Dark Magic (Breakout Chester)

Game Date: 3rd June 2019
Game Number: 30
Price for Two: £40/£36 Peak/Off Peak*
Website: https://breakoutchester.com

*Full Disclosure – We were not charged for this game. You can see a full explanation here.

Game Overview
You and Your Fellow wizard’s have discovered a secret passage into a room long forgotten by time. You edge slowly inside, and your blood runs cold. You feel the presence of an ancient Dark Magic! Your Wizarding skills will be put to the test, as you prepare to subdue this ancient power…

Arrival and Introduction
We had just finished another game at Breakout Chester and thankfully there was no one booked in for our next game so we decided to play straight away. This time we were looked after by Paul who was very friendly and interested in our previous escape room experience especially ones that share a similar theme to the one we were about to play. It really makes such a difference when GM’s are interested in you as players rather than just another paying customer. We were led up more stairs, donned our wizards cloaks and through the picture (a nice change to the normal door that usually marks the entrance to a room) and into the game.

Alas after a few minutes we saw Paul as he had accidentally left a draw open that was not meant to be accessed until much later in the room. A frustrating start to the room but accidents happen. This was a well themed room – unmistakably magical with plenty of magic artefacts and items scattered around. This was another mostly linear room with a clear indication of progress throughout the room. This is much more difficult in a room with few locks but thankfully Breakout have made it clear how many more puzzles you have left. This room was very observation heavy with some novel ways of inputting answers to puzzles. There were a few fun puzzles that took a bit of communication between both players and also puzzles that required certain spells and incantations to complete. As a fan of magic rooms for this exact reason I was glad that this offering did not disappoint. Signposting of completed puzzles in this room was good – you could tell what you had done upon completing a puzzle successful but afterwards Paul did say that they were wanting to make this even more obvious which can only be a good thing. It is really frustrating to complete a puzzle and not know if it was right or not. Rooms with more abstract themes like magic often suffer in their story telling because it is more difficult to tie in the reason why there are puzzles and challenges standing in the way of your goal, however, with Dark Magic the story line of the room develops more as you progress, enhancing the room story and increasing the immersion.

We completed the test and subdued that ancient power with a healthy 20.23 left on the clock. Clues came from a screen in the room and we did take a few when we got a bit stumped. Paul was great a giving us a nudge just before we started to get frustrated with our lack of progress. Afterwards we found out that Paul was on the design team for Breakout and so spent alot of time chatting about what we liked about the room and problems we have faced in other rooms we have played. We tried (and failed) to gleam what their next game is going to be but we will be back to try it for sure.

Credit: Breakout Chester

An enjoyable magic game with good use of technology to create a magical environment. It is definitely worth a play if you are in the area and enjoy magic themed rooms. A mostly linear room meant that we did start to get frustrated at times when we couldn’t work out what to do next. A bit more signposting in that respect would have been useful but I understand that its most a personal preference. It is not the biggest space so it would certainly suit smaller teams. I think a pair is perfectly fine for this game to avoid spare players feeling left out.

Customer Experience: 3.5 out of 5 (I took 0.5 off for the reset error)
Theming: 4 out of 5
Gameplay: 3 out of 5
Enjoyment: 3.5 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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