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Home / Latest News / How you can learn to become a spy in Cardiff’s newest live escape rooms Breakout Cardiff

How you can learn to become a spy in Cardiff’s newest live escape rooms Breakout Cardiff

I spent last night learning to be a spy.

No, seriously.

I mean, it may not be quite up to MI5 standards, but I reckon if Tom Hiddleston doesn’t get the James Bond gig then I could be a close contender. That’s if someone is prepared to give me clues, the odd nudge in the right direction and aren’t too bothered that the clock on any impending world disaster will be flashing red before I get out of there with seconds to spare.

We went along to Cardiff’ s newest live escape rooms games, Breakout Cardiff.

The city’s first such venue opened earlier this year, but Breakout have two other premises in Liverpool and Manchester. The rooms at Breakout are themed around being a spy.

What is it?

Live escape games last 60 minutes. You, and a team of up to five people, go into a room where you are locked in. Inside the room are a serious of objects, some hidden and some obvious that you need to use to get out. There are always a series of challenges to crack.

The clock is ticking, the tension builds, and you get really, really frustrated quite often at the most simple of things. To add to the tension at Breakout, tension-building music plays in the background for the entire hour.

Where is it?

Inside Breakout Cardiff
Inside Breakout Cardiff

Breakout Cardiff is in the Brewery Quarter, home to Five Guys and The Yard, off St Mary St.

What’s in there?

There are currently three rooms, but there will be more. Two are the same and called “Classified”. The idea is you tackle eight different skill sets to prove you can be a spy. If you complete that, you can then – on your return visit – go up a level to Sabotage, a third room where the rate of escaping is considerably lower (around a one in five success rate).

What sort of things do you have to do?

Without giving anything away, at Breakout you need to find things, crack codes, search high and low and even employ some maths skills you last used in your GCSE exam. You need to think outside the box, to be able to find your way into the box, all to get a clue to get you into another box.

Do you get help?

Inside Classified 1
Inside Classified 1

Yes, if there’s an emergency, you press a button to get out, and if you get stuck you can gesture wildly at the cameras in the room and the staff (who are watching you the whole time) will help. They can see, but not hear you, so if it gets a bit tense they won’t be offended by your swearing!

In our case, one pesky clue just wouldn’t work, so they paused the clock and came in to help. We had everything needed but just couldn’t crack it. Thankfully we got help, or we’d never have got out. We made it out with 13 seconds to spare, which was a slight improvement on our last effort.

How much is it?

The more people who play the game the cheaper per person the game is and there are both peak and off peak prices.

Monday 10am to Friday 5pm is off peak. Friday 5pm to Sunday 10pm is peak time.

Off peak prices, based on a team of two, are £18 each. Off peak for five players is £12 each. Peak prices for two players is £20 each but for five is £14 each.

Is it fun?

Proof we did it – just!

Being locked in a room sounds scary, and maybe a bit odd, but it’s great. If you love board games or Crystal Maze, this is the place for you. If you’re after an activity that doesn’t involve the pub and gives your brain a work out, it’s fab. And it’s also a great way for you to find out new skills your friends, family or workmates have. Since we did the last one, we’ve all recommended it others.

We did however find we were much better equipped this time around having all been to a live escape room together before.

Is it different to the city’s other offering?

Yes. And we couldn’t really put our finger on why but we all thought they were quite different despite the same premise. But last time, we had to split into two groups (within the same room) for most of the activity, but here we were working together from step one.

The challenges were different too. In Breakout we almost had to get the pen and paper out to work out some of the problems but there were an almost overwhelming number of locks and keys to find and crack.

At Breakout, you need to have a grasp of maths, word play and ingenuity to find everything you need to, to get out.

Where else are there escape rooms?

It has just been announced a Swansea escape room is opening.

How can I find out more?

Breakout Cardiff opens to the public from today. You can find out more here

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