We can keep the handcuffs on, right?
A group of you have been wrongfully convicted of a crime you did not commit. You have been sentenced to a long prison term and all looks lost. You and your crew have been placed in a cell to start your ordeal of incarceration.
Suddenly a window of opportunity arises and you have an hour to escape and prove your innocence. Do you make it!!
We try and do rooms in locations that are close to different team members so that travelling is a bit more even, on this occasion Twyford was the perfect location and Prison Break was our chosen room. Situated in an old building that had a feeling of past grandeur (apparently it was an old officers mess hall) we were greeted by a member of staff and waited in the waiting room until our room was ready.
Our GM came and collected us from the waiting room (after we ate all the good sweets) and took us to a small themed waiting area just before the proper room. I particularly liked this because it meant we were starting to get immersed but we could start looking around for what to solve before time began. Then a slight twist, handcuffs! The five of us were handcuffed together, one as a two and the other as a three, straight away we knew our first challenge!
Even before we released ourselves from our handcuffs we could see the task that lay before us, and where we need to get to in order to secure our freedom. As everything was on show there were no surprises or ‘wow’ moments in this room, but that didn’t detract from the experience.
Prison rooms are pretty common place in the escape room world (like bank heists, zombie outbreaks, etc…) but there are so many variations on this theme that you can do a prison break room and it can be completely unique to other rooms. The area this room stood out on was not the puzzles, but the set design, and they did a good job of avoiding the readily done ‘split-start’ system.
Arguably this room is on the easier end of the spectrum and experienced teams won’t struggle with anything in it, and beginners should love it. There was a variety of puzzles which were all pretty much on theme, although one of the puzzles probably took a bit longer to piece together than we would have liked, and the last puzzle had an equal measure of logic and guess-work to solve it.
The easiest thing in the room really should have been getting out of the handcuffs, but I don’t know, perhaps we just enjoyed them so much that we didn’t think to just try the obvious solution right away.
Fortunately I’ve never been in jail so I can’t comment on how authentic this was, but there were handcuffs, bars, a toilet (don’t use it!) and bricks. It feel like a good amount of thought had gone into how to make this room more immersive and they did a good job. A prison themed room is never going to win any awards for beauty but this room was spot on.
The GM was very attentive and was keeping a close eye on us, although he fortunately didn’t see my party trick with the combination lock (see below). If we needed any clues they would have been delivered quickly via the screen in the room.
This was the first room where I actually managed to ‘pick’ a combination lock (thanks YouTube), and I was swiftly derided and told ‘it’s not in the spirit of the game’. Needless to say we still solved the puzzle but picking the lock actually slowed us down – lesson learnt.
Team: 5 players (escaped in 36:43)
Address: *New Address* 75 Milford Road, Reading, Berks, RG1 8LG