Growing up, the Crystal Maze was the best thing since sliced bread. Aside from Fun House, it was the one game show I dreamt of being on one day when I was a "grown up". Something about it appealed to my competitive streak, and I knew that one day, I wanted to be there, taking part in one of the games rooms myself.
I'd heard the name Breakout Liverpool floating on the web for a little while, and was a little intrigued. The concept of being locked in a room for an hour in the hope of solving puzzles and answering clues to help you escape seemed entirely up my street. So when they got in touch asking if I would like to take part in one of their live escape rooms, in my head, it was like striking gold!
Heading down to Sir Thomas Street one Friday evening, I couldn't help but be filled with giddy anticipation. Descending down the set of steps that led in to Breakout and taking our seats in the waiting room, neither Ryan or I knew what to expect. Basking in the electric atmosphere, we waited with baited breath for our name to be called, eagerly awaiting what lay in store.
The room we were attempting to escape from was Shipwrecked, which as the name might suggest, was pirate themed. After a quick introduction and explanation from one of the lovely staff members (games masters), we tucked our belongings in a corner, took a deep breath, and the clock was started.
Good grief do you get immersed in the atmosphere. From start to finish I honestly felt like Cpt'n Jackie Sparrow. As the timer counted down, the more and more engrossed in the setting Ryan and I became. The attention to detail was just incredible, and you really did feel like you were part of a pirate crew. We both got so into the game that the time just few by, and the closer and closer it got to the 60 minute mark, the more competitive we became....
...Only to be scuppered by the last few puzzles. As the timer counted down the last few seconds we knew we were done for. When the game was over, our games master came in and explained to us what we had missed, which just seemed so obvious afterwards. With just a slightly clearer head, and less flapping over the time, we would have got there. Ah it was so frustrating!
|Image: Breakout Liverpool Facebook page|
Our hour in Breakout Liverpool was honestly one of the most fun things I have ever done. All the way in to the city centre and all the way through dinner we could not stop talking about it. It was great fun with the two of us, but I think next time we'd go as a larger party for the simple fact that four heads in this situation might be a lot better than two. There were some seriously hilarious moments that had us howling, especially thinking about how silly we must have looked. But at the time, what we were doing made so much sense!
Although I'm not going to give anything away about our room, I did want to share some tips I think are great little points to remember whilst you play:
- Look, lift, search and sift through everything.
- When in doubt, go over things again.
- Say what you are thinking, even if it sounds silly. It just might help you out.
- Wear cool clothing. You will get hot. And flustered. Especially when the timer is against you.
- Try and take a step back every now and again. You get so caught up in the moment that rational thinking can go out the window.
If you're looking for something new to do in Liverpool, Breakout definitely gets five stars as an alternative evening activity. With rooms of varying difficulties there is something for everyone and if you don't quite make it with one room, you can always go back and try again with another. Ryan and I are already planning which room to do next. As the perfect real-life blend of Nightmare and The Crystal Maze, it brings elements of the very best game shows growing up in an affordable, accessible and immensely enjoyable way.
Only question is - which room would you choose?
* I was very kindly given the chance to head to Breakout Liverpool with Ryan free of charge in exchange for a blog review on JAG. This in no way affects my opinions. They are always 100% honest and driven by my experiences.