Alpaca your bags and tackle this fun and challenging room
Date played: 22 August 2021
Team: Jamie & Mim
Time to escape: 40:05
I woke up, bleary-eyed and still monstrously over-tired, early on Sunday morning after spending the night at Llanfyllin workhouse on an overnight ghost hunt (where we also got to play Escape the Cursed Galleon at Roomination.
On our way back to South Wales, we decided to stop at Beyond Breakout. It’d likely be the last chance for a while we’d venture this far north, and we really enjoyed the avatar version of their Adventures in Puzzleland game.
After downing a coffee in the nearest cafe in Newtown, we ascended the old-style elevator to Beyond Breakout.
Pachacutec was the most powerful Inca Emperor of the entire Empire, yet his body and tomb remain undiscovered.
Legend has it, that the Emperor is buried with his great wealth – including the Gold mask of the Sun God Intu – deep within the hills. The entrance to the tomb is only visible during a solar eclipse, the next of which is due to take place in the next hour, and then the fortune will be lost for yet another 360 years.
A private collector has offered a large reward for the lost mask, but time is of the essence, your quest is to find the mask before the end of the eclipse.
Lo-Fi set design with big Crystal Maze vibes
As befitting the theme, The Mask was very much a low-tech room. Expect ropes, weights and stone discs. It very much reminded me of the Aztec Zone of The Crystal Maze, and I am more than fine with that.
For a tactile player like me, it was great to to physically interact with the props (as well as a spot of ducking and weaving for good measure).
All the props and decor were handmade. While you don’t get that big-budget, cinematic feeling, what you do get is passion oozing from every element of the game.
The narrative was just my cup of tea. An archeologist / artifact hunter breaking into tombs and stealing the goodies inside? Yes please!
The room was smaller than when we played Adventures in Puzzleland, so a team of three would be good to tackle this one.
Plenty of puzzles and good signposting
The Mask kept us busy for sure! I really enjoyed the physicality of some of the dexterity puzzles, which really hammered home that Crystal Maze feel.
There’s a good variety of puzzles here too. We came across a mix of searching, counting, decipherment, dexterity, pattern recognition puzzles.
I think that a year and a half of lockdown and at-home escape games has made us much more cautious puzzlers than before. There was a fair bit of searching that we needed to be nudged toward, and I think we’ve become much less “let’s tear the room apart and find everything’ than we used to be.
It’ll come back, I’m sure.
There was some excellent and subtle signposting in this room that blended in well with the decor and use Incan cultural references to boot.
There was plenty for us to do here as well – Mim and I for the most part were able to work on separate elements of puzzles and come together every now and again to solve.
Our hints delivered via screen – we used two hints as we’d had the right combination on a lock twice but hadn’t quite had it right. Again, I put this down to being out of practice in real rooms (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).
Our hosts – Lorna and Jo – were wonderful. They’re a fantastic duo of GMs – playful, friendly, attentive and to. chat with after the game.
I insisted on getting a victory photo for Adventures in Puzzleland (their Alice-themed room that we played remotely last year) and they kindly obliged.
If you find yourself towards the top end of Wales, I recommend paying Beyond Breakout a visit. The Mask is a fun room that would be a decent challenge for small teams, and you’ll have a blast with Lorna and Jo as your hosts.
4th Floor, Royal Welsh Warehouse
Pryce Jones Building
Prices start at £15 per person
£50 per team for remote game