Break Out Charleston – Serial Killer (Review)

Location: Charleston, SC

Players:  2-10 (We recommend 4-5)

Price: $28 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

You know, it’s really troubling how many people want to murder us.

Theme:

A series of serial murders have broken out in Charleston, 10 victims accounted for so far. The city lives in fear as authorities seem to be incapable of finding the perpetrator. You’ve woken up locked in a dingy shack, made even more disquieting due to the trophies that litter the room. A shiver runs down your spine as you begin to piece together what happened. Luckily the Killer has left a series of puzzles about to help you find your way out! Mighty kind of him.

First Impressions:

After our short briefing in the admittedly cool lobby (and a short conversation about the random Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies VHS that was on the front desk) our Gamemaster led us to the room and locked us in. Serial Killer rooms saturate the market of escape rooms, but I really enjoy horror themes so it’s fun when the room is well done.  The Killer’s abode itself was very well decorated, and really felt decrepit in the best way possible. We didn’t stay mystified for long, however, since we knew we needed to get puzzling!

High Points:

Can a Serial Killer’s grimy cabin be called beautifully done? Probably not, but the décor was grungy and immersive. It was great, however, that while the room looked dirty, it didn’t feel that way during our interactions. The room was mostly seek and find along with object interactions and used technology sparingly, which I enjoyed as it fit the theme well. Puzzles that did show up were mostly well clued, and collecting similar items felt like it built towards the next puzzle instead of feeling like a chore. The Gamemaster’s interactions with us were fun, if goofy, and helped alleviate some of the tension. Space was used very well, and to great effect.

Low Points:

One long term puzzle was obtuse in it’s presentation, and is solvable in a slightly less satisfying way, but not well clued enough to have led us to the “proper” solution. There are several red herrings around, which didn’t really add much to the story, but at least felt on theme. There wasn’t a huge amount of cluing present in what inputs went to which locks, which added an unneeded trial and error element to the game. Some props felt a little too silly for the theme, but these were rare.

Verdict:

This was a well done room that was short on deep story, but had a fair amount of puzzles to keep a mid size group occupied. Serial Killer has a horror theme, but Break Out keeps it light-hearted enough that skittish people need not worry, which could be a plus or minus depending on the group. I feel like this is a great room to start with, due to it’s emphasis on escape room tropes, while still adding some original elements, but seasoned escapists may feel a little bit of déjà vu. I still recommend it though, it’s great fun! Book your Serial Killer escape here!

As a side note, my favorite story to tell about this room is that our briefing included the comment, “Please do not lick any of the electrical outlets in the room.” When asked why this became a rule, our Gamemaster informed us that a previous player had done so, explaining that he was an electrician and he wanted to short-circuit a door to make it open.

7/10 (Good)

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