PATIENT 17 - Breaking Point Escape Rooms
This is Escape Mattster's game No. 50.
Venue: Breaking Point Escape Rooms
Address: 10582 Foothill Blvd, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
Game: Patient 17
Here is a carbon copy of my Yelp review, posted originally on 11/14/2018:
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Current room count: 50
PATIENT 17 // Grade: A-
"...Enthusiast's treasure, book it soon!"
Happy 50th to me!
Breaking Point is a venue I've been following on IG since before it even opened. I saw the construction, the teases... Post-game, I thought, "These guys should've come onto the scene LONG ago."
Facility was brand new, clean, slick, and all DIY from the owners. (WOW.) The bathroom used passion fruit scent soap. (SO PLEASANT. DON'T EVER CHANGE.)
I had a brief discussion with one of the owners, who casually made the remark that, "Escape room wise, LA has the best immersion, OC the best puzzles, and Inland lacking both." Never heard of that, but after "Patient 17", I could conclude that as a false statement...
...Because production value's OFF THE HOOK with this place. And I am not even just talking about the game itself, but the ENTIRE LOCATION.
Right at the front entrance, BP's games were artistically introduced to the customers in the form of "movie posters", each neatly framed in very stylish and LEGIT looking faux-metal frames.
Pre-game, you'd watch 2 vids: rules and intro. Who edited these?!?! Because they were SO GOOD. They were not sloppily slapped together; these were such professionally produced short clips that, I as a regular escape room player, knew RIGHT AWAY, these people meant business and BP would become a major player.
That in turn smoothly transitioned into the actual reveal when we finally stepped inside the game room, which at that moment, I heard my teammates went, "Wow!".
[A brief interruption of the plot: Y'all are secret agents. Your colleague is investigating a dangerous doctor that's involved with the disappearance of 16 women at his clinic, but unfortunately, she's blown her cover. Yeah, I know, really, she isn't that good. Calm down, Peggy. (We'll call her Peggy.) You're a spy. Don't panic & break down when you witness torture chamber-ish violence. You *literally* signed up for this. Anyway, go save Peggy before she becomes... DUN DUN DUN... PATIENT 17!]
Everything you'd imagine an evil doctor need to experiment on victims, you'd see them as clues, props, or decor. And there's no second rate, off the shelf, discount store prop items; this was a movie-quality set, and the attention to details was both apparent and worthy of praise.
Case and point: when you try to move decorative surgery tools, only to realize they're securely glued down, or when you try to erase text on a dry-erase board, only to find out they're permanently drawn on--that clearly showed me the designers spent hours and hours getting everything just right, effectively preventing atmospheric decorations accidentally becoming red herring, all the while not sacrificing immersion. Little things like that often separate the pros from the average.
Without repeating, let's just establish all subsequent rooms were equally beautiful.
Puzzles wise, it was mainly very standard puzzles mixed in with limited scavenging. Sadly, though I wish I could, I really couldn't say there were any puzzle element that was innovative, or I'd never seen before. As someone who's been in the hobby for a while, I could very much predict what I needed to do in order to advance, just that I was constantly missing a vital piece somewhere... (Alas, I wasn't at my best game.)
However, I do commend the owners for embracing the elegance of simplicity, and presented the so-so puzzles in the most intriguing or entertaining way possible. What lacked in puzzle originality was aptly made up with the impeccable mixture of padlocks, and well-used, well-placed tech elements throughout. The aesthetics, the puzzles, the presentations all melded together nicely to progress the narrative. And that's really something they should be proud of.
As mentioned, difficulty wasn't bad, so really, anyone could play and have a great time. (I actually thought this game was very suitable even for 2.) But that made it all the more painful for me... just imagine how bitter I was after the game, knowing that I could've earned a place on the leader board had I not used more than 1 hint.
...Should've read my clues more carefully.
Of note, despite the very horror movie looking poster that the company uses to promote, the game itself was FAR FROM anything remotely scary. (That's both a plus or a minus, depending on what you're into.) For what it's worth, anyone from teenage and up should be able to play without problem, given they're aware of the plot's mature elements.
Finally, my only gripe with this business, pricing and public booking. At $32 pp for a public game, that's too steep for my taste... and I definitely couldn't afford the even pricier private option. So my fellow escape artists, if you're on a budget, hunt for a promo code, book smartly at cold time slots, and hope no stranger would join your game!
Aside from that, a 5-star business, and I hope to see them continue to develop, mature, and improve.