This review of The Blueprint is based on a visit from October 2015.
The next stop on the ‘places you wouldn’t expect to find escape games’ tour is Altrincham. For those of you who don’t know where that is (and I’m guessing that’s most of you) it’s a small town on the outskirts of Greater Manchester, near the border with Cheshire. It’s ‘famous’ for having some of the highest average house prices outside of London, and having an ice rink, which is where I discovered I didn’t have a future career in figure-skating.
Undeterred by this relative obscurity, in August 2015 Code to Exit opened its doors. Neither their retina-burning, bright orange colour scheme nor their initial clunky website (it’s much better now) were to my taste, and I feared this could be a very mediocre affair. But following positive comments from another visitor, and as it was near Helen’s house, we decided to give The Blueprint a try:
In this room you will have an exciting quest. The goal is search and acquisition of the blueprints of hydrogen bomb prior of the construction of the real bomb. Then return it into the future via the time gate. In order to achieve this goal you have to find the lost parts of the time machine, install them and repair it.
So another time travel game, but this one with a very clear theme; visiting Edward Teller’s office (the game is alternately known as The Edward Teller Room) in the early 1950s. It isn’t clear what snatching these blueprints would achieve, or even who we’re working for, but let’s not worry about that right now. Breaking into someone’s office for some reason is almost as familiar a trope as time travel, but the specifics of this one make it ostensibly a lot more interesting, especially to anyone with any interest in 20th century history.
Even with that edge, there’s only so much you can do with an office theming, and this room pushes to the limit what you would reasonably expect to find there. But it does so to make the place more visually interesting, and conceal some novel touches; one that I haven’t seen anything like anywhere else, and another which is the best approach to a particular object that you see everywhere else.
As a result this room was a lot more enjoyable than I was expecting. We escaped in just over 40 minutes, with just a couple of hints to compensate for our poor scavenging skills. If our industry wasn’t so young I’d be tempted to call this a ‘traditional room’. It doesn’t necessarily wow in any way, but is solid good fun, and I’d particularly recommend it for less experienced escapers.