The last time Team Hydra was all together was Clue quest:Revenge of the Sheep. I had previously played Butcher, Heist and Sherlock’s despair and enjoyed the experience to varying degrees. It was a Friday night and after a couple of beers at Sed’s house we got the tube into town. We went to Bird again, a mid priced chicken burger joint, a few doors down.
We had a double bill booked (we couldn’t fit in Flying Dutchman) of War on Horizon Alpha and Blackwing’s Cave. These had been described as more high tech and less traditional than the previous three I had played. This made me slightly nervous because I like traditional games but after playing both I didn’t think they were particularly different to normal escape room. One day I will join the debate about different generation rooms (I think it’s mostly nonsense).
So first we played their Star Wars inspired ‘War on Horizon Alpha’. This was both the groups and my personal favourite of the evening. We got into it pretty quickly and made steady progress throughout. The puzzles were mostly logically based and connected in a coherent way. There wasn’t much opportunity to for search fails, which was of great benefit to our team. Instead logical observation was a key factor in success. Our progress slowed up towards to the end and we had to take a hint of the final puzzle. This coupled with what must have been a tech glitch left the exit of the room a rather anti climatic affair. Shame because this is an awesome game. The slightly retro space feel was a strong feature of the room and you genuinely felt immersed in the room.
We got into the Batman inspired room about 15 minutes after escaping Alpha. This game was a nice contrast to Alpha, in terms of feel. The bat cave was dark and the puzzles slightly harder to get into. They felt a bit more hit and miss than the previous game. One of the puzzles was skill based and that combined with the heavily linear nature of the game meant two of us sat down in the dark for about 7 minutes having a little chat. The ending again was a little bit weak. I had mixed feelings about this room. It wasn’t a bad room it just didn’t excite me. Maybe played in isolation I may have felt differently about the game but because it was played directly after a really strong room, I just felt a bit like…meh.
Breakin Escape Room is definitely the breakout company of the year but haven’t got it spot on yet. Their trip advisor reviews are generally excellent except for one rather suspicious “poor” post that seems like a personal grievance than a proper review. They certainly have the capacity to attract a strong corporate clientele and this is the perfect venue for a Christmas party or highend works outing. For the “ordinary person” it the perfect environment to get broken in, just make sure you have someone who can do a bit of maths. For the enthusiast it has strong and challenging games: Alpha, Sherlock and Heist.