Breakout Greensboro – Hostage (Review)

Location: Greensboro, NC (There are locations nationwide, however.)

Price: $25.99 per person

Players: 2-7 (We recommend 3-4)

Time to Escape: 60 Minutes

Where’s Sully when you need him?

Theme:

You were on an international flight when the cabin suddenly depressurized, sending you into unconsciousness. Rather than wake up in the middle of the Hudson River, you find yourself handcuffed to a bench in the dark! Looking around, you find that you must be in some sort of hijacker’s lair. Luckily these terrorists have left loads of puzzles around for you to solve in the meantime, so figure them out and escape!

First Impressions:

The airplane hijacking theme is definitely a risky subject to take on in an escape room, and it definitely wasn’t our first choice, but we had to reschedule one of our other escapes due to a booking hiccup, and we decided we’d just try it out rather than reschedule everything. Breakout’s other rooms are great fun, however, so at least we knew the puzzles would more than likely be a good time.

High Points:

The theme of the room is more of a kidnapping, keeping overt references to airplane hijacking to a minimum, which I thought was better than the alternative. Our GM was fantastic, and provided humorous and conversational hints when we needed them. There was one great puzzle that used a part of the room that you usually don’t see implemented as a prop, allowing for some interesting solving. There weren’t a lot of standout moments beyond this, but the game itself was otherwise mostly average and non-offensive.

Low Points:

One technical interaction involved way too many red herrings for it to be introduced so early, leading us to hyper-focus on it entirely too much. Blessedly, our GM let us know we shouldn’t worry about that yet. Two particular puzzles include my least favorite escape room trope, inputs that lock out for a time if incorrect answers are entered. Luckily, we didn’t suffer from that issue, but there should never be the possibility of dead time within a room. There is a specific instance of a puzzle being destructible state, meaning that if you move certain objects, it could render a section of the room unsolvable, which tied in with the red herring issue as well, frustrating us greatly. Again, we thankfully had an amazing GM to help us out unprompted when he realized something had gone wrong. One moment of the room that should feel really climactic and open up a new mystery fell completely flat when all we were given was a bank of locks, the lamest of escape room items. The story flow ends immediately upon the end of the introduction, making this more of a puzzle room, and unfortunately ensuring that the climax never feels like much of a payoff other than the escape itself.

Verdict:

Hostage was a very basic escape game that may be alright for beginners, but does little to impress for those that have a few games under their belts. With five other games to choose from at Breakout Greensboro, you can definitely do better than Hostage, however. If you’ve run out of other games, though, it’ll do the job, just don’t expect anything too exciting. You can check out Hostage at your local Breakout here.

5/10 (Mediocre)

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