Reviewed by Hannah Abbott.
Breakout Manchester is a real live escape game room and What’s Good To Do attended the Classified Rooms with two teams of five reviewers to battle against each other.
Located by the Great Northern in Manchester City Centre the latest addition to the Breakout Manchester is in a brand new location. See if you and your friends are worthy of becoming a secret agent by completing the Classified 1 and 2 rooms within the hour. The first set of identical rooms introduced by the Breakout team offer a great competition… you just need to decide who it is that you want to beat?
Although we had read online what we were volunteering for, nothing could prepare you for the new Breakout Classified rooms and what better way to see all that they had to offer than putting two teams against each other and trying it out for ourselves.
So we entered the Breakout office. The two members of staff who were going to be our allies as secret agents introduced themselves to us and we split into our teams. We were given our secret agent briefing (and of course the health and safety briefing as well) and given a chained padlocked box containing the key to get us out. But would we be able solve the clues, become a secret agent, get out of the room and beat the other team all within our one hour time limit?
A bit about the teams…
Team Lucy all had connections to the team leader and some of the participants had met each other before. Whereas Team Hannah only had a couple of pairs that knew each other beforehand. This introduced a different dynamic to each team before we began. Team Lucy was raring to go wheareas difficulties getting to the Breakout office left some of team Hannah defeated before they began.
By having two completely different teams it was clear how many different reasons you can find to come to Breakout Classified. Hen v stag? Work teams against each other? Brothers v sisters or maybe just a group of mates against each other?
So when you go in your locked room there is a lot to see. Clues are everywhere and there are lots of combination padlocks to find. The dynamic of your team will instantly be seen but will everyone realise that teamwork is the easiest and quickest way out and you are on a time limit after all.
Initially my team started out alone. We each went and started trying to solve the clues on our own but very quickly started talking and from then on the teamwork began. At times you reach points where you just can’t move on so in steps your allie by way of text on a computer screen. Each team has their own allie who can see and hear what is happening within the room, when they feel necessary they will sound an alert so that you know to look at the screen but trust me they won’t spoon feed! As you can hear the occasional noise from the other room both rooms have a different alert. At one point of the game we heard a cheer, we thought we’d lost until we heard their claxon… relief we hadn’t lost.
The classified rooms are set to test so many of your skills. No need to worry that your maths isn’t up to scratch or you don’t know your geography because one way or another you can find all of the answers that you need in the room.
So Team Hannah beat the Breakout Classified challenge with 5.55 minutes to spare. Team Lucy beat the Breakout challenge with just over a minute to spare. Team Lucy explained that one of the sound clues didn’t work which meant that they struggled a bit longer over one clue.
Overall a great night was had by all. Bad moods were shifted, worries taken away and a great way to get to meet our other reviewers.
So who are you going to challenge to compete against you in the Breakout rooms?
The worst part of Breakout is I can’t decide which room to try next!
Now some words from my team mates and opponents:
Lucy Knight: What an amazing experience. I have never done anything like before, but enjoy anything logical so I knew I would enjoy it. I am very competitive so was determined to get out before the time ran out! We did breakout, however we were not the first team out. I love the idea of going against another team, it’s a great team building exercise for larger groups. I would definitely return and have even discussed returning next month.
Emma Baker: Another great room to try and escape from, I have tried 2 other Breakout rooms before and this one didn’t disappoint. It was full of clues to find and the odd red herring thrown into the mix to make it that little bit different. It surprising how quickly and hour goes when you are against the clock trying to work things out. It was a great ice breaker and team building exercise as out of our team of 5 I only knew 1 other person, but this didn’t hinder out chances as we soon all dived in and got working together. I loved the fact that there were two identical rooms so we could race against another team but of course we came out on top and escaped first! A great night, a great room and I can’t wait to come back and try out the other rooms.
Colin Rogers: This is the 1st time I’ve been to one of these Breakout venues and I really enjoyed it and will look forward to be going again, especially the Madchester room. I was a little nervous into what I was expecting as I’ve never done this and also that I’d be doing it with people I’ve never meet before but it was a good ice breaker on meeting and talking to each other. It was really puzzling the room but we managed to breakout with 5 minutes to spare.
Ann Durrell: I am a massive puzzle fan and so was really looking forward to going to Breakout Manchester. The idea I would most liken to is games such as 100 doors and rooms, basically you are locked in a room and have to search for clues to escape within 60 minutes. Ten of us reviewers headed over to take part in the challenge, the winning team earning bragging rights for months to come!
We went along to Breakouts confidential rooms, based in the Great Northern in the Centre of Manchester. On arrival we were split into our two teams of five and were given a box, inside was the key to escape our room, before being locked inside a room. Once in the room the countdown began with our 60 minutes time limit ticking away on a screen behind us. My team instantly started scouring the room like Sherlock Holmes for clues. I am not going to lie, my hugely competitive side came out with a vengeance, there was NO WAY we were being locked in. We had to find clues and complete puzzles to prove our team had the 8 skill sets required including sound, vision, investigation and skill. Obviously I would not want to give secrets away (or make it easier) but the puzzles were defiantly challenging and with the clock counting down in the background the pressure was well and truly on. With five minutes to go we thought we could hear our rivals but we were still struggling with the final puzzle, clock was ticking away, 4 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes at one minute to go I was ready to explode, we were getting out of that room and finally with just 48 second to go, we were out!
The whole experience was brilliant fun, as soon as we were out everyone in both teams were raving about how much we enjoyed it and we have already started plotting getting together and going to another of the rooms at Breakout Manchester. Fantastic night out which I would recommend to everyone.
Price: Dependent on how many people are playing. The more people playing, the cheaper the price!
For more information and prices visit www.breakoutmanchester.com.
Breakout Manchester. 14a Brazennose Street, Manchester, M2 6LW | 0161 839 8012