“You and your friends have won a prize at the local carnival, but it’s a prize with a difference. Since you’ve taken it home, you have been tormented by strange dreams and a haunting voice that tells you that you must return your prize within 7 days. You return to the carnival on the 7th day and enter the big top. From there, you must return to the old repair shed with only an hour left before the carnival leaves town for good. Can you break the curse or will your nightmares come true…”
At the time of writing this, we’ve played (almost!) all of Breakout Chester’s rooms, and the theme of Cursed Carnival has to be the one that intrigued us the most!
A creepy and ‘cursed’ experience was that what we expected and the room certainly begins that way.
You’re asked to carry a creepy looking doll around with you throughout the experience and given torches to begin with, which means you know things are going to be dark! However, once you pass this initial stage, the rest of the room really switches things up.
Visually, they have done a fantastic job and the experience overall is really colourful and almost childlike. It’s also pretty big with a number of separate rooms combined.
The brief and the beginning of Cursed Carnival make it seem like things are going to be dark and scary throughout, but it’s actually really family-friendly and not scary at all.
Overall, the design of the entire room really leans into the ‘Carnival’ more than the ‘Cursed’. Admittedly we were after a scarier experience but we leaned into the fun of the room as we played.
Something to be aware of. It just means that if you are expecting a scary or horror-themed escape room experience, this isn’t it.
Note: Breakout Chester do add a disclaimer on their website that reads, “DISCLAIMER: For the Halloween period there may be clowns in this room (24-31st October)”. We didn’t get to experience this but imagine it would up the scariness factor if that’s what you’re after!
The gameplay and flow is very linear throughout, which actually makes you feel like you’re making great progress as you tackle each ‘area’. There isn’t much backtracking at all.
Without giving too much away, each room within this escape room leans into its own puzzle type and style of play.
Beginning with quite a basic lock and code heavy room, then moving into a search and observation style, next is a mixture of gameplay and ‘carnival’ style puzzles, where finally it all comes together in the concluding space.
This makes for a great mix of puzzles with plenty to do. Not only that, but it also gives all types of players a chance to shine and get involved.
In general, we had loads of fun in this room. The carnival-style games mixed in and small touches make you feel like a kid again as you discover the secrets scatted throughout the escape room. A few surprises and fun props really make it an enjoyable experience.
In terms of difficulty, this is one of the easiest rooms at Breakout Chester. In fact, it’s probably among one of the easiest rooms we’ve completed in general.
It’s absolutely a game that beginners can and will enjoy, but we still had an awesome time here even though we weren’t particularly challenged.
Granted, there were a couple of puzzles that took us a moment to wrap our hands around but we mostly breezed through it! Newbies may have a different experience as we were able to spot things a bit quicker due to experience.
Cursed Carnival rated as a 3 out 5 for difficulty on Breakout Chester’s website which is probably right for people who haven’t done many rooms.
Enthusiasts will still have a blast in here though and having completed almost all of Breakout Chester’s rooms, we would say this was up there in terms of how much fun we had!
As is standard at Breakout Chester, the clues were delivered via a TV screen inside the room that also displays your time.
We got out with 16 minutes and 5 seconds to spare and only a couple of clues. Great work!
Ultimately, we had a lot of fun in this room. From beginning to end we had smiles on our faces and really felt in control.
You have to credit both the theme and flow here. Despite it not being as scary as we first imagined or wanted, this didn’t really change anything in regard to our feelings towards Cursed Carnival.
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