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Review: The Enchanted Forest - Break Escape, Loughborough

Room Story - from Break Escape

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?!


Key Stats

Room NameThe Enchanted Forest
VenueBreak Escape
LocationLoughborough,UK
Date23/03/2019
Escape Time49:52
Team Size3
My Recommended Team Size2 - 5

Review

We had a weekend trip to the East Midlands to take on 6 escape rooms. This was the first game of our trip to get our brains warmed up. Break Escape is situated in Loughborough town centre next to a cinema and restaurant complex. It’s easy to find with cheap parking nearby.

We received the standard health and safety briefing and introduction to the room story. One interesting element in this game is that there are a number of side quests that allow you to get crystals that deduct time from your game. The main goal of the game, however, is to find a rare blue gem.

After the briefing, we were sent through a wardrobe to begin our room in a small space. Although the game opens up later, there will be a tight squeeze for larger teams initially. After solving a few quick puzzles in the space we entered the main game area. How we entered the space was a source of much excitement for us all – something we’ve all been waiting for in an escape room. I’ll say no more.

The main space is beautifully themed like a wintery forest with trees, rocks and very realistic ground underfoot. It’s a decent sized space that could easily accommodate 6 people. Within this space you instantly see lots of things to explore and interact with, but it’s not immediately clear where you need to initially focus your attention. We instantly started on one of the bonus crystal puzzles before realising that it was distracting us from our main mission.

We needed a few hints from the host to get going; these were provided over a loudspeaker in the room. We found that throughout the game we constantly required nudges in the right direction and confirmation we were doing the right thing. I think at times, better signposting in the room would have spared the need for additional clues. I did love how they’d kept so many of the puzzles in theming with the forest setting – quite a few were centred around animals and nature which was a really nice touch.

Due to the non-linear nature of the room, we split up and settled into a good pace of solving puzzles. Once we were clear on what we were trying to achieve, all of the puzzles made logical sense to us. As you progress through the game, you’re given a clear indication of your progress via a central puzzle in the game.

Once we’d completed all parts of the central puzzle, there’s a nice final sequence to the room that brings to life elements of the game you’ve already seen. There was a really tough puzzle in this last part of the game that required great attention to rhythm - thankfully that’s a speciality of one of my teammates as I would have been clueless! After completing the final sequence, we defeated the enchantress and recovered the rare blue gem.

Once you’ve retrieved the gem, the game ends. We decided to completely ignore the side quests to focus on the main game, but if you’re keen to complete these and try to knock some time off your final score you need to make sure you do it before retrieving the gem. We didn’t leave the room with any bonus crystals at all!

This was a fun game with lovely theming. We did find it a challenge at times, but we escaped the room in a miles quicker time than we expected. We felt like we were particularly slow on a few puzzles. This game is definitely worth a play if you’re in the Loughborough area.

Ratings

Overall A nicely themed game packed with puzzles and sporting the start to an escape game that I’ve long been waiting for.
Difficulty The main part of the game takes place in one large space packed with puzzles. It’s often difficult knowing where to start given the non-linear nature of the room.
Fun We liked the theming of this game and the sense of exploration and adventure.
Puzzles The puzzles in this room are varied and challenging. We required prompting and confirmation on a few puzzles from the host and we felt sometimes there weren’t enough visual indicators in the room.
Immersion The main space in the room is beautifully themed like a wintery forest with realistic props and ground underfoot.
Surprises There’s a really lovely surprise at the beginning of the game that I’ve been long been waiting for in an escape room!

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