Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Break the Code Plus - Lost Review

My usual fellow escape room buddies and I (4 adults in total) tried this room very late on a Friday night in December.  This was our 23rd room in Sydney (and our 33rd room in Australia) so far…

Having previously tried 3 other rooms at Break the Code Plus, my expectations going in were set pretty low.

First off, I'll say what I enjoyed most about the Lost room at Break the Code Plus:

1.     Their front of house and assistance when booking were excellent.
2.     The theming was really strong – definitely the best themed room that they have on offer.  The props and “room” are really cool.
3.     We had a really enthusiastic game master, which was great
4.     The puzzles in this room were really clever –a god mix of hunt and seek fun, puzzles that for the most part really suited the theme and the level of difficulty was really challenging for our pretty experienced team.
5.     They have been listening to feedback and now they rely on walkie talkies and unless there is a real problem, the game master does not enter the room;
6.     All of the puzzles worked well and as they were intended.  We saw some puzzle mechanisms in this room that we had never seen before elsewhere.
7.     We were handed a photo of our team after our escape - this is a nice touch and by memory, Mission Sydney is the only other room that hands out photos after the escape.

If you have read any of my earlier reviews of Break the Code Plus, you will know that I wasn’t a fan of their other rooms (other than Indiana Jones, which was fun).  We had technical issues, rooms not having been reset properly, average theming and some VERY clunky puzzles with poor execution. 

I am pleased to say that this room was MUCH better than all of their other rooms combined.  I really liked the theme and the variety of puzzles. 

It’s a difficult room – in the several months since they opened, only one team had escaped at the time that we tried out the room (and that team escaped with less than one minute to go).  We got pretty lucky and managed to escape with 8 minutes to spare. 

I really liked this room – it wasn’t perfect, and perhaps it’s partly because I went in with such low expectations, but I really enjoyed the room.  I would rate it in my top 10 rooms in Sydney.

And now for what I didn't like:

1.     There was a puzzle that did not fit the theme (laser puzzle in a plane crash theme) – this puzzle was also unclear and I broke it about 30 minutes before I was intended to get the solution a different way.  Thankfully we still had to complete other puzzles before the final door would open, otherwise we would have been out in about 20 minutes tops.  They should ditch this puzzle I think.
2.     There was a logic puzzle in the room that was a little clunky – it made sense when it was explained to us, but it didn’t feel like a satisfactory explanation.  Also, there was another puzzle which was not explained well (and due to this, we had to re-do the puzzle which took ages).  The game master was also not able to explain this puzzle solution, which was a shame.
3.     We had a technical issue with one puzzle that didn’t work the first time (we are all certain we entered in the code correctly the first time – this wasted a couple of minutes).
4.     Their price (without a discount coupon) is $180 for 4 adults.  This makes them the most expensive escape room outfit in Sydney (equal with Mission Sydney's Dr M, which is a far superior room).  Whilst this is a really good room, it is not up there with the likes of Enigma Room, PaniqRoom, Mission Sydney, etc, so this price tag is simply far too much. 

So in conclusion, this is the pick of the rooms at Break the Code Plus, but it is a very difficult room.  Beginners should not bother because they will probably end up frustrated by the puzzles.
I’m glad I went to this room – I had heaps of fun.

Where:                        Level 1, 741 George Street, Haymarket, NSW

Duration:                    60 minutes

Themes:                     6 themes (which will apparently change often)

Cost:                           $180 (for a team of 4) (although we had a Groupon for $80)

Overall Summary:     A strong room but only for experienced players.    

More details:     


  1. Interesting review – I would definitely agree the theme & props are strongest in this room & this is probably my favourite room of BtC as well.

    There are couple of excellent puzzles - Mirror & ‘tap-tap’ both being very cool I thought. Clever. It's always pleasing when ER outfits utilise new ideas.

    My overall experience was pretty awful though! I attempted the room with x6 people & was initially locked away for 20mins up front… & I’m also 6’2ft… Not a happy bunny!

    I think my experience would have altered significantly if we’d tried it with x4 people (Same said for all their rooms. They ‘really’ should not advertise x8 people imo) & I was not in the front section!

    Very glad to hear they’ve remedied a few kinks though… I really disliked them entering the actual room. Really detracts from the immersion of the experience.

    I have one voucher left for Da Vinci...Slightly more optimistic now :)

    It makes your Sydney Top Ten!? Still in the Festive giving spirit I see ;) Personally, I couldn't stretch that far when you consider Para, Paniq, mission & Enigma :)

  2. This was my 26th room and I didn't think it was very good at all.

    Yes there were some fairly cool things but for me there were way too many jumps in logic to solve puzzles. It's hard because it feels like there is missing information the whole time. Whenever we got clues he had to explain the puzzle and not just give us a little hint to push us in the right way.

    To me it feels like a hard room due to some design flaws not a hard room because it has a lot to do or puzzles take a long time with lots of steps to follow. The puzzles are mainly short steps but to get the answer you have to think fairly out of the box (not in a good way).

    I wouldn't recommend this room.

    I have done other rooms at Break the Code and they were fine. But if you had a choice or are a first timer I'd go elsewhere like Enigma, Labyrinth or PanIQ.

    1. Hi there. Thanks for your comments. I agree that there were 2 puzzles that required "jumps" in logic. But otherwise, the theming and quality of puzzles was fantastic IMHO. Don't get me wrong, I think that Break the Code Plus are an average outfit (even slightly below average). But this room in particular is, in my view, a strong room. Some of the theming and room design is very clever, the puzzles are all quite varied and thematic (with a couple of exceptions) and the flow is very good.

      It sounds like you have done about as many rooms as my group has. I agree with you that Enigma and PanIQ in particular are very strong rooms. I'd be interested to know what your favourite 5 rooms have been so far?

      I'd also be interested to hear from others out there who have tried out Lost at Break the Code Plus. What did you all think?


  3. I just did LOST with a team of four. We failed as expected -- they've only had something like 7 teams complete the room in 60 minutes.

    While the initial room theme is strong, the actual puzzles weren't very good. Yelling at each other through a locked door is just frustrating rather than intelligent.

    There were too many "open the lock" puzzles, which always involve another set of numbers that come in some convoluted way. While there were some fresh ideas (the floor, the mirror, the pipes), there was nothing that made me go "Wow!".

    After having recently done a quality room at Mission Sydney, LOST left me feeling underwhelmed, and my teammates felt similar.

    1. Thanks John for your comments. It's been almost 2 years since I tried Lost, so my memory is a little foggy. I think the idea of the teams being split into two separate groups is a puzzle in itself - the ability to communicate using only words is tricky (and yes, frustrating). I personally really like that kind of puzzle (Paniq Room's Supercell 117 has a similar approach). For me the whole fuselage from a pure theming point of view is superb. A typical escape room is a few props in what is clearly an office space with a dropped ceiling above and carpet below - these guys have a plane. The puzzles weren't perfect but some were cleverly done (and they fit the theme really well). The glass suction thing and the morse code were highlights for me (and different to what I have seen elsewhere, as was the whole fuselage).