Headcase • Breaking Point Escape Rooms • Escape Room Review
Game Website | Company Website | Based In: Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA
💪 Difficulty: Not specified, but for age 13+.
⏲️ Time duration: 75 minutes limit.
🔢 Capacity: 2-8. Private booking.
🛒 If you BOOK due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout-out! ;)
TL;DR... THE QUICK VERSION
➲ Premise: Your missions inside Dr. Levins's hideout: release current captives, find his cure, and halt more homicides!
➲ "Headcase" is an excellent immersive reincarnate sequel of "Patient 17", with improved production even.
➲ Overall layout and some props remain the same from before, but all serve brand new purpose.
➲ Plenty of new and improved elements and special effects to warrant a visit, for both new and returning players.
➲ Puzzles are clearly-written, well-executed, offer entertaining challenges, with few even perplexing experts.
➲ Ideal balance of gen-1 padlocks and gen-2 tech-powered brainteasers, loads of robust contents to finish in 75 minutes.
➲ 𝙀𝙎𝘾𝘼𝙋𝙀 𝙈𝘼𝙏𝙏𝙎𝙏𝙀𝙍 😍 subjective rating: 💪 5 to 6/10 difficulty (team of 2), 🔢 ideal team size of 3 to 4.
Two years after the failed mission to save Patient 17, Dr. Levins continues to elude capture and experiment on unsuspecting women. New information suggests that Dr. Levins has developed a cure. Can you save the captured patients and retrieve the cure? Or will you lose your head? (Headcase is a continuation of the story of our previous game, Patient 17. The game remains in the same physical footprint of Patient 17, but the storyline, puzzles, and features in the game are 100% new. Players who have experienced Patient 17 should note that while some of the environment may feel familiar, all puzzles and props are entirely new, and there are plenty of very exciting upgrades and surprises to experience!)
THE UNABRIDGED EDITION
Breaking Point Escape Rooms is a well-polished diamond in the San Bernardino County escape room market, and I may even argue it's one of the best Southern California has to offer. My previous visits to play "Patient 17" and "The Secret At Whitmore Estate" still remain some of my most cherished memories--to date, I still can't completely shake off that one critical and unforgettable moment inside the Whitmore library! Good stuff.
In a simultaneously joyous and sorrow manner, however, "Patient 17" is no more. While I am sure many fans will be sad to see its retirement, in its place now there lies "Headcase", a direct continuation of plot line that takes place 2 years after the original tragedies involving the deaths of many innocent female subjects. The sequel tasks players as officers that will once again venture into Dr Levins's experiment laboratory of torture, but this time, they are looking to rescue still-alive captives, if any, and to retrieve a valuable cure for a terminal disease. And to stay alive, as always recommended.
In true Breaking Point fashion, production value is consistently through the roof. These creators are known for their incredible talents for... well, pretty much anything art related. My game started off with a professionally produced short movie, detailing the premise, and mentally preparing us for our imminent room entry. The actual play was then commenced by a genius mixture of pre-recorded video and well-timed physical effect. Simple in idea, but with spot-on execution, this impressive movie-magic opener was one of the more innovative instances I've seen in recent history.
Official art for "Patient 17", the inspiration for the current sequel "Headcase"
Stepping inside Dr Levins's operating room instantly brought back memories. The overall layout of the space remained the same, but noticeable changes were apparent. I reacquainted with the infamous surgical chair, familiar bottles of medications (my specialty), and other recognizable medical and murder-y props. However, as I advanced, I discovered while some physical items were recycled, none played the same purpose. They all came back with brand new identities, and required all new solutions. So peeps who succeeded in "17", stay humble, you will go in knowing less than you expect.
In fact, the similarity to "17" virtually ends once you work past beginning stages. Significant, movie-set-quality upgrades were implemented to enhance an already great experience to boundaries beyond. Crawl space (mentioned here), state-of-the-art audio-visual effects, and a completely reimagined finale now await new brave participants. As such, previous customers should have even MORE compelling reasons to return: they're privileged enough to witness the original plot line and game play, and now also able to experience the designers' elevation of their eldest progeny to a new level.
And to briefly address the aspect of immersion, due to all the aforementioned brilliant effort put in place, there's practically no question that you'll feel pleasurably trapped in the story's universe. The overall atmosphere is persistently creepy and unsettling, but never outright scary, and nope: no jump scare. There perhaps will be few instances of snapping back into reality when requesting for hint(s), but those are minor examples one can easily overlook. Otherwise, I felt a constant urgency to ensure the big bad's defeat, though even that may alter at a moment's notice with twisty surprises...
Will there be patients alive behind those cell doors?
As to the equally fabulous puzzles, there was A LOT in store to wade through. Objectively speaking, as a seasoned player, I can firmly assert Breaking Point caters to both mainstream audience and enthusiasts alike. Therefore, expect their puzzles to span across a wide spectrum over the difficulty scale. Some are simpler for newcomers to triumphantly conquer, while others can perplex even the most veteran. (Myself included, darn!) But in either case, the sheer amount of robust contents most definitely warrants a 75-minute time limit and its corresponding price tag.
More importantly, the entire roster of challenges was well-written and of superb quality. A lot of thoughts were put into making sure instructions are clear, fair, and not unjustifiably confusing. There seemed to be a healthy (and may I dare to say... perfect?) balance of gen-1 padlocks and gen-2 tech-powered brainteasers to solve:
There were combo locks that granted instant gratification, some simple decoding and bam! Done. There were harder challenges that required extraction of information from several resources, sometimes scattered all over the field for that extra satisfactory rush when they're finally solved. There were tasks that demanded prop manipulation; put this here, and put that there, then, oh yes--something magically unlocked. And then there were team work exercises, where solo effort would be mostly futile. It's a sampler of vastly different puzzles, likely to satisfy everyone on the team and more.
Due to mature themes, implied violence, and well-anticipated (light) gore, "Headcase" may not be an all-family-friendly option. ("Whitmore" is a more suitable alternative for younger demographics.) However, for the core fans of escape adventures, teenaged and up, "Headcase" is a smooth yet intense thrill ride of excellent merit that has come to be a signature for Breaking Point. Exemplary production, intriguing story line, and satisfactory-for-all puzzles--this chilling serial murder case joins the coveted rank of sequels that are better than the original.
★ Wise to turn your head to the left, to the right, and around (behind) to check for any changes at critical moments.
★ Some elements don't come into use until gaining access to later areas. So keep track of those unused items!
★ For patrons who've already played Patient 17 before, similar props aren't solved the same way. So don't assume...
READY FOR FUN?
"Headcase" is available for booking HERE.
If you BOOK due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout-out! ;)
𝙀𝙎𝘾𝘼𝙋𝙀 𝙈𝘼𝙏𝙏𝙎𝙏𝙀𝙍 😍
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