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Review: Identify - Breakout, Chester

Room Story - from Breakout

Your friend has been murdered! You know who did it, but the police do not believe you. In a desperate attempt to find justice you have invaded the killer's lair in the hopes of finding the proof to bring the killer to justice. However, the maniac could return at any time. Gather the proof and send this killer to prison before he returns. Do you have what it takes to IDENTIFY this psychopath's other victims?



Key Stats

Room NameIdentify
VenueBreakout
LocationChester, UK
Date02/09/2018
Escape Time59:01
Team Size2
My Recommended Team Size2 - 5

Review

We were heading to Chester for a weekend away and decided to play an escape room whilst we were there. As usual, I set about reading reviews and conducting my research. I found unusually that Breakout Chester had videos on YouTube showing all of their rooms. I haven’t previously found an escape room that shows the interior of the room before you play. I have mixed feelings about it – on one hand it’s great to see the theming and style of the room before you hand over your money – but on the other hand, it spoils some of the initial surprise. As we’d never played a Breakout game previously I must admit we did find the videos useful! We decided to play the Identify game – if you want to see the video, here is the link.

Breakout Chester is located on one of the main shopping streets in Chester city centre and it’s quite a large venue with 7 rooms and an 8th opening soon. The size and location of Breakout gave the place a real buzz with lots of teams around on a Sunday evening. After a joint welcome briefing with some other teams, we were given a specific briefing on our room. In Identify, your friend has been murdered and you know who the killer is. Your goal is to invade the killer’s home and find information about their victims to bring them to justice. From the description, it sounds like a scary room but it’s only mildly creepy.

When we headed into the room we found ourselves in a chintzy living room setting with lots of normal everyday items of furniture and personal belongings of the killer to explore. Strangely, this was the first escape room we’d been in with a window looking outside. I initially worried this would spoil the immersion, but in truth it was in keeping with the setting of the room. They did make use of the window with a puzzle that required some observation of the outside world!

The whole room was built around a central puzzle that allowed you to identify each of the killer’s victims along with the method and location of their death. It felt like a large game of Cluedo, giving you a real sense of your progress through the game. We really enjoyed this puzzle, it made us feel like detectives!

The room is somewhat non-linear and the flow of puzzles was reasonable with quite a few straightforward search, observe and unlock style puzzles. There were a few puzzles that we thought weren’t quite “tight” enough and without a clue, we wouldn’t have pieced some things together. We also discovered a UV torch very early in the game that wasn’t clearly linked to a puzzle so we spent a lot of time unnecessarily searching with the UV torch. It wasn’t clear to us why we needed it so you’re then in a position where you need to ensure there’s something you haven’t missed.

As we reached the final part of the game, we knew we still had quite a bit to do and we were quickly running out of time. However, we got stuck on one puzzle for a while. We ended up getting most of our clues on this one puzzle – none of which helped us and sent us in the wrong direction. However, one clue finally hit the nail on the head – I’d covered some instructions with my hand when picking up an object much earlier in the game and completely missed them! With the instructions, we raced through the final puzzles and successfully completed our investigation. We had less than a minute left on the clock which was our tightest escape in quite a while.

We really enjoyed the game. It was well themed, a little bit creepy and had a great storyline that tied brilliantly into one large central puzzle in the room. There was immense satisfaction uncovering the history of the killer’s crimes. Along the way, we thought there were a few leaps of logic for some puzzles, but all in all it was a good and challenging game. We’ll definitely pay a visit to Breakout again.

The team were Daniel and Becky.

Ratings

Overall A nicely themed room with a great central puzzle the game revolves around. At times, we felt some of the puzzles didn’t flow as nicely as they could have done, but all in all it was an enjoyable game.
Difficulty We found this to be a fairly challenging game as a team of 2. We needed quite a few clues to get us through it.
Fun The game has a great storyline and the central puzzle in the room is well tied into it. The room gives you a real sense of “playing detective”.
Puzzles We loved the main puzzle in the room that you interact with constantly throughout the game. This room made use of lots of padlocks and therefore required plenty of searching and observation. There were a few puzzles that we thought required little leaps of logic, but with a clue we found our way.
Immersion It’s a very well themed and realistic feeling room. All the furniture and decor tie into the room and help to give it a slightly creepy chintzy feel. There was a great soundtrack that increased in tempo throughout the game and really added to the atmosphere.
Surprises It’s not a game that’s big on surprises, but there is a nice sense of discovery as you explore the game.

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