Exit The Room Manchester: Madness

The ever-growing list of rooms in Manchester has got even bigger, with worldwide brand Exit The Room opening their first UK centre with three games. We’ve not had much luck trying to play at the new venue – the first time we attempted to book, they were closed because neighbouring construction had caused damage. This time around, we were booked in and ready to play, only to wake up to find the apartment block next door to them was on fire and all over national news! Thankfully, the fire was out quickly, nobody was harmed, and Exit the Room were open in time for us to take on Madness.

“The professor claims to be conducting harmless psychiatric research. However, his goals are still unknown, and no “volunteer” has ever returned. It doesn’t sound too promising. Your mission is to disguise yourselves as volunteers and find out what the professor is working on. Enter the room and the countdown begins. You have 60 minutes to solve the mystery of the lab and prevent the Mad Professor from executing his plans – whatever they may be.”

Madness at Exit the Room Manchester

The game takes place in a long room, well furnished with a lot to look at. Before you can start playing, there are two videos to watch whilst in the room, with the safety/instructional video using the branding of a different company with the slogan “Real American escape rooms”…

After starting in a simple, science lab type room, the game eventually takes you into a darker, grimier space, and the theming clearly steps up a level. The room looked the part, and had some great looking, mysterious props to use for one of the puzzles.

We set about playing the game, which first involved some searching, before getting into the puzzles. There were some good puzzles in here that we enjoyed, but a couple didn’t quite make much sense. A maths puzzle seemed slightly flawed, and although had quite a simple solution, was made unnecessarily overcomplicated. The final puzzle involved identifying and translating a series of symbols, and it’s here where the game crashed to an end for us. We spent the final 20 minutes trying to complete this, but there were too many red herrings, and a ton of ambiguity. You don’t expect a room to be simple – you don’t want answers handed to you on a plate. We’ve played plenty of puzzles designed to be frustrating, and have had mixed success, but there’s a level to it. This puzzle was incompletable in our eyes – too many inaccurate, hand-drawn symbols, quickly leading to the game becoming tiresome rather than fun.

This could be a good game, but it’s definitely let down by the final puzzle. It’s absolutely not Manchester’s worst, but it needs some big improvements to be anywhere near the best.

Host: Our host was Glynn – he was very friendly and listened to our feedback. He did a good job when we needed clues from him.
Clue System: Clues were delivered via walkie talkie, with a limit of five. The time and clue count were kept on a screen.
Success? No, we got through a majority of the game in good time, but failed to escape after spending 20 minutes making barely any progress on the final puzzle.

Websitewww.exittheroom.co.uk/manchester

3 comments

  1. Exit the Room? If only!

    Always glad to see new venues appear locally so was excited to try the latest Manchester has to offer. Sadly there was nothing spectacular here but as Jamie said, by no way the worst around.

    The American intro video was pretty cringey 😣
    I’m not into having to ask for a clue, would prefer a host to prompt you when they see you struggling. Glynn did do this for our first clue by contacting us via the walkie talkie. That was the only time the clue was useful. On the maths puzzle after we had flipped things around several times we asked for a clue and were given the numbers we needed to work with… but we already had these! It was what to do with them that we needed a hint on….and it was such a simple solution… one that had been made harder unnecessarily by a symbol that wasn’t needed.

    After that we flew through the puzzles until the final part… a good touch to the room with the placing of some items to reveal symbols…. we knew EXACTLY what we needed to do right away and you’d think with 20 minutes left that you’d have ample time to escape….

    Trying to find identical symbols several times over was hard work because the symbols were all hand drawn… if you write a letter or number several times over yourself they’re not all going to be identical. Some symbols overlapped wirh others, some changes were minute, some more obvious. Way too many red herrings… you ended up just picking one that looked like the one you needed…. from four numbers needed we found 1. In the end we used our last clue…. only to be told what we needed to do… find the matching symbols!!! We’d been trying to do that for 10 minutes already. I could go on and on about the state of the symbols but won’t bore you with it… common sense tells you that if you need bang on identical symbols, use printed versions or such like…not hand drawn.

    When our time was up our host came in and I asked him to show us which symbols we needed but he couldn’t. He couldn’t remember the code we would have got from the symbols either so we had no way of checking ourselves. He did tell us we had one number correct though, he was sure if that. I’d read a review prior to the game about symbols not matching, one in particular. The host informs me that has been corrected and I confirm it has….now to just amend the rest of them and make it playable.

    I was later informed that others habe given similar feedback and that there’s an issue in one other room that is being brought up a lot.

    If you get a cheap deal for this place then give it a go but I can’t really recommend it otherwise. There were some good points, well furnished room and some interesting logical puzzles, but not good enough to hold enthusiasts attention.

    Like

  2. Tried another room here and it was the worst one I’ve done – we literally wanted to leave early because it felt so poorly designed compared to all the others we’ve tried.

    Like

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