Escape Rooms Belfast is a recent addition to the escape room scene in Ireland, having on recently been transplanted over from Edinburgh. Their current offering is Major Plott’s Revenge, which is a fairly classic spy-themed room. You have one hour to search the eponymous Major’s office, locate his secret dossier and escape before he returns. The game itself is designed for 2-6 players, although if you have a larger group they can accommodate this as they have multiple rooms with the same set-up.
If you want to work through the game as a group of two, the website says that they can offer a simplified experience, removing some of the puzzles so that it can be completed in the time limit. When we asked after the game, the organiser told us that there hadn’t been any changes, and it was the standard room that any team would play. Due to this, the room might be on the simple side if you go in with a large team, and might be finished quickly. There have been teams of 6 that have beaten the room at the 35 minute mark, which for them may not be value for money. One way around this, as mentioned above, is that the company has three game rooms with the same game in each. If there are enough people in your group (and if you can afford hiring out simultaneous rooms), it means that you can split into teams and race to escape.
All of the puzzles in the room flowed together, with the solution to one puzzle giving you the tools to solve the next. The whole game was quite linear in this way, which again may work against you in a larger group – there weren’t many, if any, areas where you could split into smaller groups to focus on different puzzles.
If you get stuck at any point, hints are available through messages that are typed and sent through to the screen which gives the countdown of how much of your hour that you have left. There’s no way of requesting a clue, but the game organiser keeps a close enough watch that hints are drip-fed any time that you lose momentum.
The setting seems to be during the Cold War, although this is difficult to pin down. In a world filled with gas masks, typewriters and transistor radios, the one puzzle featuring a mobile phone did stick out a little.
The story is the strong point in this escape room, with the setting of the room itself being fairly standard – although it does hold slightly more surprises than first appears. The story is a classic for escape room, with the spy mission to retrieve the dossier full of secrets, however from this common set up the story does evolve throughout the hour, with your goal shifting from the original mission of searching for the secret dossier, and this results in a tense end game that you’ll be heavily invested in. As this game is an export of one of the company’s most popular games from their sister company in Edinburgh, it means that you get all of their experience at an affordable rate.
Completion time: 00:58:49
Prices: start at £30.00 for a team of 2.
Players: 2 – 6 per room.
Weaknesses: May not be suitable for large teams