Breaking Point Escape Rooms – Patient 17 [Review]

The doctor is running out of patients.

Location:  Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Date Played: January 4, 2020

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $32-35 per player for public booking; private booking $35-$60 each depending on team size

Ticketing: Public or private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Patient 17 felt like an old-school escape room at heart, but the production design and attention to narrative elevated it above the average escape room. 

The relatively complex story (especially for a crime-themed escape room) subtly followed us through the experience to its conclusion. Breaking Point also developed a strong sense of place through the story, set, and puzzles. Patient 17 felt ominous and confining, but never claustrophobic or scary.

The puzzles were mostly standard escape room puzzles, with nothing particularly flashy to offer experienced players. However, the game felt intuitive and flowed naturally. Some ambiguity slowed us down at first, but once we got going, we were in the zone until the end.

The Secret at Whitmore Estate is Breaking Point’s newer and stronger game, but Patient 17 is also worth playing while you’re there.

A dimly lit hospital exam chair surrounded by medical implements.
Image via Breaking Point Escape Rooms

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Thriller fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Creepy, isolating atmosphere
  • Thematic puzzling
  • The feeling of being part of a larger story

Story

An undercover agent investigating a doctor with connections to several missing women appeared to have blown her cover. We had been sent in to attempt a rescue.

A bulletin board with documents including a newspaper clipping with a headline reading "Doctor Arrested For Unorthodox Practice."
Image via Breaking Point Escape Rooms

Setting

Patient 17 took place in a dingy-looking hospital with an appropriately creepy vibe. Foreboding props and dark corners lent the game an ominous feeling, without ever veering towards scary.

A grimy hallway with solid doors, an electrical panel, and a single bare bulb.
Image via Breaking Point Escape Rooms

Gameplay

Breaking Point Escape Rooms’ Patient 17 was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around observing, puzzling, and making connections.

Analysis

➕ Breaking Point’s intro videos were among the best we’ve seen. The introduction for Patient 17 provided backstory that gave our mission urgency and emotional heft.

➕ The detailed production design made the escape room feel like a creepy hospital. The gamespace felt confining, but alluded to a larger outside world. This level of detail drew us into the story and heightened our sense of urgency.

A dirty sink splattered with blood.
Image via Breaking Point Escape Rooms

➖ Patient 17 could have used stronger gating early in the game. With so many puzzle elements available at the start, we struggled for a while before making real progress.

➕ The puzzling mostly involved standard escape room puzzles that coordinated well with the setting and the story. Solving them felt like making progress towards our goal.

➕ We were especially delighted when we discovered how to make use of one everyday item that initially felt too unbounded to contain a puzzle.

➖ We kept returning to a certain interesting-looking object that ended up having no bearing on the game. Replacing that object with a puzzle element or a less compelling prop would make it less of a red herring.

➖ The ending felt somewhat abrupt. We found ourselves wishing for a more exciting final scene.

➕ We appreciated the attention to narrative that threaded throughout Patient 17. After the intro, we encountered more information through the set and puzzles that enhanced our understanding of the story world without requiring excessive reading. The story felt original enough to stick in our minds while solving.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is ample parking at the venue.

Book your hour with Breaking Point Escape Rooms’ Patient 17, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Breaking Point Escape Rooms – The Secret at Whitmore Estate [Review]

Now Whitmore Puzzles

Location:  Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Date Played: January 4, 2020

Team size: 2-10; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: Public booking $32-35 per player; private booking $35-$65 each depending on team size

Ticketing: Public or private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Secret at Whitmore Estate was a well-rounded, well-designed escape room that immersed us in the story of the Whitmore family. Along with the beautiful set and decor, the memorable interactions and reveals scratched our exploratory itch.

The Whitmore family story weaved through the escape room via puzzles and narration and led us to a satisfying resolution. Despite a couple of slow moments, The Secret at Whitmore Estate flowed well and offered enough gameplay to keep several players busy.

The Secret at Whitmore Estate was spooky, but never truly scary. Though the story involved dark themes, the tone was more Haunted Mansion than horror movie.

If you’re in the area and you’ve ever dreamed of investigating a mansion for hidden secrets, check out The Secret at Whitmore Estate. If you’ve exhausted the Los Angeles escape room market and are looking for more worthy games, Breaking Point Escape Rooms is worth a visit.

A portrait of a stern-looking bespectacled man in a suit, lit by sconces.
Image via Breaking Point Escape Rooms

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • A beautiful set
  • Story-driven gameplay
  • Dramatic reveals

Story

The Whitmore Estate’s one remaining resident had gone missing and neighbors had reported strange occurrences in the mansion. We were tasked with investigating what fate had befallen the last member of the Whitmore family.

Setting

The Secret at Whitmore Estate deposited us in a lush parlor with ornate props and decor that evoked an opulent mansion. Audio voiceover unveiled new elements of the story. Lighting and sound effects contributed to the spooky atmosphere.

Close-up of a lit candelabra with books and a globe visible in the background.
Image via Breaking Point Escape Rooms

Gameplay

The Secret at Whitmore Estate was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around observation, communication, puzzling, and making connections.

Analysis

➕ Breaking Point’s story intro videos were among the best we’ve seen. They were well produced and entertaining. The introduction for The Secret at Whitmore Estate gave us retro mystery vibes. It kept our attention and psyched us up to get in the manor and uncover its secrets.

➕ The beautiful set and decor drew us into the story world and heightened our sense of mystery and excitement.

Close-up of a trunk on the floor, padlocked shut.
Image via Breaking Point Escape Rooms

➕ The nonlinear gameplay flowed naturally and kept our large group mostly busy. At times several puzzle elements were available at once, but we didn’t get sidetracked with combining items fruitlessly. It generally felt clear what we needed to do.

➕ We enjoyed interacting with the more complex puzzle mechanisms. All the tech components were concealed so the effects of our actions felt natural. Whether tech-driven or not, the puzzles were tactile and enjoyable.

➖ One key puzzle involved trial and error, and seemed designed to slow us down. We wished we’d had a way of determining the solution without resorting to guessing.

➕ Solving the central mystery proved a fun and intriguing goal. The narrative arc threaded through the experience, and its conclusion felt satisfying. However…

➖ The last puzzle was somewhat ambiguous and slowed our momentum, especially because it only required a couple people to solve. This bottleneck made the finale feel a bit lackluster compared to the rest of the game.

➕ Multiple moments in The Secret at Whitmore Estate delighted us with exciting reveals. Breaking Point allowed us to live out our childhood dreams of exploring a fancy mansion filled with hidden secrets.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is ample parking at the venue.

Book your hour with Breaking Point Escape Rooms’ The Secret at Whitmore Estate, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Trapped! – Down the Rabbit Hole [Review]

Fantastic Mr. Rabbit

Location:  Upland, CA

Date Played: January 4, 2020

Team size: 1-6; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $32-40 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Down the Rabbit Hole was a charming escape room with a lighthearted premise. Even with the small space and humble scope, Trapped! transported us to an adorable fantasy world.

Though we encountered references to Alice in Wonderland, Down the Rabbit Hole stood alone as a Wonderland-adjacent adventure. The story wove through our experience via puzzles, interactions, and audio guidance.

The playful theme and lower difficulty make this escape room especially appropriate for families. Still, Down the Rabbit Hole provides a low-key escape for anyone who’s young at heart.

If the theme sounds appealing and you don’t require a serious challenge, Down the Rabbit Hole is worth a visit.

A bed draped with sheer fabric sits under a wall covered with various clocks.
Photo credit: Kirk Damato

Who is this for?

  • Animal lovers
  • Families
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Adorable premise
  • Magical moments
  • Whimsical puzzling

Story

Our dog had a habit of running away and bringing home unusual objects. We had followed him down a deep, dark hole into a curious burrow. We needed to rescue our dog and find our way out.

Setting

We found ourselves in a modest but cozy rabbit hole, complete with half-size props and furniture. The theme fit the relatively small space nicely. We almost felt like we were underground.

A large mirror hangs between a fireplace and a chalkboard in a rustic den.
Photo credit: Kirk Damato

Gameplay

Down the Rabbit Hole was a standard escape room with a lower level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around observation, making connections, and puzzling, with an emphasis on logic.

Analysis

➕ Down the Rabbit Hole was just plain adorable. From the story to the set to the puzzles, this escape room warmed our hearts.

Teacups, candles, and fruit on a doily-covered table.
Photo credit: Kirk Damato

➕ The story threaded throughout the hour and provided a sense of cohesion and lighthearted adventure.

➕/➖ The audio story/hint delivery contributed to the quaint atmosphere and fit into the whimsical woodland world we’d stumbled into. However, because of its limited range, we missed the beginning of certain messages while heading towards the speaker.

Down the Rabbit Hole was on the easy side, but it didn’t stoop to hand-holding. We always knew what we needed to do without the solutions being overly obvious.

➖ One puzzle slowed us down as we scratched out the solution on a chalkboard. This puzzle felt slightly out of place in an otherwise hands-on game. Solving this puzzle with tactile props might have better preserved our momentum.

➕ Despite the humble premise and setting, certain moments felt magical and memorable.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is ample parking at the venue.

Book your hour with Trapped!’s Down the Rabbit Hole, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.