When Breakin’ Escape Rooms opened a few months back, one of their rooms caught our eye. Amongst all the almost film tie-in rooms was Butcher’s Lair. It was the only one that didn’t have an obvious movie connection and it was horror-themed. Of course, we had to check it out!
The story is that we’ve been invited to a dinner party by our university professor, the fantastically named Dr Vladimir Knifesblade. Clearly, we didn’t see the very blatant warning sign inherent in his moniker and made our way to his house, where the party was being held. Upon arrival, no-one seemed to be around and the door was left open. Obviously, we stepped inside and this is where our story begins!
Taking the same tack as other serial killer based rooms that we’ve ventured into, the professor is a mastermind who seemingly wants to test us. Rather than the SAW-alikes, this game carried a strong Hannibal Lecter vibe with the killer being extremely well educated and also very cultured. One or two of the puzzles made use of this which helped give it a slightly different feel to other rooms of the same ilk.
This room just flowed for us with the puzzles being pitched at the perfect level, enabling a steady progression through the game. And the mix of tasks was suitably varied, each playing to different strengths in our team. Ultimately, we just had a load of fun in this room and were a bit sad when we eventually escaped with 10 or so mins remaining.
Whilst we genuinely enjoyed the game, there are a few things that prevent us from giving this a higher score. Firstly, the biggest disappointment came from the minimal need for exploration and discovery. We don’t want to get into spoilers here but suffice it to say, there wasn’t much in the way of surprises in the room. People who enjoy the search in escape games will find very little here.
Then there’s the theme. We appreciate that they tried to separate the antagonist from Jigsaw for once but we’d really love to see a horror room adopt a different theme altogether – we know they’re out there such as The Haunting at Mindquest Live that we played in Florida. It’s definitely becoming a case of seen one, seen them all.
And finally, there was one puzzle that we all thought was a bit of a stretch. Talking about it afterwards, no-one in our group felt that they would ever have happened upon this particular solution. Throughout the entire game, it was the only time that we came to a complete standstill which we think says that it might have been a bit too obscure.
Butcher's Lair (2017) Breakin' Escape Rooms
Don't get us wrong, we really enjoyed our time in Butcher's Lair. We think it's a great game, especially for people who haven't done any other killer-themed rooms. Or indeed many escape rooms full-stop as more seasoned players will find the room a bit basic. But, it's still a very strong game!
Ticket Price: Circa £25pp
Address: 89 Holloway Rd, London N7 8LT