Prison Break (Escape Room Manchester)

Given the length of time since the game, its not fair to write a fully review – games can change and evolve, memories fade and most importantly we hopefully(!) have improved a lot since our early games. This is more of a summary.

Game Date: July 2017
Game Number: 6
Price for Two: £40
Website: http://www.theescaperoom.co.uk/

Game Overview
You are locked in a maximum security prison and are awaiting your execution. You were framed by a serial killer and you are now facing charges for a murder. There were multiple attempts to escape from this prison but many people failed and most inmates were either killed or recaptured while others disappeared without a trace, giving hope to inmates that there are ways to escape! You have sixty minutes to escape from the premises and free yourself before the prison guards return.

We returned back to Escape Room Manchester the day after our previous escape to see if our experience previously is representative of their other rooms or if it was an anomaly. Sadly we similarity weren’t impressed with our second visit. Firstly, we were greeted by the same games master who had run our game the previous day and who didn’t not recognise who we were at all. Now, of course, games masters see hundreds of people a week but I would really except them to recognise us the following day. Anyway, after that disappointment, we were on into the room. The game starts with players being handcuffed together and whilst this made things a little more challenging it didn’t hinder us too much. The puzzles in this room were a mix of searching, observation and maths. It was one maths puzzle in particular that we did not find enjoyable or solvable. I wont go into to much detail but it involved 4 sets of maths sums and then using those 4 sums in another sum. Now you may think that actually that not hugely challenging and I would agree – if you had paper or something to help out. We were provided with no such thing and so to keep each of those numbers in your head and then use them in another sum proved to much for us. Its of course possible that there was meant to be paper in the room and we just were not given it but when we questioned the lack of paper in the room our GM just nodded and said yeah makes it difficult not having paper. I have spoken to other people that have played the room and they have just whipped out their phones and used a calculator. We would never think of doing that, as pretty much every escape room I have played have said not to use phones – but then they have provided paper if needed.

Outcome
Our first failure. We failed on the last puzzle that I mentioned above being one one digit away from getting the right code. We used 3 clues on the final puzzle which involved pressing a switch and the GM came into the room to discuss where we were stuck. On one occasion it took a good minute for the GM to enter the room and so I strongly suggest his attentions were elsewhere and not on our game.

Overall
A poor experience overall. The welcome and attention from the GM was far less than what we have come to expect from other venues. The itself, although themed well continued some pretty standard puzzles and nothing outstanding. The final puzzle was frustratingly difficult and the lack of paper or something to write notes with made it pretty impossible – we spent 15 minutes on it and still failed. The clue system ruins the immersive nature of the room and I am 100% that our GM was not watching our game at all times.

Customer Experience – 1 out of 5
Theming – 2.5 out of 5
Gameplay – 2 out 5
Enjoyment – 2 out 5
Overall – 2 out of 5

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