If you’re regular readers of Average Joes, you’ll know that one our favourite ways to spend our evenings in the Big Smoke these days has been by attending one of the capital’s numerous escape games. This weekend we played one with a difference. Not only was it located in a disused tube station and former air raid shelter, we also planned to propose to our girlfriend for the finale.
Yes, on Saturday we had more nerves than usual heading into our latest escape room. And by ‘nerves’ we mean ‘full on panic attacks.’ The room in question is Camden’s Mission: Breakout and their Codebreakers game.
And while this review will probably contain plenty of bias thanks to the successful marriage request *SPOILER ALERT*, Mission: Breakout is easily the most awe-inspiring setting we’ve seen from an escape room in London. Located in the old South Kentish Town station which closed in 1924, original features remain and Breakout’s dedication to authenticity is evident from the minute you walk down the spiral steps.
If you’re not entirely sure what an escape room is, think Crystal Maze with a bit of Saw thrown in (obviously not all the blood and loss of limbs). To be more descriptive, an escape game is a physical adventure game in which you and a group of friends are locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve puzzles, codes and locks, and escape within a set time limit – virtually always 1 hour.
The Codebreakers game is based on the extraordinary true story of the very confidential Codebreakers. Your mission, as put to you by a man on film claiming to be none other than Winston Churchill himself is to decode the secret messages of the Nazis, escape the room and save the World. Not half as daunting as a proposal, we can assure you.
First thing’s first, the concept of this escape game was coherent, apt and was carried out to a level we’ve not seen yet in the capital. The setting helps, of course, but the attention to detail – from the wearing of WW2 overcoats to authentic items in the waiting room – was more than impressive. Having Churchill address you and give you a pep talk was also very welcomed, though maybe for different reasons than usual!
The game itself is heavily based on codes and decrypting messages – the clue is very much in the title in that sense – and while it’s winnable, it is one of the more difficult games we’ve played with only a 30% success rate. For that reason, we’d maybe not recommend it for first timers. Plus, you won’t experience grandeur like it at any other game after – we wouldn’t want Mission: Breakout spoiling future games.
As for the proposal, we couldn’t have asked for anything more from David and the guys at Mission: Breakout. From minute one they were communicative, enthusiastic and came up with plenty of ideas to make the moment as special as possible. Not only were we allowed to leave personalised items around the room, without giving the game away, the whole ending was changed to make the proposal happen.
When we exited the game, we were greeted with a warm embrace and champagne flutes. Not only that, we received a text message from David, the director of Mission: Breakout. He’d been watching on a live stream on the other side of the world and had sent over some photos of the moment. We were completely overwhelmed at how much effort they went to.
In short, thank you Mission: Breakout. For everything.
Mission: Breakout is located at 141-145 Kentish Town Road, NW1 8PB. Prices for a game start at £20 per player depending on when you go, making it one of the cheaper games in London. A bargain basically. Head over to the Mission: Breakout London Website for more details and to check booking availability.