You are a gang of street racers planning a major heist in New York City. Operation: Race Day. The aim is to hit the five biggest banks in Manhattan in one night, under the cover of an illegal street race you’ll be competing in using two of your tuned-up cars. It’s daring, but it just might work. However, word travels fast in the criminal underworld. A rival gang have broken into your garage overnight, stolen one of your cars and wrecked the other one’s engine. Now you have only one hour to repair your broken car, find your second car and steal it back, get to the starting line and finish the job. Be fast and furious in your problem-solving.
Completion Time: 45:00
Date Played: 21st June 2021
Party Size: 4
Recommended For: Fans of cars, Fast & Furious, or just robbing banks!
Just add guns
I was absolutely delighted by playing Heist Plan …But despite the name, I don’t know if I’d really call it a heist themed escape room. It was a little more ‘car’ themed! It was a little like being commissioned to make a heist themed escape room but the designer just really, really liked the garage aesthetic! I’ll explain:
Designer A: Let’s create a heist themed escape room.
Designer B: Definitely heist themed, right?
Designer A: Definitely. But wouldn’t it be cool if we added some cars in too?
Designer B: Okay…
Designer A: Oooh, we could set it in a garage? And how about before you rob the bank you have to fix your car.
Designer B: Ok but so long as it’s still a heist themed game.
Designer A: Yeah, yeah of course… Right so let’s fill it with wrenches and sparkplugs and really awesome garage doors. All the puzzles are going to be car themed.
Designer B: And… The… Heist part?
Designer A: We’ll give players a gun.
Designer B: Perfect.
I’m kidding! No really, it was heist themed – I think I just under-estimated how equally car themed this escape room experience was. Without wishing to infringe on any IP, I believe Heist Plan is loosely based around The Fast and the Furious franchise. Not having watched The Fast and the Furious, this is a pure guess. But I think the movies are about heists… And cars.
Choose your co-heisters wisely!
I took on Heist Plan on a Monday afternoon in a team of four. Two of our party had never played an escape room before – which is a great litmus test to see how much fun a room is for the non-enthusiast. According to Breakin’, Heist Plan is one of the hardest available, but after a previous success back in 2018 with Sherlock’s Despair (an equally difficult room) I reckoned we were up to the challenge.
For us, a team of four players was perfect. You can book up to six in this room (and even bring along a seventh if you need to), but as this escape room is highly linear, four is about perfect. Each puzzle typically required two or three players working together at once, whilst others played a supporting role.
Garages and Grids
As mentioned, Heist Plan is set within a garage. Which is a first for The Escape Roomer – we’ve never played an escape room experience in a garage before! Come to think of it… I don’t think I’ve ever even been in a garage before! So now I have an expectation that garages are full of puzzles (and guns)! If your garage is full of puzzles and guns, leave a comment and validate my assumptions!
The great thing is that Breakin’ have themed the room really, really well! It’s actually a very great looking room with a lot of exciting things to poke around at. Being a one-room escape room, everything you need you’ll find in front of you right at the start – all the padlocks, all the digit locks, and absolutely no detail is gone to waste.
If you find it in the room it’ll be important for a puzzle!
How difficult was this room?
In terms of puzzles, this room is a little on the more difficult side for sure, but nothing insurmountable. Within the first ten minutes, our team did get stuck and have to ask for a clue to get us started in the right direction. There’s a lot to take in but because of the linear nature, without a prompt to the first puzzle it could be confusing.
After our first clue, we were off to a flying start! Players can expect to encounter a higher than average quantity of physical manipulation puzzles, pairs nicely with a few locks (including keys / digits / letters). There’s a very creative puzzle involving cars (yes, yes I KNOW the whole room is themed around cars but you’ll know it when you see it!), and some fun uses of magnets and plugs too.
I also cannot help but mention the ending – no spoilers here, but the game ramps up in excitement right when you’re about to finish in an adrenaline fuelled puzzle to race to the ending! This is where the ‘heist’ part of the game comes into play and yes, I did run around the room laughing with 2 AK47s in my hand. You’ve just gotta, right?
Overall, Heist Plan at Breakin’ is really good and quite silly fun. Our team had an absolute blast – beginners and enthusiasts alike! We ran from the room with our hands and pockets stuffed with gold bars and cash laughing. if there’s a better way to spend a raining Monday afternoon, I’d like to know it.
Heist Plan can be booked at Breakin’ Escape Rooms by heading to their website here.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.