I have had plenty of fun being locked in a room before but never, like this! On a day out in Manchester that was supposed to be full of walking, culture and blue historical plaques, we soon found that not all great things are planned and that spontaneity (which is something I’m learning to quite like!) can sometimes end in glorious amounts of fun!
We parked in the Arndale centre unusually for us but then we don’t normally visit on a weekday and hadn’t planned on all the car parks being pretty full. We were heading for The Northern Quarter anyway so the Arndale seems like a logical car park to use. Never again – it was a total NCP rip off! You can get much cheaper secure parking in Manchester elsewhere that’s for sure.
We came out of the car park onto The High Street, where all of a sudden, my eyes did meet “Breakout” Now, I’ve wanted to go to “Breakout” (a live interactive puzzle room) for quite some time now and it’s always been a weekend or evening and booked up.
It was such a hot day and we hadn’t had lunch, so we decided to visit Ginger’s Comfort Emporium on the 2nd floor of Afflecks Palace. As we did I was still thinking about a “Breakout”
As we dived into the most delicious, award winning French Elvis and iced coffees, I decided to look online at “Breakout” As everywhere we went, we felt like we were melting, maybe walking around wasn’t such a good idea after all, (on the hottest day of the year so far) so why not go for being locked in a room for an hour?! Pretty normal, hey?
I logged into my iPad and quickly found the website. I browsed through the options and as 1st timers looked at 2 star difficulty rated rooms. These however were booked up. I then found “Identify” which was a 3 star difficulty rating. The description seemed fun (if finding the killer of one of your murdered friends can be fun!) “Your friend has been murdered! You know who did it, but the police do not believe you. In a desperate attempt to find justice you have invaded the killer’s lair in the hopes of finding the proof to bring the killer to justice. However, the maniac could return at any time. Gather the proof and send this killer to prison before he returns. Do you have what it takes to IDENTIFY this psychopath’s other victims?”
Fabulous, I thought and as luck would have it, it was available at 3pm. I booked it without letting on, otherwise we’d never have gone and would have been walking around looking at historical places getting dehydrated and sunburned. The total cost was £36, so £18 each for two of us. However, teams of 5 can play and that way the price reduces the more players you have. No matter how many of you there are up to a maximum of 5, the total cost would be £36. The prices do vary throughout the week and at weekends*
We arrived at 2.30pm as it was just too hot to be outside and we wanted to cool off before we started. You need to be there 10 minutes before your slot anyway. There was aplenty of seating and some fun puzzles to look at around the waiting room whilst you wait. It’s a great idea to look at these and not ignore them. That’s all I will say.
We were met by a lovely lady that said we could go in a bit earlier if we wanted to so we agreed to go for 2.45. Before she went in she explained the rules and health and safety. Basically, no cheating, but then you’d only be cheating yourself anyway and not to move anything large. This is a mental challenge not a physical one. She also explained that there were 4 CCTV cameras that she could use to see us to see how we were getting on and that there was a TV screen. When a telephone sound played, a clue would appear on the screen but not for long and we needed to look at it. She also said for the first 15 minutes she would not intervene with help or clues and just leave us find our feet. This must be one of the best jobs, to watch people desperately trying to work out clues, scratching their heads and panicking over ridiculous things. In fact the majority of her time watching us must have been spent belly laughing in her office and thinking she was watching an episode of “Laurel and Hardy” as apposed to ” Cagney and Lacey” the poor woman deserves a pay rise for putting up with the two of us in there!
We were ready to go. She took us to a door, and opened it. I wasn’t sure what to expect but basically, my yes popped with excitement as they were met with a brilliant scene that we were to spend the next hour in trying to find clues to catch our friend’s killer. The lady left and a few minutes later, the timer hour countdown began. That was it, we were off…the adrenaline pumped and the following hour, was quite literally so much fun and one of the fastest hours of our lives!
Other than that, I can’t tell you anything because I don’t want to spoil the secrets and surprises. I’d love to thrill and excite you with what happened in there but I simply can’t. You’ll have to take my word for it. I can however tell you, this is so much fun and in no way a waste of your time and money and I highly recommend being locked in a room here.
For two of us it was a challenge and as the clock gets to the final 10 minutes (if you’ve not broken out by then) the numbers are red and the music intensifies. This in turn, makes you rush as you’re desperate to “Breakout” We shamefully didn’t manage a “Breakout” but apparently and rather frustratingly only had 2 clues left to find. the lady also explained that Teenagers tend to do better than adults as we tend to over think things. There is a lot to be said for common sense going further than intelligence that’s for sure!
I thought at first we maybe didn’t have enough man power and needed a larger team but on thinking about this, I think that could have been a case of “too many cooks spoil he broth” Maybe a team of three next time! Or considering that only 50% of people Breakout, maybe we didn’t do that badly after all. Who am I trying to kid? We were pretty rubbish!
In all, we absolutely loved our experience here and talked about it all the way home. It really challenged us mentally and proved that as a team of two we are pretty good! If you’re looking for something fun to do in Manchester, whether you’re friends, family or colleagues, these live “Breakout” rooms are a definite must!
We can’t wait to return to a different room to see if we can succeed and “Breakout”
A huge 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ entertainment value rating from us without a doubt!
Although we were based at Breakout on High Street for this live room experience, there are other rooms at different sites around Manchester. They have rooms at Town Hall on Brazennose Street too.
*Cheapest time slots are Monday – Friday 10am to 5pm.
Friday 5pm – Sunday 10pm is peak time.