By Kaitlin Candelaria
It was Col. Mustard in the parlor with a candlestick! Get ready to test your critical thinking skills at Homewood’s newest entertainment attraction — Breakout Birmingham.
Breakout, located in the heart of downtown Homewood, features five different rooms that participants can break out of.
Here’s how it works: a group of up to eight people will go online to register for a game in a specific room. Game room choices include the kidnapping room, where participants will use clues left behind by a previous victim, and the casino room, where you and your friends are investigating the disappearance of an agent who was looking into an organized crime ring at the famous Casino Royale.
Recently added to the list are the museum heist room, where group members have to recover stolen artwork on the eve of a prestigious art gallery opening, and the island room, where you and your group race against the clock to find a way off the island before a volcano erupts. A second kidnapping room has also been added to the menu.
Once participants have booked their game, they will be locked inside the room of their choice and given an hour to “break out.” In a separate room, a game master will watch via video camera and can create hints when time begins to run short.
“It was actually a group in Kentucky that came up with the idea,” said Jeremy Carter, marketing and human resources director. “This is our second store, with the first one being in Lexington. We looked at a lot of different locations around Birmingham but ended up in Homewood because it’s pretty central to everything.”
Carter said their customers come from all age groups, something their game masters have to take into consideration when assisting a group.
“You want to get out as fast as you can,” Carter said. “The group shouldn’t get to the point where they’re running out of time and they aren’t even close to figuring out how to get out of the room. We’re going to guide them through to get them pretty close. You have to read the room — a group of teenagers is going to be different than a group of older men who don’t want any help. We have to figure out as game masters what they need.”
Participants work together as a group to solve puzzles, crack codes and find hidden items within their room. How fast they break out depends on how well group members are able to communicate and work together, Carter said.
Although the point of a breakout game is obviously to break out, there is also an emergency button that participants can press if they need to exit the room during their game.
Tickets are $22 per person on weekdays and $24 per person on weekends. Visit www.breakoutbham.com to purchase tickets and reserve time slots. ϖ