Don’t let it go BOOM!
You and your team are tasked with defusing a bomb planted deep inside a police station. Hold your nerve, be patient, but also react quickly to make sure Boiling Point doesn’t get the better of you! You must hurry before time runs out and find the evidence to make your escape.
We visited Break Escape on Day Two of our post-lockdown escape room roadtrip/binge. The key to a successful multi-game day is most definitely coffee and cake (or in Gordon’s case, hot chocolate and cake), so having broken out of the tomb in Sands of Time and surviving the horrors of Nerve Klinik, it was time for a break! But not for long, for next up on the list, was Boiling Point.
I was a bit surprised to learn that Boiling Point was actually set in a police station, not least because I kept calling it “Boiler Room” (and continue to recheck that I haven’t done it again as I type this.) So once we were successfully sugared and caffeinated, we returned to the cosy reception area of Break Escape to wait for our chance to defuse a bomb. It wasn’t long before Tim and Ally returned to lead us once more up the stairs, where we stashed our stuff in the provided lockers, and proceeded to learn what our mission was, as we stood outside the “police station.”
Covid-19 Procedures: NHS Track and Trace was in use at Break Escape, and there were hand sanitising stations throughout the public spaces. Break Escape have installed ozone air purifiers throughout the venue and games should undergo a cleaning regime between teams. Start times are staggered to hopefully keep teams from crossing over in reception. The company’s website states that temperatures will be checked upon arrival, although ours were not. At the time we played (May 2021) we were informed that masks were optional (we chose to keep ours on), and our hosts were not wearing PPE.
Of course, with all of the police busy looking for these domestic terrorists, it was up to us to save the day. However, not being actual members of the police force, our first task was to perform a little B&E, and find a way into the Commissioner’s office. Once we were through to the office, the game opened up, with a few parallel puzzle paths, and plenty of things to explore, although little seemed to fit into the theme (more on that later). The Commissioner’s office was well appointed, and the game took us on an interesting journey as we progressed through to the game, to finally find the bomb, and identify the culprits.
The discovery of the bomb ramped up the tension, but once it was defused, the finale fell just a little flat. I’m not sure if it’s because the story just didn’t make much sense. Although set in a police station, Boiling Point can’t quite figure out if it’s a break-in, bomb defusal, or who-dunnit, and this lack of definition in the theming means that the immersion is lacking, despite a well decorated set and some cool props. On the plus side though, I quite enjoyed some of the puzzles.
Boiling Point had two main tasks: find and defuse the bomb, and gather the evidence and identify the terrorists, and puzzles revolved around either one or the other of those tasks. Unsurprisingly for an escape room, there was a bit of searching needed (with one rather sneaky hiding place that is oh so common, and I miss every time!), but the puzzles themselves were varied in type with plenty of unique tasks that were based on observation, spatial relations, codes, and more, and utilised both traditional padlocks and some clever hidden tech to keep players engaged. There were plenty of great “Ah-ha!” moments to be had, and rarely did we encounter any frustration. One puzzle in particular was an interesting take on an escape room classic, and I loved it, particularly as it proved even more complex than we initially thought.
Of course, no puzzle game would be complete without a bit of logical deduction, and Boiling Point (yes, I had to correct that one too) had that in spades thanks to the secondary task of gathering the evidence and identifying the terrorists.
Clues were delivered in Boiling Point using the escape room standby: a screen in the room. However, Break Escape have attempted to up the immersion by working clues through a screen into the story. For you see, clues do not come from a GM, but rather an outside contact that has hacked into the police computers.
Tim and Ally were our GMs (sorry, hackers) once again for Boiling Point, our third game at Break Escape. And they were equally as adept at knowing when to pop through a clue the third game in as they were in the first. Perhaps we were allowed to languish for a little longer than strictly necessary when we lost momentum due to a search fail, but since we had loads of time when this happened, I’d be inclined to think this was purposefully done to give us a chance to work out on our own that we had missed something key. (We wouldn’t have, though, so luckily we weren’t left too long.)
While Boiling Point is probably not the game that I would be most likely to recommend to anyone that only had time for one Break Escape game, it was my second favourite of the four we played at the venue, and would be my recommendation for those that love a decent puzzle game, provided you don’t mind a slightly odd story line.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 47:46
Address: 58/59 Baxter Gate, Loughborough, LE11 1TH