Enchanted (Breakout Manchester)

Game Date: 5th March 2020
Game Number: 46
Price for Two: £46/£40 Peak/Off Peak
Website: https://breakoutmanchester.com/

Game Outline

You are in the Wizarding section of the local library. You notice a book you’ve never seen before. Drawn to it, you start to thumb through the dusty pages of the book…

The next thing you know you wake up in an enchanted forest! After walking for what seems like hours, and encountering many strange creatures along the way, you find yourselves at a house made of gingerbread and sweets. Should you enter the house or stay away? Will your sweet tooth get the better of you? Can you escape the trap laid out for you, before the witch returns to eat you?

Arrival and Introduction
We went straight from out first game of the day into this one after a brief wait to make sure our game was in fact ready. We were led away by a different GM, Becca and she gave us our brief outside of the room. This room had been on my list of games to play for a while so I was very excited to see what Breakout had managed to achieve. The room is based around the Grimm fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel.

Gameplay
A split start that for once actually fits within the game the story of being trapper inside the gingerbread house. The room looked small but very well decorated and themed. It was definitely a busy room with lots of things around on the walls and floor. Not one to be a fan of split starts, I actually quite enjoyed this one, mainly because we managed to reunite fairly quickly – I could see this being a sticking point for some teams which might be frustrating. Given the amount of paraphernalia around the room, there was a lot of searching and working out what is going to be a puzzle and what is not. Searching has never been our strong point so we were surprised when there was only one thing in the game we missed (it took 3 clues to find and we are still kicking ourselves now!). Much of the rest of the puzzles consisted of observation and logic, which tied in really well with the story line.

There were some great puzzles within the room that I have seen variations off in other rooms but Breakout executed them to a better level. The room had moments of openness and moments of being more linear – something which we as a team enjoyed. At points we could go off and focus on our own things but also we knew when we needed to focus on things together. One let down of the room was that we were told to find another exit rather than the door we entered in, but after completing the final puzzle the GM came into the room to congratulate us rather than us escaping from the room. I always prefer physical escaping room anyway, but after being told to find the exit, we would expect to exiting the room as part of the game.

Outcome
We managed to escape with just under 21 minutes left on the clock. Once again, clues and time were displayed on a screen within the room. Although it does impact on immersion, I would always much rather have information displayed on a screen in the room rather than it not being there. We took a number of clues on a search fail and one more on a puzzle that we were approaching in the right direction but just needed an extra nudge. Becca was an enthusiastic GM, who gave us clues just before we started getting frustrated, and clearly wanted us to have the most enjoyable time possible.

Credit: Breakout

Overall
Probably our favourite game we have played at Breakout Manchester. Well themed, good puzzles that tied pretty well within the story makes for a strong offering. Having played an early game of Breakout’s immediately before, you can really see the improvements that have been made in the design, build and puzzles within this new room. It is definitely on the small side, a full team of 6 would struggle so smaller is better for this one. We did not find it too difficult as a two so I would recommend sticking to pairs.

Customer Experience: 4 out of 5
Themeing: 4 out of 5
Gameplay: 4 out of 5
Enjoyment: 4 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5

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