Brussels Escape Review: Let Me Out

This is part of a series of articles on games in Brussels – click here for the introduction and links to all the other articles.

Situated on the edge of the city centre, Let Me Out has a very independent and home-made feel to it. Inside, there’s a large, comfy waiting space where you’re greeted by friendly staff. The introductions were given in character, with a different costume for each game.

We really enjoyed our time here, with each game being that little bit better than the last and the overall experience being very good indeed.

Prison (3.5 stars)

Controversially, this prison game doesn’t involve handcuffs or split teams. Apart from that, it’s a fairly standard prison scenario, with players locked inside a cell and having to escape. As usual with prison games, there was a very bare feeling to the room, but at least they had a nice twist to the escape that made it a little more interesting than many other prison games I’ve played. On the downside, they seemed to have an obsession with crumpled-up pieces of paper, which made the room feel messy and not much fun to search. Indeed, so little fun was it that we kind of gave up on searching, which caused us to miss a critical clue.

That missing clue meant that we got stuck on one part for a very long time. What a shame, because we were in a nice groove up to that point, and that feeling was replaced with frustration. The GM actually refused to give us a clue because he felt we could still solve it and we were so ahead of schedule. In the end, we fluked our way to a key piece of information which put us back on track. Crisis averted.

Story-wise, there’s a tiny bit more to the game than you’d expect given the genre, but really it is just a jailbreak scenario.

Spaceship (4 stars)

After being deposited in the airlock by our NASA captain, we quickly made our way into the ship proper, which definitely impressed. Lots of effort had gone into creating a pretty game that really made you feel like you were in a spacecraft – complete with captain’s chair. The start of the game, the airlock (or was it a shuttle pod?), was the only place which felt a little bit odd. I couldn’t quite work out what they were trying to convey – maybe they’d started with it being mission control and then changed their mind?

The puzzles were enjoyable and varied, with some directed UV (thank you!), some simple decoding and some more physical interactions. At times, there was some ambiguity, but overall it all seemed logical enough. While the puzzles weren’t structured in a way that could give you a clear picture of your progress, you could make a decent guess at what puzzles were available and mentally tick them off as you solved them. There was a little bit of searching, though not much. We almost missed one find because we felt that we might be accessing a part of the set where we really weren’t meant to go – my advice would be to do whatever searching you want and just be gentle.

Finally, be careful rushing round the space. Two of us came out with bruises from bumping into the same door mechanism. Not a big deal but, if half our team managed to do it, I’m sure others will too!

Alice in Wonderland (4.5 stars)

Split rooms are notoriously difficult to get right. If you keep people apart too long, they get frustrated. If they join up too quickly, it’s pointless. If one half of the room has more to do than the other, they get jealous. Of all the split games I’ve played, I think this may have done the best job of handling that. There were puzzles you could solve on your own and puzzles where you needed help from the other side; and, just as I was starting to think it would be nice to be reunited, we solved the puzzle that joined the teams up.

And they were good puzzles, too. With a story that includes references to cards and time, there’s a natural way to get some of the standard escape room puzzle elements into the room, and they used them to good effect. That’s not to say they stuck to basic puzzles – whether you want some teamwork, observation, physical puzzles or even one requiring a modicum of skill, you’ll be well served. I particularly enjoyed one multi-stage puzzle where it wasn’t obvious what we’d end up with but at each stage we could see what the next step would be.

The real highlight in this room, though, was the set design. It’s a pretty space to be in, with plenty of Alice references to keep you immersed, but the real cleverness comes with the way they modified the geometry of the game. I don’t want to give too much away but, if you’re lucky enough to start in the Rabbit Hole side, as I was, then I think you’ll really feel like you lived the story.

That’s all on Let Me Out – want to read more about Brussels games? Click here to head back to the main Edinburgh page.

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