Please mind the gap between the escape room and the puzzles

Mission: Breakout – Codebreakers

I am not going to lie, I was very excited to go to Mission Breakout. The venue is an abandoned tube station (very exciting for a Londoner to be in a tube station not full of commuters) it also advertises itself heavily on Facebook as well as appearing in numerous London centric lists of must-do escape rooms.

Though it’s in a tube station, the room itself is themed around code breaking and WW2. It’s a bit of a waste of a location, but they have opened another room which is tube themed so I can let them off. The opening brief highlights the possibility of a traitor and mention our task is to get the enigma machine running again. There is a bit of immersion attempted as you don military jackets and get a briefing from a guy who looks a bit like Winston Churchill (for obvious reasons it’s not the real one)

Not only is the venue cool, but the set design is outstanding. There is quite a bit to do and some really neat hiding places for objects. Given that it’s a part of their room description and in their video advertising, it’s not a spoiler to say they have created an enigma machine of sorts which takes up an entire wall and is an impressive sight.

Sadly for the room, the puzzles whilst impressive looking are for the most part, awful, and really skirt the definition of the word puzzle. In the first half of the game, most of them are just trial and error. Constantly just guessing at where a cable goes, or guessing what order to press buttons in is boring and not exactly challenging. The enigma machine comes with a long confusing rule-book and ends up feeling like an exam and when they follow through on the traitor story line all it does it create confusion so you all have to endure a weird few moments for something that is then never mentioned again.

A sad case of looks great, plays bad. The atmosphere of the venue really gets you in the mood to play but it’s a room that will slowly grind you down and seems to be missing the finishing touch you would expect given all their advertising. If you want to feel clever whilst not actually doing much, then Codebreakers may be for you. For me, I probably won’t be back to do their other room.

About Danny Hooper

Hi, my name is Danny I am a game designer and puzzle enthusiast living in London who can often can be found drawing stickmen, playing board games or thinking about burgers. Growing up with two brothers gave me an over competitive nature which comes in really handy for my main hobby - doing escape rooms. I've done these across the world, winning competitions and setting numerous records along as the way as well as maintaining a 100% record of escaping. My favourite games and puzzles often include numbers or abstract colours and patterns and I recently learnt how to escape a straight jacket (which came in handy surprisingly quickly)

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