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Breakout is one of the fastest expanding escape chains you’ll find in North America today. With several dozen locations throughout the country, you’ll probably be doing one of their rooms sometimes soon if you’re an enthusiast. One of their rooms is Hostage. You and your teammates are passengers on a hijacked airplane; unfortunately for you, you are kidnapped and held as hostages in a room together with their ominous plans that you need to piece together and use to escape!

Players are blindfolded and led into the game before being handcuffed to a bench. Then, you’re instructed to remove your blindfolds at the end of the set up story that’s played. A couple of us were a bit confused by this choice: the set up was an extremely well-made video clip (which you can find online), which was a bit of a shame to waste on blindfolded captives. That being said, being blindfolded is also a great way to immerse players deeper into any kidnaping plot, so we can see why they went the way they did. The parking at Breakout is plentiful too. And even though they’re on the 3rd floor of their mall complex, they’re right next to the elevator for fast and easy access.

The room was well themed, well put together, and appropriately sized. Although we weren’t super clear on exactly what the room was (but to be fair, what kidnapping victims are?) the room seemed to be some sort of planning site or info hub for the hijackers. While there were many laminated sheets, all of the room was well constructed. Everything worked as hoped. The set pieces were solid and sturdy, allowing the gameplay to run along smoothly. There was a fair bit of technology incorporated into the room too and it all worked like a charm.

The prop design and room design were great enough to provide a decently immersive experience. Airplane schematics, database towers, and scattered newspaper clippings add a lot to the feeling of uncovering a hijacking plot. The story, like many escape rooms, was easily missed if you aren’t a fan of reading expositional text. As a result, the puzzles and experience could’ve been more immersive if the story was better incorporated during the gameplay.

The highlight of Hostage was its large variety of puzzles. From searching to logic to physical puzzles, they were all uniquely challenging and flexed our creative thinking muscles. Even experienced escapers might find one or two puzzles they hadn’t seen before. The puzzle structure was largely linear, but given our group size the linearity wasn’t severely limiting. If we were ever stuck, our Game Master skillfully stepped in to guide us. Improvements in puzzle flow, team building, and the quantity of combination locks could’ve really elevated Hostage to a higher level.

All in all, Hostage is a well-built escape game with a solid variety of puzzles. It fits in perfectly with its siblings at Breakout Rochester: Museum Heist, Operation: Casino, and The Kidnapping.

Final Verdict:


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