Breakout has been operating a branch in Greenbelt 5 for some time now, but I have not tried any of their rooms until now. There are four escape room games in their Greenbelt branch: Paranoia, Accidental Agent, Corpse Bride, and The Island. I’ve been meaning to try these out as the themes greatly intrigue me, but I decided to try out Corpse Bride first.
In your neighborhood, there was a popular dress shop owned by a newlywed couple. They ran their business with passion and their love for each other reflected on each and every dress they created. However, not even a year into their wedding, the wife got extremely ill and died. Her husband, wilting in his grief, became so uninspired with his craft that the once bright and welcoming shop soon turned gloomy and desolate. Because of this, people eventually stopped visiting the shop and he lost his business. The once loyal patrons started wondering though, why was there no funeral for the wife? What if she is still alive? Where was the husband now?
One night, as you and your friends were passing by the old abandoned shop, you notice that the light was turned on. Upon closer inspection, you see that there is a new mannequin displayed by the shop window. It looks eerily familiar. Almost life-like. You and your friends feel almost compelled by this new shop addition so you enter the store and call out for the owner. Nobody answers. A chill runs up your spine so you and your friends decide to leave. As you go back to the front door, you discover that you are locked from the outside.
Will your curiosity bring you in trouble or will it shed light to the town’s unanswered questions? You have 45 minutes to unveil the secrets behind this shop and its mannequin and Breakout.
Source: Official Breakout PH Website
The set did not disappoint – a usual expectation from Breakout Philippines. With the help of the artful set design and choice of props, an eerie atmosphere was successfully created and the place did feel like an old dressmaker’s shop. It isn’t necessarily scary, but some props may make players think twice before coming close.
The place did not seem as if it were deteriorating as a game. It looked old, but intentionally so.
Generally, the size of the playing area was decent but not recommended for the full capacity of 6 players. Perhaps a maximum of 4 or 5 would be best.
The game is listed by Breakout Philippines to have a difficulty rating of 4 out of 5. Though it may be subjective, the game wasn’t too difficult. The puzzles were relatively easy to follow, with all members of our group understanding the logic behind every solution.
The puzzles involved was minimal searching, a lot of correlation, and some coordination. There were many locks to open – both key and combination – which was a delight! Overall, I’d say the puzzles in Corpse Bride were really good. There was nothing game changing or revolutionary, but they were all simply enjoyable. I do love having Aha! moments in solving puzzles, something I don’t often get in the recent escape rooms I have played, but is something I experienced multiple times in Corpse Bride.
My only complaint is the use of a certain red herring. I greatly dislike red herrings that are too big – ones that try too hard to put you off track and look too much as a puzzle, not even really making sense theme-wise. I see this as a form of lazy game design that simply makes the game more frustrating, not more interesting. Red herrings do not add any value to player experience.
As one person said in an Escape Room Forum discussion on red herrings, “If it fits the theme – passable. But game play should permit you to move away from it naturally. I’d consider the red herring as a thematic tip of the hat by the designers in such a situation. If its just there to cause grief for the player, or due to sloppy design, then kill it with fire.” (Gallacher, 2015)
Honestly, though, the actual puzzles were just so enjoyable that the red herring did not bother me as much. I’d give it a pass.
I highly recommend Corpse Bride. It’s one of the better games out there in the country. The game has a pretty set, interesting plot line, exciting room exploration possibilities, and enjoyable and logical puzzles.
I’d even recommend this game for beginners, as it incorporates many features of an escape room and would thus serve as a great and challenging introduction to the escape room scene.
Good job on this one, Breakout! Thanks for the memorable experience!
My Rating: ★★★★☆