You can check out, but you may never leave: The Crimson Lake Hotel at Breakout

In opening up their second site earlier this year, Breakout have recreated some of their most popular rooms...

By Alex Watson | Last updated 4 December 2019

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…and so we made it into a competition, naturally.

Generally, the storyline of the two rooms is the same and there are similarities between the puzzles and decor. This means you can use these rooms to go head-to-head against your friends or even yourself and try to smash your previous time into next week.

When we noticed that we could take Breakout and make it a friendly competition in the office we were immediately on the booking form. There’s nothing quite like a bit of competition is there!?

Breakout is perfect for it. You can choose one of their specially designed head-to-head rooms (RECLASSIFIED) or you can do as we’ve done and try one room in each of their sites (VACANCY or CAPTURED).

Ben Brown was captain of Team A and I took the reins of Team B. We headed down to Breakout to fight to the death, separating across the two venues in a race to be the first team back in the office. 

In both rooms, Vacancy, as the name suggests, is a creepy motel that you come across after an exhausting long journey. You get trapped in the room and an ominous 60 minute countdown begins, locking the door and meaning you can’t get out.

I do wonder if the song Hotel California had a part to play in the designing of this game, you can check out but you’ll never leave the Crimson Lake Motel… 

That is if you don’t break out of course. 

In both rooms of the Motel, you’ll find a truly revolting flower wallpaper, a creepy bed that you won’t want to check under the covers of and an old phone reminiscent of one at your nana’s house. Actually, the whole decor is sort of like your nan threw up on it. 

You’ll find the usual locks, calculators, cryptic images and plenty of other different sinister-looking puzzles, making them similar enough to go head to head against another team. 

I’m just going to tell you now because I’m sure you’ve already guessed, of course, my team got back to the office first. Let’s be honest now, what did you expect, I am the resident expert?!

Let’s let the other team shine for a bit though shall we? Heading up team A was BB completing Vacancy A on Church Street with 7:56 minutes to spare. Pretty good going for a 4-star room that usually has an exit rate of around 40%. 

I’ve heard it was almost detrimental to the work team spirit but worth it to get out with well over 5 minutes left. 

On the flip side of the chaos of the other team, was mine, the winning Team B. Completing the room swimmingly with just shy of 9 minutes to spare, we absolutely bloody smashed it. 

In fact, the hardest bit was to get everyone to run down Church Street on a busy Friday afternoon to get back to the office first. Everything else? Piece of piss. 

Extending the competition beyond just your time remaining and it actually being the first to get back to the office made the game excitement last even longer and added an extra element of surprise. I would recommend competing to be the first to the pub with the losers getting a round in. Everything is better when you’re running to the pub.

Anything with a sprinkling of competition is made better too, so next time you fancy giving Breakout a go, why not try one of these rooms and go head to head with your mates!


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Breakout Church Street, 51 Church Street, Manchester. M4 1PD
0161 839 8012