What better way to celebrate Christmas with your colleagues than infiltrating a cult, hiding under tables, and falling off a rock-climbing wall?
Thankfully for us, we were able to do all that, and more, at Spy Game, Breakout’s new game concept.
Only available at Breakout’s new outlet in The Curve for now, Spy Game is centred around an anti-technology cult called LUDDITE. Cult leaders will go so far as to execute followers for using technology, but ironically they use it for their own agenda.
Players—or shall I say, agents—of Spy Game roleplay as anti-cult spies who will carry out operations to uncover LUDDITE’s hidden agenda.
There are five missions in total (correlating to five escape rooms)—Purify, Rescue, Break In, Sneak In, and Destroy. Currently, only the first two missions are available.
Nine of us at Vulcan Post were invited to join the operation. Booking the last slots for the day, we split up into two teams (four for Purify and five for Rescue) since each room can only accommodate up to six players.
Briefly, mission #1, Purify, involved the task of purifying some drugged water, while mission #2, Rescue, involved rescuing a team member who’s been taken hostage as a prisoner.
With that, we were ready to take down LUDDITE.
Warning: minor spoilers ahead.
Gearing up for action
Earlier in the day, Breakout had sent a message to us “agents” about what we needed to prep, which included our fully charged phones as well as a pair of earphones (wired or wireless is fine). This is so that we can stay in the loop during the mission.
The only thing we needed to keep in mind was the mission objective, and to sneak, hide, and disguise ourselves so as to not get caught. Also, each session is only 30 minutes long, so time is of the essence.
While one Breakout staff with sunglasses debriefed the second team (Team Rescue), another came to whisk away the “prisoner” (AKA our writer Keegan).
I was on Team Purify, but since another group was still in there so we had to wait a bit. I overheard the previous group talking about how they got caught, which made me nervous.
Interestingly, the staff members told us that about 70% of groups managed to escape on their first try. Will we belong to that majority, or will we be fated to retry another time?
During our briefing, we scanned a QR code and watched a video explaining the premise of the game. Each of us was given vests, though we were only given one ball (a “distractor”, as they call it) as well as one flashlight.
With our phones (with Always On Display turned on) in hand and buds in our ears, we steeled ourselves and started our mission.
Mission 1: Purify
The door clicked shut behind us, and darkness flooded our vision. The game had begun, and our main goal was to obtain a specific canister from a guard and replace it in a water treatment room.
Our phones, logged onto Spy Game’s dedicated website, started playing some background music. Not just to set the mood, this allowed us to know whether we were still synced—if the music stops playing, you must refresh the page.
As we gathered our bearings, we were told over our earpieces that there was a key dangling from the office door. As there was a guard right behind it, we waited for an opportune time to grab it, and then hid under the table.
This act of hiding would repeat multiple times throughout the mission. Thankfully, we were alerted each time by our in-ears. Throughout the mission, we were caught a total of one time (sorry, Rikco). Once caught, you’ll have a one-minute cooldown before you can rejoin your team.
There was a section where we had to get a little bit physical (yes, crossing a one-foot-tall bridge to avoid laser sensors is peak spy behaviour), and then solve some complex puzzles after that (with my big brain though, it took only 10 minutes).
After finally finding the necessary key in the water treatment room, we finally managed to start what I believe was the last and most important task of our mission: pressing some coloured buttons in another room.
Honestly, our strategy here could have been much better, as we resorted to almost shouting directions across the rooms. Let’s just say, there are other better ways to go about it.
Finally, with the buttons pressed, I caught a glimpse of the monitor saying to put the canister in but—
“Agents, it’s time to leave.”
We were out of time.
Groaning, we left the room, knowing that victory had been so, so close. Now, though, it’s time to check in with how Team Rescue went.
Mission 2: Rescue
Long story short, things on the Team Rescue side were not much better.
We were told the Rescue mission was a lot more physical, and the team would soon learn why. Instead of a bridge, they had to climb past a net wall and also brave a rock-climbing section to get to the other side.
With Keegan, the prisoner and our resident award-winning rock climber, locked away, this was quite the challenge. Plus, the team had to go back and forth quite a few times to procure materials and hide from the guards.
Unlike our game room, theirs didn’t present many hiding spots, so their solution was to go through the obstacle course again.
While all this was happening, Keegan was creating his own brand of chaos inside the locked room. Here, there was a toilet and a sink. Inside the sink, there was a key waiting for him.
Instead of looking for a magnet to fish out the key (which was the “correct” answer), he pried out a spring from the flush, straightened it out, and used it to hook the key. Well, the Breakout staffers did say to be creative, but please, do not follow in his footsteps.
Like us, they had to hide from the patrolling guards. However, our digital marketer Zhareef, went the disguise route after finding a uniform. Chatting to the guard, he managed to steal the remote needed to rescue Keegan from prison.
That’s not enough, though—the team still needed to find their way out, likely by solving the puzzles.
Needless to say, a lot of shenanigans went down during the second mission, but sadly, it wasn’t enough for them to escape.
The real win is the fun we had
Even though both teams failed at the missions, we still had a lot of fun and could not stop sharing our experiences (we stood outside the outlet chatting about what went down until it closed).
Overall, we found the rooms to be well-designed and creative, and those of us who had played Breakout’s other escape rooms before found this to be a step up from their usual. I personally loved the interactivity. It truly felt like we were in a spy video game or movie, but IRL.
Quite a bit of physicality is involved with this game, so both brains and brawns are needed.
In fact, our client writer Joyce, who admittedly has more brains than brawn, actually fell off the wall in mission #2 (Rescue), resulting in some bruising because she had hit the metallic steps on her way down.
Matt, our head of content production, also gained a few bruises from this portion. A word of advice from him is not to rush when you’re caught, as you might hurt yourself by knocking into obstacles.
We hope the Breakout team will be able to add some padding to the metal steps or perhaps on the floor to break any falls since the rock-climbing portion looks pretty challenging as well.
Although realism is entertaining, safety still comes first. If you’re looking to join in on the mission to destroy LUDDITE, make sure to wear comfortable clothing and appropriate shoes with good grip, and watch your step as needed.
With these pointers, hopefully you’ll fare better at the missions than we did. Mark our words though, we’ll be back!
- Learn more about Breakout’s Spy Game here.
- Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.