Southampton, May 2017
Each game at Exciting Escapes is set in, and themed for, a specific decade, and Breaking The Law is their 70s game. While that’s an era sometimes remembered for cheerless economic depression, I found this game to be joyously fun and my personal favourite of the three at the venue.
The aim of the game is to find a briefcase of evidence locked in the office of a corrupt detective. Some aspects of the game I’ll have to skirt around for spoiler reasons, but a central challenge described in the pre-game briefing is that the office contains a security camera that must be deactivated before you pass in front of it.
This restriction gives rise to a brilliant set of tasks, mostly of a more physical nature, that somehow conveyed a slightly slapstick or farcical feel to the game – in an entirely positive, entertaining way.
A few more basic number-code style puzzles are weaker compared to the rest of this game, but are of a perfectly acceptable standard. We got badly stuck on one of these, with each of the four of us staring at it for ages before deciding that it didn’t make any sense and probably we needed more information from somewhere to solve it… and embarrassingly the solution turned out to be perfectly straightforward and reasonable.
It’s a game that begins well, ends on an adrenaline high, and packs in a great deal of entertainment in between. I’d describe it as both the most physical and the most light-hearted of the three Exciting Escapes games. With four players it felt a little cramped at times, so I’d recommend a team of two or three – not least because some of the most fun bits are hard to share out across a larger number of players, and you wouldn’t want to miss out.
The leaflets we found strewn around the room seemed to be authentic Metropolitan Police material, printed in the right era – and combined with other decoration and furniture items gave the room a strong 70s London feel. It’s easy to take some “period” furniture and put it in a room – but these rooms were clearly built with care and attention to detail.