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Review: Facility X - Breakout, Manchester

Room Story - from Breakout

You arrive at an unknown location for a once in a lifetime opportunity; a conference held by the critically acclaimed, Dr. Andrews. His work is widely known throughout the research circles, but he has remained hidden in the shadows for years. What you don’t know, is that Dr. Andrews has gone mad, creating a string of tests that have gone disastrously wrong. You have one hour to escape his maze of tricks and games, before you become his final experiment...


Key Stats

Room NameFacility X
VenueBreakout
LocationManchester, UK
Date26/09/2018
Escape Time50:57
Team Size4
My Recommended Team Size2 - 4

Review

For a work night out, we took 3 teams of 4 people to play at Breakout Manchester. I’d previously played at Breakout Chester, but this was my first visit to Manchester. We enjoyed the game we played at Chester so I had similar expectations of Manchester. It’s worth noting, Breakout has two locations in Manchester; the majority of their games are based at their High Street venue where we played.

After a short delay due to a previous team arriving late, we were given a general safety briefing together and then separated to receive room specific briefings. After that, we were asked for a volunteer to enter the room separately. One of the team was volunteered and taken down the stairs to the room. A few minutes later the host returned for the rest of us.

The room has a laboratory feel with scientific skeleton diagrams adorning the walls, specimen jars on shelves around the room and a few cupboards and items with padlocks waiting to be unlocked. It’s quite a small room and fairly simply decorated. Through a door with some small circular holes we could see our poor trapped colleague. The description on the website seems to make the room sound quite scary and disturbing, but we didn’t really find anything overly sinister or creepy about it.

Our first task was to free our trapped colleague. Unfortunately, disaster quickly struck. One of my teammates couldn’t hear our trapped colleague well so attempted to turn down the music from the clue TV and inadvertently turned it off and couldn’t turn it back on! Luckily the host realised quickly and came into the room to turn it back on, leaving our teammate a little red faced. It was a very strange mistake to make, but I have to admit, it did quite amuse us all.

After a bit of clue hunting, we worked together with our trapped colleague to successfully free him. The puzzle was fairly simple, but required a bit of observation and interpretation to figure it out. Feeling pleased with ourselves, we began to explore the rest of the objects in the room and quickly fell into a rhythm of unlocking padlocks using clues and information around the room. There was one standout puzzle that I particularly enjoyed which used lots of objects in the room to provide us with a large visual clue for another puzzle. It was a clever way of hiding information and made good use of objects you’d already discovered earlier in the game.

We did experience issues with one electronic puzzle that hadn’t been properly reset. One of my colleagues had solved this puzzle in the first few minutes in the room, but we wasted a lot of time retrying it because nothing happened. It later turned out that it hadn’t been properly reset as the plug wasn’t switched on. Because of the earlier TV mishap, I think the host thought we’d turned it off!

After the host gave us the answer to the faulty puzzle, we quickly worked through the final sequence of the game and obtained the code to escape the room.

We had fun in this room and there were lots of puzzles to keep us occupied and entertained. The room flowed well and had a few nice puzzles that made good use of the props you found. However, I felt that the room itself didn't at all match the story/description provided on the Breakout website. It wasn’t a strong room on story and immersion and there weren't really any big moments or large central puzzles. I found it to be a fairly average room that would be well suited to beginners.

The team were Ben, Daniel, Mike and Shanai.

Ratings


Overall It’s a small room that’s not too difficult and has a few interesting puzzles. It’s not strong on story or immersion and lacks any big moments or central puzzles. It doesn't really match the story described on the Breakout site.
Difficulty It’s quite a logical and reasonably straightforward game. It’s a game that would be well suited to beginners.
Fun There was plenty to work on as a team and we enjoyed our hour in the room.
Puzzles The puzzles were all logical and flowed well. There wasn’t anything particularly special or novel, but there were a few nice puzzles that used the objects in the room well.
Immersion There are a few good props in the room, but it’s quite a small and simply decorated space. The room doesn’t really have any story development.
Surprises Apart from the beginning of the game, there wasn’t much in the way of surprises throughout the game.

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