You're driving back from a nice weekend away, but it's getting late and you're struggling to keep your eyes open.
You spy a hotel in the distance, sure it looks a bit run-down but there’s nothing else in the area. You bite the bullet and head in, and here begins Breakout’s devilishly difficult room – Vacancy.
We’re all pretty familiar with the situation, with films like Psycho, The Shining and Hostel pretty much nailing the fear and disorientation that you feel when you’re in somewhere unfamiliar and there’s something sinister going on.
As we descended the stairs of Breakout’s Northern Quarter site, our team was excited but also understandably nervous as none of us knew what to expect. We had ever done an escape room before and we were all a mixed bag of bravado, piss and vinegar.
As we entered the ‘hotel’ we were faced with a small hallway and a tiny bedroom. In an effort not to give all of the puzzles and tasks away I obviously won’t go into too much detail, but it was immediately clear that we were disastrously inexperienced for what was in store.
The theme of ‘Vacancy’ follows that similar ‘locked in a hotel room’ trope that we’ve all seen, and as such it’s vital for your survival that you find the various keys, locks and clues that will allow you to get out of the room before you’re inevitably horribly murdered (well, when the timer runs out).
There’s a mixed bag of difficult and taxing tasks, as you go from room to room in the hotel room – eventually ending up in a bloody and filth stained bathroom, fingers firmly down a plug hole fishing out a key.
There are quite a few puzzles that go nowhere, and A LOT of things that are easily overlooked – so if I was to give you some advice it would be to go slow, be methodical and if something doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere – move on.
It must be said that our team was very mediocre in the solving of said clues. Some things we bossed – others we just sat there looking dopey until we got a well-needed clue.
We did actually manage to get out of the hotel room though – much to our surprise – with 8 minutes left – much more impressive than the other Finest team that was trying another room at the time.
Vacancy is a 4* room in terms of difficulty (out of 5) so perhaps we weren’t as inept as I thought we were.
I must admit that the satisfaction of finally escaping, as well as solving some of the more difficult problems was immense and even though our team working skills probably took a bit of a knock, it was still a very enjoyable experience indeed.
Breakout Chuch Street, 51 Church Street, Manchester. M4 1PD
0161 839 8012