Outside the room
Ah, Breakout Liverpool. How do I hate thee? The last time I was here I lost a perfect record, and my London team mates have never let me live it down. It was a fair, albeit tough, game and I’m not one to shy away from a challenge, so I’d booked in for round two. This time we’d booked into Wanted, which billed itself as a similar level of difficulty. I’ve had a lot more experience since then though, and I fancied my chances…
I was particularly curious about this game, because it has what I believe is a unique feature in the UK; you can play it in one of two modes: Cowboys or Indians. Indians is considered to be the hardest game in the Liverpool franchise, with a 9% escape rate so, given our previous result here, we opted for Cowboys. OK, occasionally I shy away from a challenge!
Our host this time round was Catherine. Usually I wouldn’t namecheck a host at a place like this, but she stood out for sheer enthusiasm and genuinely made the game more fun. Hold on to this one, Breakout! Without wishing to give the impression we’re obsessed with toilets, once again they weren’t available, but this time it was because they were being refitted. Fingers crossed that the annoyance for us will be of benefit to you!
The Cowboys and Indians got roaring drunk in the saloon last night and ended up in a fight. You’ve awoken this morning still in the saloon with a huge hangover and a feeling that you should get the hell out of Dodge as soon as possible. You’re a cowboy though, and that means you need your gun, which seems to have disappeared so, before you head out, you’re going to have to search the place and retrieve it.
Inside the room
My first impression on walking into this room was pretty good. There’s a proper bar, plenty of cowboy hats and some pretty impressive saddles on display. First impressions, though, aren’t always right. On looking a bit closer, the room was a refurbished industrial kitchen which meant the sinks and fridges were modern stainless steel, which ruined the illusion somewhat.
As I said above, this is a dual mode game, which they handle by colour-coding the locks. If the lock’s red, then you can safely assume it’s a cowboy one. At first I found this quite annoying – I’d see lots of locks and have to remind myself that they were irrelevant, but soon you stop even noticing the non-red ones and get into the swing of it.
There are a reasonable number of puzzles in the game – far fewer than we encountered in Classified I think – but they’re mostly a bit samey. Nothing’s high tech in this room, which I guess is on theme, but it means that those samey puzzles leave you feeling a little disappointed. Nothing really excited me, and no puzzles were really new.
There’s not really a lot more to write about the room, so I’ll give you a couple of anecdotes to amuse you. Firstly, a fair way into the game, we spent a couple of minutes trying to decode one of the puzzles. We couldn’t quite make it work, so decided we’d continue on and come back to it. As I turned round I noticed a six-foot-high glass-fronted cupboard that we’d failed to see since coming into the room. I’m not sure quite how that’s possible, but it was a little embarrassing, and I’m just grateful they didn’t have to give us a clue.
Next up, we were trying to open a lock and I’d come to the conclusion that the code would be related to a specific prop. I played with it for a couple of minutes, coming up with ever more convoluted ideas of how we might use it to produce a code. Eventually Mrs Logic managed to wrest control from me and after a few moments of looking at it, she asked “do you think it could be this number that’s written on the side…”.
We got out with 17 minutes to spare. I’m always stressed in Breakout rooms, because of my earlier failure, and so every time we got blocked I really thought we were blowing our chances. Three or four clues helped get us unstuck though, and we flowed through the rest of the room without too much trouble.
This is a journeyman of rooms. It does the job – you won’t get anything flash, but you’ll get some puzzles that are solvable. There are enough, but not a huge number, and it felt quite linear. It’s an interesting idea to have two games in one room, but I suspect it was because they realised the room was a bit too big for one group, but not possible to use for two, and this was a convenient way of taking advantage of the extra space. They certainly didn’t seem to have done anything clever with it (although who knows – maybe Indians has something tucked up its sleeve).
Finally, to answer the question I’d always had – will it help you in Indians if you’ve played Cowboys? A little, I think. At the very least you’ll have an idea of what not to search, and you’ll know the layout of the room. Maybe. And at least you won’t get envious the second time – there were some “Indians” padlocks that I’d really like to have opened, because it looked like they hid something interesting!
Detailed Room Ratings