Breakin’ Escape Games: Butcher’s Lair

London, Feb 2017

Rated between 3.5 and 4 out of 5
Many games have a horror / psycho theme, and typically they go for darkness, dirt, and gruesome props. While Butcher has plenty of blood and bits, it’s a surprisingly cerebral game. Self-contained in a brightly lit room with a clinical feel, this game is all about the puzzles.
As with the other Breakin’ games, the puzzles fit the theme and help build on it, with a few more abstract ones mixed in. It doesn’t have a major skill-based puzzle in the way that most of their other rooms do. Puzzles may be time-consuming to solve, but once figured out they don’t take time to apply the solution. Since it also uses a mostly linear structure, and gives reasonably clear guidance on which elements to focus on at which point, an unusually high proportion of a team’s time in this room is likely to be spent on trying to work out puzzles – as opposed to, say, searching, deciding which elements are relevant, or implementing a solution – and I think it’s that that gives it its intellectual feel.
Teams may struggle to get going, but once found the starting point is very pleasing, and entirely fair. Also worth mentioning is probably my favourite moment of the game, a very visceral puzzle later on with a (signposted) penalty for making a mistake, which for me gave a good additional edge of tension.
This isn’t a game that will terrify you senseless, but it is a high quality sequence of puzzles; well-themed, challenging and satisfying to play through. 4 / 5
This was a fun but fairly normal room (especially compared to the other Breakin’ rooms). The decor was appropriate although not spectacular, and there were some nice puzzles; the sound effects were also appropriate in places. However overall the puzzles and locks were generally standard. 3.5 / 5

Want another opinion? This room has also been reviewed by the following fine blogs:

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