Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be locked in a room with only one way out and an hour to figure out how exactly to do it?
Well, that’s exactly what I got up to recently!
The first Escape Room experience I had was at Breakout Cardiff, and boy was it a great one! I had a bit of knowledge going in and I as very excited as I must have read hundreds of different descriptions for various rooms online along with watching a brilliant YouTube series (Escape!) to get an idea of what I could expect.
Breakout offers four different rooms, ranging in difficulty levels and with unique themes. There is Disturbed (4/5 difficulty), Classified (4/5 difficulty) – this one has two separate and identical rooms so you can compete against friends to see who can get out of their room first! There is a sequel to this room, if you follow the story, which is called Sabotage and a level 5 difficulty rating. While these all sound amazing, my group decided to go for a slightly easier room for our first time, Cursed Carnival, 3/5 difficulty.
I have to admit, whist I was very tempted to try out Disturbed, Cursed Carnival did sound the most exciting at the time and I couldn’t be more happy with our choice. Breakout allow teams of 2-5 people so I decided to take my two best friends, making us a team of three. One of the great things about the three of us is that we all think in very different ways and have unique ways at looking at things so if one of us found something hard to figure out, it was likely that another would be able to get there eventually, which, as it turned out, was a pretty accurate theory.
Of course, I don’t want to give away too much about Cursed Carnival as this would spoil the surprise for anyone who wants to go and give it a go themselves, so I’ll keep it simple. The theme was extremely fun and whilst there was a creepy element to it via the backstory, it was generally a pretty colourful and entertaining room to play through – definitely one I would recommend if you’re taking kids! The main way of progressing through the game is finding codes, keys and patterns to unlock boxes that are full of something else to help progress the game. Throughout the room, you’ll find puzzles, codes, visual clues and more and it involves a lot of different ways of thinking and a lot of searching through things.
My group and I worked really well together and I think it helped to bring us closer together. Each of us did really well at a couple of things each and we all helped out and worked very efficiently. We managed to breakout with a little less than 15 minutes on the clock and only needed one clue in the end, which one of my friends figured out just as the clue was delivered. So, I think we did pretty well for our first time.
With each room, you’re not truly locked in, if you need a bit of fresh air, a bathroom break or anything else, you are able to exit and re-enter, however, the clock doesn’t stop and it’s obviously not advisable to leave unless you really have to. There will be a monitor in your room that counts down your remaining time and will show you clues if you start to struggle. There is also disabled access to the building as they are on the first floor.
The waiting area needs a quick mention as it was full of fun little puzzles, Rubik’s Cubes, locks that will appear in your game (along with instructions on how they work) and was all around, a pretty fun area to wait in. Our host was absolutely brilliant and needs a shout out for sure. He was so bubbly and energetic and it certainly rubbed off on as as we got even more excited about entering the room. He was very friendly and approachable and explained everything in great detail and he was just as excited for us when we broke out as we were!
So! If you’re looking for something new and fresh to do in Cardiff, even on a rainy day, I cannot recommend Breakout Cardiff enough!
Out of all of the locations I researched in the area, Breakout was the cheapest one (it changes price depending on the number of players, but still remains the cheapest).
I thought the theme was really fun and engaging and I loved the little back story we got just before being locked in – it really helped to set the scene for us and immerse ourselves in the story.
Whilst I really enjoyed the copious props used and the effort that went into finding the perfect items and decorating the walls etc. I feel like the ceilings and floors could have been improved slightly. It might not have been the most realistic room I’ve played, but it’s definitely the most atmospheric (which counts for a lot in my book!)
As I mentioned before, I cannot praise the staff enough, through the booking process and the host we had on the day – everyone involved seems genuinely happy to be there and doing their job which is brilliant to see. I always leave a place with a spring in my step when the staff make a point of brightening your day and being friendly. It makes the whole experience seem more personal.
Adrenaline meter: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
We were really hyped for the rest of the evening and couldn’t stop talking about it. If you want to be buzzing from excitement too, book your room here and give Breakout Cardiff a like on Facebook. Breakout Cardiff is located at Unit 9a, The Brewery Quarter, Caroline Street, Cardiff CF10 1FG.
Have you been to an escape room before? If so, what was your experience like? Let us know in the comments!
All images are taken from Breakout Cardiff’s Facebook page. A big thank you to the Breakout team for providing press passes for the room.
Click here for the next Sprout Editorial Group meeting:
It’s free and quick to comment below but we recommend signing up with your email or as a guest to keep usernames Sprouty and anonymous (and never post personal details!).
If you want more info on staying safe online, check out our online safety section.