To break up the 4+ hour drive to Gravesend for our Panic Rooms binge, we stopped off halfway there to play a couple of games at Break Escape in Loughborough. First up, we entered the Nerve Klinik…
We’d usually paste the story details here, but we couldn’t find any. From what I can remember, your friend has gone missing at a clinic, and you have to go and find her, by booking an appointment yourself and going along. In there, the doctor will release a nerve gas that will eventually kill you in… you guessed it, 60 minutes.
The theming in this room is done perfectly. It’s a creepy, medical space that sets a very tense atmosphere, and is well propped out with a dead body, in-theme equipment, and plenty of fake blood. You eventually break into the doctor’s office, which is well contrasted, offering a different kind of creepy feel.
Before you enter the room, you do have to sign a waiver which warns you of dark themes, jump scares and live actors. There were definitely some jump scares, but it thankfully wasn’t a full horror experience. I’m a massive coward in rooms like these and find it hard to concentrate, but this is nicely balanced. I crapped myself a couple of times, but also managed to get on with it when needed. If you really hate horror rooms though, the hosts are very accomodating, and if you ask them to remove any jump scares, I’m sure they’d do so, leaving behind a game that is simply creepy, but not scary.
Gameplay was good, with all of the puzzles (bar one) being in theme with the room, using items you’d find within the environment and story. The game had a good flow that was mostly linear, and had some unique puzzles that were all fun to complete. Everything was clear and nothing was too ambiguous. The game culminates in a final puzzle that requires you to make an offering to the spirits within the walls, that works really well – a nice finale.
Overall, a fun game that’s really well themed and does offer some horror without overdoing it. Enthusiasts will do this with a team of two, but newbies should maybe take a minimum of three.
Host: Our game was hosted by Jak, one of the owners, and Ali. We had a great chat with Jak after the game about all things escape – it’s always great to meet an owner who loves the industry and knows their stuff.
Clue System: It’s always good to see a unique clue system that fits the room theme (see Escapologic), and this was one of those rooms. Clues were delivered via two methods. The very funny voice of a spirit, and a board of hospital wards that lights up, leaving you to translate the lit numbers into clue words.
Success? Yes, we got out in 48:39