This weekend I did something a little bit different – Breakout Manchester, a real life escape game based in Manchester city centre. After finally succeeding with challenge 1 (actually finding the place) we were briefed on what the game involves. Don’t worry though – this post doesn’t contain any spoilers!
In teams of 2-5 people you get locked in one of two rooms and have 60 minutes to solve a series of clues which lead to your escape. Each of the rooms has its own story – the Virus room with 60 minutes to find the cure to a virus, and the (apparently slightly easier) John Monroe room, which is set up as the office of late detective John Monroe. This is the room we did, and the goal was to find out who his killer was before the 60 minutes is up. It’s purely a mental game, and the room is full of clues to follow and puzzles to solve, which eventually lead to a way of exiting the room.
Breakout was a really unique and fun experience – once we got in the room we set off from the starting point we were given and tried to stay focussed, but we also spent quite a bit of the time just rooting around for new clues and objects. The minutes tick down on a big TV screen in the room, which keeps everyone on edge and excited, and the team who run the game also watch you on CCTV and can display gentle hints on the screen if they think you’re going off track a bit.
The room was really well presented with a lot of attention to detail, and the story and puzzles were great fun. The team behind the game were great too – they make you feel really welcome, and because they only have a maximum of two games going on at any time (you have to book your slot) they really can give you their attention and make it very enjoyable for you.
And it was so satisfying when we escaped with 6 minutes to spare! Apparently about 50% of teams actually escape, so obviously it feels really good to make it! I’d really recommended Breakout as something new and different to do in Manchester, and would definitely be interested in trying out the other room too.