Break Escape, Loughborough

Break Escape – Enchanted Forest

From http://www.breakescape.co.uk

A portal has been discovered that leads through to another world. The realm is under the control of a dark enchantress, and the forest sleeps. Can you wake it, and find a rare blue gem before the enchantress and make your escape?!

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Team- Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu

Played – 29/10/18

(Reviewed by Ster)

Break Escape

This was the second room that we played at Break Escape on this visit and, despite the fact that we’d booked with a 45 minute time gap between them, our host was great at getting us straight into this room after finishing Sands of Time, which we all appreciated as we had a fairly long journey home afterwards! He also gave us a shortened briefing for our second escape here, just covering the essentials as we’d had the general stuff before playing Sands of Time.

I’m really impressed with Break Escape as a company, our host has always been very friendly and welcoming and has also made our visits feel personalised. The graffiti up the walls left by previous teams is good fun to add to at the end, even if some of it is not entirely suitable for younger players! And we’ve always left feeling like we can’t wait to come back, so we’re hoping for some new rooms soon!

The Room

The beginning of this room was superbly themed! There is a brief section of getting through the portal before entering ‘Narnia’ which really made us all smile. It was brilliantly executed and the puzzles were good fun too, requiring a bit of thinking and teamwork which we all enjoyed.

This escape is incredibly well decorated and we spread out amongst the puzzles enjoying the fact that the room didn’t have a completely linear structure. There was one fiddly little puzzle which Ni and I passed backwards and forwards between us because it was frustrating and time consuming and very easy to get fed up with! There were a couple of other frustrating puzzles that we discovered right at the start as well but they were so frustrating that we didn’t spend all that long worrying about them as they gained us time back at the end rather than aiding our actual escape.

I liked the idea of a key and padlock deposit box to put opened locks and their keys and if we forgot to use it, the wise owl in the corner would reminded us. Its main purpose is to stop anything getting in the way of the automated sections, which worked very smoothly, but it was also useful to stop anything getting lost or mixed up as we worked our way through. I found the wise owl a fun way of interacting with our host while keeping the theme more immersive, he was there to prod us in the right direction but also had a few sarcastic quips up his sleeve (or wing) which we all enjoyed.

The puzzles in this room require a bit of deduction and observation to complete and the whole team was brought together at the end, not because the puzzle required 4 people to complete, but because we found a strategy that worked and went for it! I found the puzzles in this room really enjoyable and while they weren’t too difficult, they took a bit of thought to work out and the answers weren’t always immediately obvious, which meant that we all felt challenged as we played.

There was a good variety of puzzles as well, less padlocky and more deduction, observation and riddles than the other rooms at Break Escapes, making it a really unique experience. The puzzles were also pretty well themed and, while the room wasn’t completely linear, different aspects did lead us in certain directions and there were some cumulative moments that gave the story a bit of structure.

Ni – This room is actually Narnia! Worth doing for the theming alone as it’s truly awesome 🙂

Simon – When I heard about the theme of this room, I was very keen to do it, and this definitely paid off. This room is really well themed, with the entrance being a particular highlight! Most of the puzzles are very cleverly constructed and fit with the game well, however there was one which we got a hint for, and I struggled to see how this would have been solvable without the hint. Despite this, we thoroughly enjoyed the room. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely enjoyable! I appreciated our host’s sense of humour throughout and would recommend this room to others.

Break escape 29.10.18

Escape time – 43:25

Score

We all really enjoyed this room! The theming and decoration was brilliant and there was a variety of puzzles which were good fun while being challenging at the same time.

Difficulty

4/5

Overall

4/5

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Break Escape, Loughborough

Break Escape – Sands of Time

From http://www.breakescape.co.uk/

There’s a strong rumour about a treasure hunter finding lost gems within a tomb known as The Sands Of Time. Dr Nubis could never escape which was believed to be because of his greed. He’s set an array of puzzles & traps to make sure no one else can get their hands on his loot. Do you have what it takes to go one step further?!?!

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Team- Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu

Played – 29/10/18

(Reviewed by Ster)

Break Escape

Two of us had visited Break Escape before and we returned with the rest of the team to tackle a couple of their other rooms. We were met by the same host, who was as enthusiastic and friendly as he had been on our previous visit, and while Break Escape has a fairly large waiting area, we have never spent any time there because they’re very efficient at getting teams to their rooms! There are comfy chairs and water available in the entrance though, which is where pictures are taken at the end as well.

The Room

We were given 2 torches when we entered this room and that was the only source of light we had while playing. I can’t imagine how frustrating that would be with 6 people as we struggled enough with 4! It took us a little while to get into the rhythm of pairing up to look at things, but to be honest we probably spent more time arguing about light than we did actually sharing it – clearly not one of our strong points!

The first part of this room created a few disagreements, partly because clues were spread around and we couldn’t quite manage to coordinate the torches so that we could see everything that we needed to! We also came across a fiddly little puzzle that took up one of the torches for a fair amount of time as we struggled to complete it. It probably wouldn’t take most teams as long as it took us, but after I completed 90% of it 3 times and then tried to pass the final stage on to Simon, who couldn’t complete the beginning of the puzzle but was tall enough to see the ending, we finally just passed the whole thing over to Ni, who is slightly taller than me and so could complete the whole thing by herself!

The puzzles in this room were interesting and some of them took us a bit of time to figure out, in between our torch arguments! They fit well with the theme of the room and required us to pause for a moment and think them over. We always enjoy rooms that require a bit of teamwork, and this was no exception.

Ni – The lack of light was frustrating, it definitely showed us our lack of patience with one another! The room (when we could see it!) was well themed and had a nice variety of puzzles to keep us occupied, lots of team work and pairing up, which I always appreciate. I also enjoyed how the room kept forcing us to go back on ourselves to go forwards, which made playing the room feel like watching the Lord of the Rings movies, you kept thinking you’d made it to the end…

Simon – I sometimes feel that the Egyptian theme has been overdone, but actually I think the darkness works in this room’s favour, as it means that the theming can be basic but still realistic. Ok, the lack of torches was a bit frustrating, but we managed. The puzzles in here fitted the theme well, although there was another annoying dexterity puzzle which I’m absolutely useless at. Apart from one other puzzle, I thought the level of difficulty was about right. I liked the way this room kept opening up and it pretty much felt like there was always something to do.

Break escape 29.10.18

Escape time – 42:31

Score

This room was pretty good fun, the fact that the only light inside was what we took in with us really added to the theme and the puzzles were interesting to complete. I think that there could have been a few more puzzles inside just to make it that little bit more challenging, but overall it was an enjoyable experience with well themed puzzles and a great escape at the end.

Difficulty

3/5

Overall

3.5/5

Hour escape, Loughborough

Hour Escape – Escape The Gallery

From http://hourescape.co.uk/

You and your team have been caught stealing a priceless work of art.
Security are holding you until the police arrive in 60 minutes.
Do you have what it takes to escape the gallery in time?

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Team- Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu

Played – 29/10/18

(Reviewed by Ster)

Hour Escape

We were a bit late arriving to Hour Escape, having had a slow moving journey down from Manchester, so I was a bit surprised that the room wasn’t ready when we turned up. It hadn’t been reset properly and our poor host was running around looking for a vital piece of the room that was missing, she was on the phone to a colleague when we arrived trying to track it down, so we sat in the waiting area for a few minutes.

It’s not the biggest place to wait, and on the day we went it was very cold which made us anxious to get going! There was quite a long introduction as the game has a secondary objective as well as escaping and we were tasked with finding money, gems, gold bars and rings while inside which would add up to time taken from our score if we brought them out at the end.

The Room

Inside, I really enjoyed the first puzzle, it could have become tedious but it was kept to a sensible length and we progressed to the next part fairly quickly. Once in the room proper, we were confronted with a room full of shelves and bookcases which were jam packed with the notes and gems that we needed to collect. It was easy to get caught up in finding these items rather than looking for puzzles but the team split quite naturally into treasure hunters and puzzle solvers so we didn’t waste too much time.

There were a few puzzles to work through in this room but there wasn’t anything that we got stuck on, meaning that we moved through it all quite quickly. After the initial treasure hunt, the next stage involved a puzzle which required all of us to solve as it would have taken a long time if one person worked through it alone. It wasn’t a complicated puzzle, it just took a bit of time to complete and was a nice way of bringing the team back together after the mad dash of finding treasure.

The final puzzle was maths orientated, which meant that Simon was in his element, and I busied myself solving a puzzle which we’d already worked out was a red herring, but I was having fun with so continued anyway! I definitely think that a team of beginners could struggle in here, especially with the distraction of the bank notes everywhere, but we didn’t feel particularly stretched and we burst out of the door a good 10 minutes ahead of the previous record.

Ni – This was definitely a tear everything apart room! It was actually quite light on puzzles and while the treasure hunting aspect was a good filler for when we hadn’t found the next puzzle, I did begin to get fed up with just finding things, rather than finding puzzles to solve. Probably a good beginner game, but not that much to stretch any seasoned escapers.

Simon – An interesting concept for a room. Ni is right when she says it’s a ‘tear everything apart’ room, and the focus did seem to be on the treasure hunting at times. This did mean that everyone was busy for most of the room, which can be quite unusual. The puzzles in here were ok – there was nothing that we’d not seen before, but that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy them. Overall, this was an enjoyable room. Although I can see why the finding aspect might put hardcore escapers off, this was a light-hearted room which could be enjoyed by most teams.

Stuart – I really enjoyed this room and particularly the element of collecting things while trying to break out. This made the room unique and it’s easy to see why people might get distracted, which adds another element to the game. As said above we were running late and it was really appreciated that they held the room for us and put our mind at ease. The host herself was lovely and very friendly. The room itself had loads to do in it and loads of places to search and look, which is great for bigger teams. The theming was good and the puzzles in places were challenging and some we had never seen before. For our team the room was a little too simple and didn’t have that one big challenge we often find. It was a nice and enjoyable game and perfect for new teams.

Hour escape the gallery 29.10.18

Escape time – 25:31

Score

This room was enjoyable, but not particularly difficult, though the treasure hunt provided an extra element to keep us all entertained as we blitzed through. I’d recommend the room to beginners who haven’t played a lot of games as the gems were fun and I liked that the second stage brought the whole team in together.

Difficulty

2.5/5

Overall

3/5

Break Escape, Loughborough

Break Escape – Boiling Point

From https://www.breakescape.co.uk/index.html

You and your team are tasked with defusing the bomb planted deep inside the police station, hold your nerve, be patient but you’ll also need to react quickly to make sure Boiling Point doesn’t get the better of you, before time runs out and the terrorists get away!

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Team- Ster, Ni

Played – 4/8/18

(Reviewed by Ster)

Break Escape

We completed this room as a short break while driving from up in the Lake District to back down South and they were super friendly, giving us great directions to find them seeing as we’d never been to Loughborough before. Our host Jason was enthusiastic and good fun, meaning that we started the room smiling and he had some fun with us inside, getting us to do some silly things to find aspects that we had missed rather than just giving clues. Once we had finished he also recommended some great rooms nearby that we could play if we were in the area again, which was a lovely contrast to some rooms which have just told us that everybody else is awful and only their games are worth playing.

The Room

The first thing that I loved about this room was that we were told before we went in that we would be allowed to complete the room even if we ran over the hour limit, it just wouldn’t be counted as a success. This is the first room I’ve played that offers this and it was a really nice touch that allows everyone who tries the room to have a go at all of the puzzles available and we were really impressed that they would offer this, especially as it was our first time playing as a pair and we were pretty nervous about our chances!

To start the room you need to work out an initial code just to get to the actual puzzles, which was a fun beginning. Once properly inside, the room had some great puzzles with a wide variety of solutions and I loved the fact that were was a physical bomb in part of the room that we were actually trying to ‘diffuse’. The first section was pretty dark, which was a little frustrating, but didn’t actually impact our gameplay in any way, we just kept gathering what we found in the same place underneath the lamp!

There was one slightly physical aspect of the game, but it wouldn’t stop anyone from taking part as it actually only has to be completed by one member of the team who could then help the others achieve the same outcome in a less physical manner! There were also a lot to look at inside. The game isn’t just about diffusing the bomb, it’s also about tracking down evidence and there was quite a large pile of evidence to look at which probably would have seemed less daunting with more players!

The longest puzzle in there involves finding things on a map and, even though it was a map of London which we really should have known our way around, it still took us quite a while and got a little frustrating, but it was a great puzzle and we had fun solving it even while arguing with each other! We escaped just in the nick of time with less than 2 minutes to spare, but our host still took the time to go over some puzzles with us at the end and show us a couple of things that we’d missed along the way.

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Score

This was a really fun room! Lots of different puzzles with interesting solutions and the theme was also great. The sorting through an office set up is a pretty well used escape room beginning, but it was used in interesting way that really fit well with the theme of being in a police station. Our host was great fun and the room has a great sense of humour that really enhanced the experience for us. If I’m ever passing through Loughborough again I’m definitely going to be visiting Break Escape to try out one of their other rooms!

Difficulty

3/5

Overall

4/5