There are so many games focused on sneaking, but so few opportunities for most of us to ever get to perform such acts in real life, at least without breaking the law. While that’s likely for the best, one worker at an escape room has discovered the perfect reason to use such skills in real life, and she doesn’t even murder anyone. She’s incredible.
The TikTok account for Breakout Games—a chain of escape rooms in the U.S.—is blowing up. Having just hit one million subscribers, its feed is dominated by one member of staff, who regularly records herself performing secret missions to sneak into live games without being spotted by players. While we don’t know her name, we have serious respect for her skills, and today we pay tribute.
Breakout Games has over 30 locations across the Western half of the States, featuring the sorts of themed rooms you might expect from such a place. There’s the Runaway Train, Submarine Survival, a Mystery Mansion, that sort of thing, each with a set of challenges to be completed by a team of players working together to find secrets, solve clues, unlock doors, and make good their escape. Except, for this to work out, sometimes a prompt might be needed.
Now, while it’s normal for many escape rooms to provide hints, perhaps allowing players to radio for a limited number of clues from staff—or even require outright intervention—the Breakout Games TikTok account shows something far more impressive. The unnamed, blonde-haired staff member breaks into the rooms, performs her acts of derring-do, then leaves before any of the group of players notices someone joined them. And she films the whole thing.
Oh, and best of all, her trademark move is to complete her invisible escapades by then SLAMMING the door as she leaves, terrifying absolutely everyone who hadn’t known she’d ever been there.
Often these daring sneaks are performed because a group is stuck, and this extraordinary staff member wants them to progress without ever knowing they were helped. Sometimes, though, she has to sneak out of a sticky situation. Those are great, too.
All the techniques we’ve learned from decades of playing Metal Gear Solid, Thief, and Splinter Cell are there. In a hostage-themed room, where the players are all blindfolded, we’re obviously in “their vision is based on sound” territory. Ostensibly that should make sneaking somewhat easier, except the issue is a vital key has been dropped in the middle of the room, and none of the players are able to find it. So our hero’s task is to have them stumble upon it for themselves, without being stumbled upon herself. And it’s close.
This one blows my mind. It’s a tiny room, and the guests are all just there. There’s nowhere to hide, nothing to hide behind, and it seems like wishful thinking that she’d complete her goal of closing a secret door that’s accidentally opened before it should have. Surely players saw her and just kept quiet out of politeness, right? Yet then comes her signature door SLAM on exit, and they all scream! (Other reasons for screaming: the accompanying song.)
A recurring theme in these amazing shenanigans is how well the staff member is able to not only nudge the players forward, but make them feel as though their momentum is their own achievement. Check out how one guest is heralded by another party member as a “genius” for discovering a book that our player-character just hoofed across the floor as loudly as she could:
For Thief fans, here’s the perfect reason for any of the guests to have suggested, “Hmph, must ‘av been rats.”
The more we watch these, the more invested we get in her actions, and that fear of getting caught. Once more in the blindfolded hostage room, just check out the narrow gap she has to get through without alerting anyone. (And then of course her very deliberate attempt to get noticed.)
You know that bit in the games where you throw the object to distract the enemy? Yeah:
And yes, we all have the same question: Does it ever go wrong? Yes. Yes it does. Very.
If you’re wondering or worrying that posting footage of people not aware they’re being filmed might be a little ethically dubious, the staff at the rooms get the guests’ permission before posting any videos. As revealed by this equally tense...let’s say cutscene, revealing the moment the company boss learned about the TikTok account:
Unknown Breakout Games employee: we salute you. You are Garrett. You are Corvo. You are Snake.
Bonus: the things that escape room employees see and hear during games is absolutely WILD.