to be honest. I liked that it tied up the last part of the story, but it was a solo puzzle that 4 of us just watched which wasn’t the greatest ending to a room, but we really enjoyed the previous elements and it was an interesting way of finishing up the story of the game that did have us all smiling and laughing, even if it wasn’t challenging all of our minds as we did it!
Ni – I had a great time in this room! The majority of the puzzles are physical puzzles, which I am fond of, and meant they were things we don’t often see. It definitely isn’t a taxing room for keen escapers, but we did all have a real laugh as we played through, and we came out smiling, which always impresses me!
Simon – There were some interesting ideas and puzzles in this room and we quite enjoyed the first half of the game. Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, we had major problems with the penultimate puzzle – the equipment was not as accurate or as reliable as it should have been, causing us to need to call members of the team into the room to fix this multiple times, breaking our immersion in the game. Had this part of the game been shorter, I don’t think we’d have had an issue, however we spent about a third of our time on this section. Unfortunately, for our team, this experience soured the game overall.
Stuart – This room started off so well. The puzzles were enjoyable and we saw a couple of puzzles we had never seen before. As a team who don’t like to ask for hints, getting 2 hints for things we’d already done was frustrating and time wasting. The puzzle mentioned above in the review was the most annoying part of an escape game we have ever done. It was a nice idea but relied too heavily on equipment working well (which it wasn’t) and the players doing things in a certain way (which was too easy not to do!). Hosting was poor and not engaging, the constant interruptions to fix the broken puzzle ruined the game and the ending was anti-climactic and disappointing.
Team 1 escape time – about 50 minutes
Team 2 escape time – 38:03
As a team, we have pretty divided opinions of this room! The second team really enjoyed it and had a great time, the puzzles were different and good fun and the room worked really well with the new players that we’d taken along – we’re looking forward to going back in the future! The first team thought that the theming was great and enjoyed the majority of the game, but really hated the ending.
Due to our different opinions and experiences, we’re giving this room 2 different scores as we can’t agree, you’ll have to visit and decide for yourselves!
Team 1 scores Team 2 scores