If you go down in the woods today, take a sizable team!
A portal has been discovered that leads through to another world. The realm is under the control of a dark enchantress, and the forest sleeps. Can you wake it, and find a rare blue gem before the enchantress and make your escape?!
Our final room at Break Escape was to be their newest room, The Enchanted Forest. So far we’d played Sands of Time, Nerve Klinik, and Boiling Point, this was the last game needed to complete the clean sweep of Break Escape and as it was their newest game, we knew literally nothing about it.
Unlike the previous three games we played here, our GMs for The Enchanted Forest were the double team of Ellie and Jamie. They performed the health and safety briefing (which we knew far too well by now) by the lockers in the hallway, then we navigated the corridors before we were standing outside the entrance to The Enchanted Forest. While outside the room, they proceeded to explain our mission and what we were there to do. It’s worth paying close attention to this briefing as there are extra missions to complete, should you choose to.
Briefing complete, the door opened and we entered what could best be described as a scene right out of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Covid Precautions: We were told that we didn’t have to wear masks if we didn’t want to (we did), none of the staff wore masks. Hand sanitiser was provided in places, although some dispensers were empty. Additional Ozone disinfecting machines were in use in some areas.
One thing you really can’t fault this game on is the effort that Break Escape have gone to with their room design, it’s called The Enchanted Forest and it certainly feels magical, C.S. Lewis would be proud. But if I had to use one word to describe this room, other than magical, then ‘overwhelming’ would certainly fit. There was so much going on and so much to take in that it was hard to know where to start.
The room starts off pretty nondescript and for lack of a better word, dull. However that soon changes and once you go through the portal (it’s a very fun portal) that’s where everything takes a turn and they turn the aesthetics up to 11. I love rooms that are pretty and filled with colours and lights, and just general nice things, so I instantly felt comfortable here, and if it wasn’t for the sheer overwhelming aspect of it all, I’d have probably been quite relaxed (especially with the ambient music that was playing).
The Enchanted Forest starts off in a very linear manner (and quite cosy space wise) but soon opens up into a non-linear, massive open space game. Normally we find that a team of two is perfect for rooms, but this is a game where a bigger team will likely help and there is plenty to keep everyone occupied.
There were a lot of different puzzle types in this game; maths, logic, wordplay, audio, observation, decoding, and searching. This was a very search heavy game and some of the searching was very sneaky (perhaps unfair?), one item that we were looking for was very well hidden and I’m positive that we would never have found it without a clue. There was also another puzzle type that we loathe, especially in escape rooms, so this didn’t help us with feeling love for the game.
Most of the puzzles were related to the theme and fitted in well, but there were a few ‘extra’ puzzles which you could choose to complete or not that felt a little out of place. These were physical puzzles which if completed, took some minutes off your final end time. I imagine this is great for bigger teams as it ensures that everyone has something to work on, but personally we weren’t a big fan of at least one of them that felt impossible and really just added to our frustrations (we’re completionists).
The premise behind the room is that we had to collect a number of eggs to get the forest spirits to release the gem, so as you may expect, puzzles normally resulted in eggs being found. Prior to releasing the eggs there was a mix of padlocks and ‘magic’. Despite there being a number of padlocks, the signposting on them was decent so we had a pretty good idea of what went where. The magic wasn’t overly magical, but it was done in a way that keeps things simple and removes any potential issues with tech going wrong – I’d imagine kids would still find it impressive though.
Our gamesmasters, Ellie and Jamie were on standby should we have needed help (and we certainly did). They would provide cryptic clues that were usually just cryptic enough to get us on track without giving away the answer – although clues for one puzzle that we really weren’t getting were far too cryptic.
I say clues were delivered by Ellie and Jamie, but that wouldn’t be strictly true, technically they were delivered by some wise forest owls (who sounded remarkably similar to Ellie and Jamie). If we needed a clue, all we had to do was ask, and they would happily chirp in with assistance.
I don’t know if it was because we were tired or hungry, but we struggled to click with this game. It was pretty and impressive, but the puzzles, particularly the search element, just left us feeling deflated.
If you only get to play one game at Break Escape, then this is the game we would probably recommend, although Nerve Klinik would likely be a close second.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 49mins (46mins with the bonus)
Address: 58/59 Baxter Gate, Loughborough, LE11 1TH