Breakin’ Escape Rooms – Part 2

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Here it is, part 2 of our Breakin’ Escape Rooms feature! One of our favourite escape game venues in London.

We kick off the 2nd part of this article looking at their science fiction themed room; War on Horizon Alpha

War on Horizon Alpha

This room throws you into a galactic battle for the universe in a Star Wars style setting, with lots of Easter eggs and nods to the series of films.

It’s an incredibly high tech room, with no padlocks in sight – there’s not much room searching that goes on, instead, one puzzle will activate another and by using obscure imagery to give you hints as a direction of what to do next or how things are meant work/interact with each other the game progresses smoothly.

The room was really well designed and will have Sci-Fi fans truly geeking out. Breakin’ completely make you feel as if you are in a galaxy far far away, millions of years in the future in deep space! With blinking control panels and galaxy laden display screens, this room puts every other Sci-Fi game to shame!

5outta5

4/5 Rating.

The Butchers Lair

We love a good scare attraction and horror-themed escape rooms are totally our “bag”. The Butchers Lair is a nod to one of the greatest horror films of all time; Silence of the Lambs and if you’re a horror fiend then this one is definitely for you.

As the story goes, you’re a group of students invited to dinner at the home of your professor; Dr. Vladimir Knifesblade (great name!) – as his students, you always enjoyed his lectures on human anatomy but when you arrive at his home you find things are not as they seem and you have 60 minutes to escape before he carves you up for his next meal.

Once again, the room was themed wonderfully – severed limbs aplenty, with blood spurts staining the wall and many other gruesome props scattered throughout the game. This is definitely not a room for the squeamish!

There was more of a traditional escape game feel to this particular room, whilst still maintaining some of the impressive tech that we’ve come to know from Breakin’ – but it was a welcome change after playing the futuristic War on Horizon Alpha.

There were some extremely challenging puzzles that had us scratching our heads and really put us to work, kicking our brains into overdrive, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable game, one of our favourites at the venue.

4outta5

4/5 Rating.

Sherlock’s Despair
Sherlock’s Despair is another room that has a very classic feel to it – it has many padlocks to unlock, lots of riddle solving and even some “physical” games to play as well.

The story is as follows; Sherlock’s untimely death has been announced in all of the newspapers – he’d been working on the most important case of his entire career and it’s your job to unravel the mystery behind his death and solve his final case…

As a preface we played this room as a duo (one of our team dropped out last minute!), although the minimum for the game is three – so it was a little more challenging than usual.

We liked this game, but it was admittedly a little difficult to get started with, however once we got into the swing of the puzzles/room it was enjoyable. This time round we were missing our maths expert and so when we come across some math based puzzles we found ourselves struggling quite a bit, which was disappointing.

All in all an interesting and fun game, themed really nicely as per usual but we were left a little put-off by the math puzzles.

3andhalfoutta5

3.5/5 Rating.

a HUGE thanks to the team at Breakin’ for being wonderful hosts and having us along to play their rooms. We urge you to get yourself down to Holloway Road and experience these fantastic games for yourself, you won’t be disappointed!

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Omescape: Penitentiary Review

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Recently we paid a visited to Omescape London to try their expansive Penitentiary room…

As usual we’ll try and keep this review relatively spoiler free – but we will be discussing various aspects of the game.

With the Penitentiary we found ourselves locked in the cell of infamous American serial-killer Water White, known as the “Night Stalker”. Water was reported dead of natural causes a year ago. According to rumours, another prisoner had discovered a mysterious machine in the cell of “Night Stalker”, and he then disappeared a few days later.

At the beginning of the game your team is split in two and locked in separate cells. Dividing the team up and locking us in two different cells was a great start to the room; communication was key and we really had to work together to get out – this helped aid the group dynamic for the rest of the game!

The music and creative lighting really created a tense atmosphere – it was quite dark in the room and so your eye’s really had to adjust which made it even more challenging to begin with.

Once out of the cells the puzzles moving between sections of the penitentiary were challenging and required a level head, involving lots of teamwork, which meant everyone could partake in the games.

There were a lot of physical elements to the room as well, which always adds another dynamic to the game. One portion we were particularly impressed with (and we’ll try to not give too much away here) involved lasers that triggered an alarm. It felt very Mission Impossible-esque and really immersed you within the story and its setting.

There were varying levels of puzzles throughout the room such as decoding blueprints and deciphering codes to lock-boxes which added more complexity and problem solving to the game.

We really enjoyed this room and are hoping to head back soon to try the rest of their games. Definitely check them out…

4outta5

4/5 Rating.

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Do Stuff Escape Games Review

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We recently visited Do Stuff Escape Games at The Grove in Battersea. Before we got started we met with the two owners who have a seriously infectious enthusiasm for what they do, you can tell they’re loving every minute of it…

We were there to play their first and currently only game; Hostage Hideout. As the backstory goes, you and your friends are hiding from a gun-toting maniac who has taken hostages in the local shopping centre. You’re hold-up in a changing room, hoping to make it out alive!

Do Stuff have a pretty small space at The Grove pub where they host their room, but they use every little bit to it’s potential to create a fun and interesting game with some really creative puzzles.

As a team of three the size of the space was fine but we can imagine with a larger group it could probably get quite stuffy and a little squished.

The theming of the room was different to anything we’ve done before – who knew an escape game set in a changing room would work, but it really does.

We’d really recommend this room to teams who are new to escape games and want to step in the level of tasks/puzzles. They’re challenging without ever becoming frustrating and they link together with the story extremely well.

Do Stuff have a new room coming soon, themed as a Pie and Mash shop! We can’t wait to give it a try.

3andhalfoutta5

3.5/5 Rating

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Modern Fables Review

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Modern Fables is the new kid on the block when it comes to London Escape Rooms. It’s a little bit out of the way with no real signage advertising its whereabouts, tucked away in an old warehouse in South-East London.

Our initial impression was that it felt a bit unfinished…

(as per usual we’ll try our best not to spoil too much)

The first room, where you’re greeted by the owner Jay and filled in on the backstory, is a “secret” bar of sorts, but it leaves a lot to the imagination – it feels a little thrown together, with exposed/unpainted chipboard and a few tables! Which is a bit disappointing; because as you progress through the game there’s a lot more attention to detail, with much more of a “wow” factor, so initially we weren’t left with a very good first impression.

However, Modern Fables has a unique story-line, focusing on the tales of H.P Lovecraft in a modern day setting, which we loved – but it did feel a little hard to get going with the game itself and the puzzles were frustrating at times as they didn’t always seem to make sense or connect easily.

The finale of the game is incredibly immersive, very eerie and tense – with some great sound design and set dressing. We would’ve loved to of spent more time on this portion of the room as it really opened up the world of the game and its characters.

We’re definitely interested in seeing how Modern Fables progresses and what they have in store for their next game

2andhalfoutta5

2.5/5 Rating

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Breakin’ Escape Rooms – Part 1

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Last weekend we were kindly invited along by the team at Breakin’ on Holloway Road to try out ALL SIX of their, quite frankly, incredible rooms…

We’re splitting this article into two parts and it will remain relatively spoiler free as to not ruin too much of the magic that these rooms have.

We prepared ourselves for a day of mind-bending puzzles and we weren’t disappointed!

We started off with…

Heist Plan: The Garage
The thing that stands out the most at Breakin’ Escape Rooms is the production values – You’re completely and totally immersed from the get-go, especially with Heist Plan, which see’s your team becoming a gang of street racers preparing to rob a number of high-profile banks.

Pumping 90s music gave it a truly fast and furious-style vibe, with little nods to the franchise along the way.  There was a great mix of physical and mental games/puzzles which meant teamwork was key and everyone could get involved.

It really made you feel as if you were in a movie, like something out of a Michael Mann film mixed with classic street racing flicks.

Breakin’ have extremely original puzzles, which we’ve not seen in any other escape rooms, which meant you weren’t sure what was coming next and kept you guessing.

They have an Interesting hint system in the form of a tablet on the wall that delivers a word, a picture or other minor details to point you in the right direction as opposed to telling you outright what to do.

We think this is a room that would best suit teams who have a bit of escape room experience under their belt and fancy something new.

Next up was…

The Flying Dutchman
The Flying Dutchman had more of a “classic” escape room feel to it. A real high seas adventure reminiscent of The Goonies and Pirates of the Caribbean, with an absolutely incredible set – we entered with the lights off, whilst a short introduction played and as the lights flicked on our jaws dropped! It’s a beautiful room with fantastic attention to detail.

The Flying Dutchman is a great introduction to what Breakin’ do – this is one for total newbies or those with some minor escape room experience looking to up their game. It’s pretty easy to get going, but still has Breakin’s own personal touches and unique tasks that have a real Crystal Maze vibe to them with hands on games that were challenging and frustrating (in a good way).

Teams who are new to escape rooms but are looking for a step up in challenges should give this room a try.

Our third room in a row was…

Blackwings Cave
Blackwings Cave has you entering the lair of a DC inspired superhero, who needs help defeating his arch nemesis – there’s high-tech gadgets, evil villains and a score reminiscent of Hans Zimmer; to really get your heart pumping.

This game is one of their hardest! It’s a room that requires you to bring your A team, with each person having a range of abilities. There are a lot of maths based puzzles and so you really have to know your stuff and be prepared to get those brain-cogs turning.

Our team were a little divided on the enjoyment factor with this one – one of our team-members is a strong mathematician and had a lot of fun racking his brain over the puzzles, one is (by their own admission) awful at maths and found it a little frustrating and the third has mixed ability and loved certain aspects but was lost at other points of the game.

Don’t get us wrong, this is still an incredibly enjoyable game but is probably suited to more seasoned Escape Room teams. There’s a lot of communication required, so it really puts your team to the test.

There are some incredibly unique pieces of tech implemented within this game that were highly impressively an really worth checking out.

We’d easily give all three rooms a 5/5 rating ….

5outta5

We advise you book ASAP and see for yourself just how incredible these rooms really are!

Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon…

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Ghost in the Shell – Exhibition

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Today we journeyed into central London for an exclusive event to promote the upcoming Scarlett Johansson action blockbuster Ghost in the Shell.

Billed as an immersive exhibition at the Lights of Soho venue, the event featured props and artwork inspired by the film. Tickets were on a first-come first-serve basis and proved to be extremely popular, however when we got there it was totally empty…

The tickets gave visitors access to the exhibition for two-hours, though it was suggested that you’d need at least half an hour to see everything.

After 10 minutes we’d seen everything and what a disappointment it was. The exhibition was hardly what we’d call “immersive”. There was a little bit of creative lighting, a bit of smoke and a couple of screens playing clips from the film, but that was as far as the immersive element went.

There were a couple of props from the film, mainly weapons and a geisha-style mask. Other than that there was one interesting piece of artwork that reacted with the flash on your camera/phone and a “hologram” style projection but other than that it was totally bare.

The Lights of Soho facebook page promised interactive holograms and touch-screen devices but we couldn’t see anything of the sort sadly.

It may be unfair to be overly critical considering it was a free event, however, for anyone who traveled further afield to attend the event, it would be thoroughly disappointing. We expected so much more from an official Paramount Pictures event.

Personally we’d suggest staying at home at re-watching the anime.

1outta5

1/5 Rating.

The ‘Neath Review

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Vault Fest is back again for another year. It’s a fantastic event that hosts some of the most unique, imaginative, independent and wild events from theatre to escape rooms, stand up comedy and short film screenings. It should be marked on every Londoners calendar.

Last night we hit our first event of the fest; The ‘Neath – part immersive theatre, part pop-up bar, The ‘Neath is a place of utter debauchery, where sinners meet to bare their souls and make a deal with the devil. 

The event lasts an hour and a half and you get out of it, what you put in. We’ll keep this review relatively spoiler free so don’t panic!

When we arrived we were introduced to the proprietor of The ‘Neath, an enigmatic yet slightly intense and scary chap who told us that if we wanted to leave with our souls intact we would have to confess our sins before the time was up and collect 7 goblets (representing the seven deadly sins) of which we would have to drink from to make it out alive.

There wasn’t much instruction about what it was we had to do and how to go about doing it – there were occasional scripted scenes that introduced us to the various odd-ball characters that frequented The ‘Neath and how they came to be there. The cast were great and a real testament to the production – they really kept the energy up non-stop for the whole duration.

Throughout the night we had our tarot read, met with shady characters to do backroom deals and explored the various nooks and crannies of The ‘Neath. However, it was far too busy and so you often found yourself stood around sipping on a drink whilst desperately trying to get involved or waiting in a shambolic line to talk to one of the patrons of the bar.

The theming was wonderful – The Vaults are a fantastic venue as is but The ‘Neath really made you feel as if you had been transported to a world “beneath” our own.

Tickets for The ‘Neath are £25 each, but you can come and go throughout the whole run as much as you’d like to get the most you can out of the experience and you’d have to because it was just too busy.

There are some rather delicious cocktails on offer but they’re tiny and will run you £8 each which is a little steep in our opinion.

The ‘Neath is absolutely worth checking out, it’s a lot of fun and we’d love to see it return in the future though with a slight reworking and a smaller audience so we can truly get to appreciate all the event has to offer.

3outta5

3/5 Rating.

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Lady Chastity’s Reserve Review

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Lady Chastity’s Reserve is an escape room like no other. Forget what you know about escape rooms and prepare yourself for a raucous, frantic and unbelievably fun-filled hour that could end with a delicious bottle of red for you efforts, if you’re able to solve all the puzzles and escape in time that is!

Now, we’ve been to A LOT of escape rooms – we’ve even run escape rooms personally and so we like to think we know what we’re talking about… Lady Chastity’s Reserve has some of the most unique puzzles and games we’ve ever had the pleasure of playing.

It’s very much an 18+ experience, with lots of hilarious adult humour and an incredibly unique story-line. For an escape room that’s hidden away in the back of a pub, you would be forgiven for expecting something slightly lacking, however, you’ll be pleasantly surprised! The theming is fantastic with great attention to detail. The game has been lovingly created by Handmade Mysteries who have really hit the nail on the head with this one.

We don’t want to give to much away and ruin the experience, but you really should book your tickets and pay a visit to one of their locations across London immediately.

We hear rumours that they have a new game in the works and we’ll be the first ones in line to play it.

We LOVED this.

5outta5

5/5 Rating.

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Resident Evil Experience [SPOILERS]

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January marks the release of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard on XBox One, PS4 and Windows platforms. The latest title in the franchise features a brand new lineup of characters in a first-person VR experience, predominantly centred around an obviously Texas Chainsaw Massacre inspired family called the Bakers.

To celebrate the forthcoming survival-horror, the team set up a free exclusive event in London over the course of four days. Limited to only 28 pairs of tickets per-day, this really was as exclusive as you could get! 100s of hopefuls waited for hours for the chance of coming face to face with the nightmarish Baker clan and it was worth it.

Part immersive theatre – part escape room, this truly was one of the most intense and scary events we’ve ever been to. We were lead from the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane to a secret location a few minutes away that doubled as the abandoned Louisiana farm house from the Biohazard game.

We were interns on a mission to find the missing ‘Sewer Gators’ team, a Most Haunted-like film crew who had disappeared under mysterious circumstances. As we arrived at the house we were told to immediately go down to the basement.

The doors creaked open and smoke poured from inside as a mechanical crying baby crawled along the floor towards us. We made our way down into the depths of the house where we found video equipment scattered all over the place and an old television/video recorder with a message from one of the team; warning us to leave immediately or suffer a similar torturous fate at the hands of the cannibalistic Baker family.

No expense was spared here, the theming was on a whole-other level and it felt as though you were really stepping into one of the locations from the game. Gone were the busy London streets, we were in the Deep South of America.

For those that’ve had the opportunity to play the demo “The Beginning Hour” this location was themed almost to a tee off of that level and as you can imagine it was stomach churning.

We made our way into the first room of the house, determined to find the remaining film crew and escape with our lives! For the next 45 minutes we came face to face with true evil and lived to tell the tale.

The first room was a grim and disturbing kitchen filled with live maggots, mock faeces and gruesome body parts. If we wanted to escape we had to follow various post-it notes hidden around the house telling us what to do. Our first task was to put together a deadly cocktail of ingredients in the hopes we could poison the crazed hillbillies and find an escape route.

As we searched the kitchen we found a side room that contained three cadaver drawers(?), the kind you would see at a morgue. The first had the name “Pete” written on it, the second and third had our very own names creepily labelled, with two dead bodies inside…. these guys are sick and it was only the beginning.

That shook us up a little but we pushed forward and found all the relevant items to begin creating our poisonous concoction.

Once we’d completed all the tasks in the first room, we unlocked the door to the second, which lead us upstairs where we had to find the correct combination to unlock a hidden safe that contained yet more of the ingredients. As we worked away creating a luminous green mixture of various items, the door to the next room swung open and we were cornered by Lucas Baker, the youngest of the Baker family – he seemed like a reasonable chap at first, but that was all a rouse. He got right in our faces asking “what the fu*k” we were doing in their house. We quickly cobbled together a story saying that we had broken down a ways down the road and needed to call for a tow truck but he wasn’t having any of it – He threw black bags over our heads and lead us deeper into the twisted house.

We were made to sit down, still with the bags over our heads, slightly disorientated and unsure what was about to happen next. All of a sudden we heard another voice, it was that of Jack Baker, the father of the household and boy was he one scary feller! The bags were whipped off our heads and we discovered we were in the Baker family dining room. It was a hellish nightmare, the table was filled with plates of maggots and other grisly items, all served up for a freakish feast.

The two begun to interrogate us, asking if we had come looking for the missing film crew, one of whom they told us they had in shackles upstairs. They spoke of how they were going to teach us a lesson for invading their home, but first, we were going to eat with them….we were their guests after all. Jack Baker told us to fetch the gravy from the sideboard and bring it to the table. This was our cue, we emptied the poison we’d been making into the gravy and served it up to the two of them. As they spooned the gravy into their mouths, all of a sudden they begun violently thrashing around in pain, slumping to the floor, meaning we were able to escape into the nearby attic.

We foolishly thought we were safe after poisoning Jack and Lucas, but we were very, very wrong. All of a sudden we could hear the head of the household, Marguerite, coming up the stairs. We quickly dived behind some of the larger objects in the attic, hoping that she wouldn’t see us and at first she didn’t (this was much like the level ‘The Lantern Hour’ another demo available to play from Biohazard), but when she came back for a second time, the jig was up; she found us and told us to wait right where we were as she went to find out what happened to the other two

This gave us the opportunity to escape into the next room where we were confronted with a sickening sight; a room full of eerie dolls strung up and covered in filth – some crying, some with their heads chopped off. We opened a trap door through to another room where the last remaining crew member was chained up. We untied him and helped him to his feet – he revealed a gun and told us that if we didn’t get out of the house soon we’d be mincemeat. We had to find a key to the front-door in order to escape and so we searched the room, opening a large closet we found another one of the team members bloodied and tied up, though he looked strange, almost zombie-like. He emerged from the wardrobe with the key around his neck but he didn’t want to give it up! He’d clearly gone insane after being tortured by the Baker family. We decided that there wasn’t any other option but to shoot him. As he fell to the floor we grabbed the key from around his neck and made our way downstairs to the front door where we escaped just in time.

It was a horrifying and intense 45 minutes which we haven’t been able to stop talking about since. It’s something we won’t be forgetting it in a hurry! The Resident Evil Experience was truly one-of-a-kind and we wish we could’ve done it again and again. We can only hope the team decide to bring The Baker Family to life again in the future, because this was one hell of a ride.

The performances were phenomenal and truly shook us to our core, which isn’t an easy thing to do. As you can imagine, we’ve been through a lot of scare attractions and immersive events all over the world and so far this really has been the best.

Take a bow Resident Evil team…we’ll be sleeping with the light on for weeks.

5outta5

5/5 Rating.

Undercover Review

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After experiencing the fantastic Shadow over Southwark, the whole team at Immersive London decided we needed to try every single Fire Hazard event and we kicked off with Undercover, a game that found us being indoctrinated into the shadowy world of espionage.

Our missions would be dangerous and varied; from making contact with friendly agents, dropping off secret packages and tailing our rivals. We were told we might even need a change of clothes to conceal our identity as there would be various covert operatives closely following us, trying desperately to sabotage our operation.

The game lasted 120 minutes, though it hardly felt like any time at all! It really was like we were living our own spy movie where we took on the role of Jason Bourne, Ethan Hunt or James Bond. We were ducking in alleyways, constantly looking over our shoulders and running for our lives for fear of being caught by lurking villains.

The event is somewhat similar to Shadow over Southwark in that you find various secret codes (packages) hidden in the playing area and enter them into a dedicated website (you’ll need a phone and internet connection) to log your progression throughout the game. You also receive various updates from friendly spies and new missions to undertake.

The scale of Undercover is truly impressive, we didn’t quite realise until the end just how many teams were playing and how much we were secretly snapped on camera by Fire Hazard operatives.

The cast are once again superb and really immerse you into the story and make you believe every word of it!

Fire Hazard Games are consistently hosting some of the best and truly unmissable events in London. At only £25 per person Undercover is an absolute bargain and a whole lot of fun!

We highly recommend it…

4outta5

4/5 Rating

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