Breakout Greensboro – Do Not Disturb (Review)

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

Price: $25.99 per person

Players: 2-8 (We recommend 3-4)

Time to Escape: 60 Minutes

Taken!

Theme:

Breakout City is under attack by a shadowy serial kidnapper! Your task force has been working day and night to find out where he is operating and end his reign of terror, but have had little luck until now. It seems, though, that he has slipped up recently, and you’ve found his hideout within a seedy motel room. Unfortunately, he’s played you, luring you into a trap! Seek out the mysteries inside the kidnapper’s hideout and escape before you become the next to go missing!

First Impressions:

Having escaped Breakout Greensboro’s five other rooms, we were told by the excited front desk staff that Do Not Disturb was not only the company’s newest room, but an example of the new direction that Breakout would be taking with their future rooms! Though we have enjoyed most of the rooms we’ve experienced at Breakout, a more technically focused and story driven room definitely sounded like a great step forward.

High Points:

Though still featuring basic letter and number locks, we could see that there was quite a bit more technological interactions to be had inside Do Not Disturb. The more theatrical production of the experience was certainly a new feature for the company, and the addition of a deeper story was a welcome evolution to their style. Many new and surprising interactions help the room become more immersive as we progressed, and lent a sense of mystery that can be lacking in more straightforward rooms. Once we began to twist further and further into the web of intrigue being spun by the kidnapper, a sense of urgency was fantastically portrayed, leading into an amazing climax and finale!

Low Points:

The room starts out slowly, which can lead to an enjoyable build towards a crescendo, but goes a bit too long and stumbles a few times before the adventure kicks into high gear. The aforementioned stumbles stemmed mostly from the times that the room contained highly specific clues that intentionally pointed us towards the wrong solutions, hanging us up even though we had solved the puzzle itself. Some players may also be put off by a certain complication during the end of the room. A highly linear experience, the room provided a good challenge for 3-4 players, but the maximum of 8 will be way too many to keep everyone engaged for most groups.

Verdict:

Do Not Disturb is an entertaining step forward for the Breakout brand, and though it does have it’s faults, I’m looking forward to how this new design philosophy shapes future rooms for the franchise! Definitely a lot of fun, I’d recommend beginners and enthusiasts alike giving it a shot! Chase down the kidnapper at your local Breakout here!

7.5/10 (Good)

Full disclosure: Breakout Games provided discounted tickets to our group.

Breakout Greensboro – Island Escape (Review)

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

Price: $25.99 per person

Players: 2-8 (We recommend 3-4)

Time to Escape: 60 Minutes

She’s gonna blow!

Theme:

You’re on the vacation of a lifetime on a beautiful tropical island when you start to feel a rumbling under your feet! You rush back to the beach to see what’s going on, and see that everyone has evacuated and the volcano in the distance is starting to put out ominous black smoke! You find a boat docked in the distance, but when you get to it, it’s covered in a series of locks. Figure out a way to get it unlocked and started so that you can get out of there before the volcano erupts!

First Impressions:

We’ve always had a good time at Breakout, and this was the place where most of my A-team met and started breaking out of rooms for the first time together! With a new regular member joining the fold, it seemed right to try out the two new rooms Breakout had on offer!

High Points:

There was a large variety of puzzles to solve throughout the room, which allowed for just enough non-linear puzzling to keep our group of 4 engaged with the flow. There were a couple original ideas sprinkled throughout that presented fun physical challenges and encouraged out of the box thinking. The theme itself was well presented and the set was fun to interact with. Our GM was also very attentive as we’ve come to expect from the Breakout brand. Though we had a very minor technical mishap, she handled it very well and kept us moving along expertly.

Low Points:

Even though Island Escape was new to Breakout Greensboro, it had been available at other Breakout chains for a while. It shows in the game design as this one is heavily reliant on black lights, tends to rely heavily on first generation design sensibilities, and packs several escape room cliches into the game flow. Not that this makes it a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, but it does end up feeling very dated, especially to a seasoned group of players. Air cannons were used during one point in the game, and were very loud in the enclosed space, which was unintentionally disorienting. The room was also very worn in places, with a few locks starting to have their letters wear off and the black light being fairly low on battery. Our group fit in the room comfortably, but I could not imagine a group of 8 being comfortable stuffed in there.

Verdict:

Though the experience is a more “classic” escape room game, it’s still a fun and challenging romp. I recommend trying out Island Escape when you have new players or just want to get back to basics with your escape adventuring! You can book your Island Escape at your local Breakout here!

7/10 (Good)

Full disclosure: Breakout Games provided discounted tickets to our group.

Breakout Greensboro – The Kidnapping (Review)

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

Price: $25.99 per person

Players: 2-7 (We recommend 4-5)

Time to Escape: 60 Minutes

Getting chained up with your friends has never been so fun!

Theme:

In the Kidnapping, you and your teammates have been abducted by a serial killer, chained to a bedframe, and left in a dank stone room. A video by the killer sparks to life on the wall, and he informs you that he’s decided to give you a sporting chance at escaping his dungeon, proving that yes, sometimes escape rooms are a tiny bit like SAW. If you enjoy light horror themes and rubber body parts are your thing, you’ll have a good time with this one.

General Thoughts:

Going in, I’d already been kidnapped by several serial killers, as it seems this is an epidemic among room escape enthusiasts. This was one of the better of that subgenre, though at the start, the room felt a bit sparse. Getting around at the beginning was, for us, a barrel of laughs, which surely lightened the mood a bit, so I wouldn’t worry overmuch about the room being scary, though if you’re hesitant about being blindfolded and handcuffed, this will happen at the start. It is, as usual, all in good fun. Puzzles were solid, but there were points at which the flow of the room was disjointed, as sometimes there was zero cluing pointing us toward what to work on. This was usually temporary, as Breakout has a policy of unlimited hints.

High Points:

Breakout puts out very well themed rooms and interactions, and the Kidnapping is no exception. The room felt dank, but had a deep dungeon-ish feel with it’s high black ceilings. The technology used in the room was fun, and held a few surprises that I really enjoyed. The searching was really well done, minus one item that was just sort of there. Everything was on theme and felt like it belonged in the room.

Low Points:

Early on, there was a search item that was hidden in a groan-worthy way, and the way it was found made little satisfying sense. One larger puzzle felt disjointed in it’s presentation, but the journey there and the puzzle it set up were fun, so it was a minor hiccup. The room was also dimly lit to begin with, but not in a bad way, but we were able to turn on the fluorescent lighting almost immediately, which took away from the mood considerably. It’s a minor gripe, however, and I know others will be delighted to know they won’t have to spend long in the mood lighting.

Verdict:

The Kidnapping is a solid room, with just a few speed bumps in the way. The puzzles and the theme are all on point, and customer service, is, as always, perfect. As Breakout is a franchise, their rooms are very polished and their GMs are always well trained in my experience. This is a great spot for beginners to get their feet wet, and enthusiast can have fun with the room, even if it hinges on the easier side of things. Book a Kidnapping at your local Breakout here!

8/10 (Great)