(Re-)Initiation – Infiltrate @ Breakout Manchester


After three in a row with @EcclesLadies at The Escape Room, The Animals made a visit to Manchester to Infiltrate Breakout:

You are interviewing one of the most dangerous criminals ever to have walked the planet in a maximum security ward. You believe this person may hold the answer to one of the greatest crimes ever committed. You have 60 minutes to interview the prisoner before the guards arrive. Can you extract the information from him in time?

So essentially “You have 60 minutes to complete an interview”. This is not a typical escape game introduction so I was intrigued to see how it played out.

Perhaps unsurprisingly there is no interview. You’re greeted with a twist as you enter the room, which takes you back into more familiar escaping territory. Now I’m not sure this particular use of a misleading brief was particularly successful, as I never really expected to be interviewing anyone, but I think the concept has a lot of legs in terms of catching people off guard and immersing them in the story (I mention it briefly in this Theme Thursday post). So kudos to Breakout for being the first people to try it (as far as I’m aware) and we’ll see if anyone else embraces it in the future.

Another unusual aspect of this room is the, err, aspect. Most escape games are very much self-contained, I guess to keep you immersed in the fantasy. This one contains a large window over-looking Manchester city centre. I appreciate that a hospital room may have a view but surely not a maximum security ward? Anyway, it didn’t distract me too much, and kind of cemented in my mind that this is an ‘entry level’ escape room, where solid walls on each side is a bit more imposing.

Entry level is also how I would describe the room’s challenge. It’s immediately clear what you need to do, and the puzzles are certainly on the easier end of the spectrum.

Apart from two. One which required quite a big logical leap, that was only hinted at very slightly. And even though I made that leap, the puzzle was so loosely put together the answer still required some guess work. The other didn’t require a logical leap as such, just a lot of tedious grunt work (unless I missed a clue to it). Both required hints to solve which was a bit unsatisfying.

Those quibbles apart, I would (and have) recommended the room to nervous novices. Not only for the relative ease but also as it introduces a lot of the escape tropes that you’ll need in Breakout’s tougher rooms, and elsewhere as well.

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