Welcome to the April 2016 edition of the escape rumours post. After the March mega issue, we’re back down to something a little more manageable. Only a little though!
Note that this is about London (and a little further afield). Exit Games does an excellent blog on UK wide news, with frequent news updates. If you’re not already a reader, then I highly recommend you sign up.
Competitions and special offers
There are a couple of offers for London games this month.
- Hidden Rooms are still offering £31 for three players which represents great value. I’ve reviewed both Prison Break and Chain Reaction if you want to read more about the games they offer
- Mind the Game continue their Groupon offer. I visited in February so you can read my opinion if you want.
- Sherlock Unlock continue their Groupon offer. I recommend reading my reviews beforehand, though.
- Reading this article might also lead you to find a 25% discount for Enter the Oubliette…
Finally, check out PlayExitGames‘ card if you intend to visit a couple of different sites from their list this year – they’ve got Brighton, Cambridge and London and I fully expect them to add a few more.
It felt like a quietish March after February’s escape-fest, with “only” four escape rooms and some immersive theatre. Check out the front page for those reviews (hope you like the redesign!).
If you’re more interested in what the future brings, here’s my current list of bookings:
- Budapest! Yes, I’m dragging a bunch of fellow escapers off to the European capital of escaping for a long weekend of being locked in rooms. We’re still deciding what we’ll play, but you can bet that the Pirate Cave will be involved! If you’ve got any suggestions, then drop me an email or comment below!
Currently, that leaves me with only two traditional escape room unreviewed – Lock’d’s Perpetuum Mobile and AI Escape’s recently opened game, Leo’s Path – plus Agent November’s two outdoor games. London almost finished? Not for long!
News and Rumours
There’s no real science to what goes at the top of this section, but I’ll admit to having a soft spot for escape rooms run by enthusiasts. Taking over the mantle of most southerly London game, Escape from the Room, based in Sutton, is just such a room and tells the story of Milly, who died mysteriously after living as a recluse for many years. Your mission is to investigate the tragedy and help Milly’s soul to find peace. Being run by enthusiasts probably gives a clue as to why they’re so honest in their capacity information “Recommended for 2-4 with a maximum of 6”. It might also be related to their fixed price model (TBC, but around £60 per team), but from chatting over email, it sounds like that reflects their frustration of paying a lot of money whenever they brought their family along to an escape room and being charged extra for what is, more-or-less the same service.
A Door in a Wall released, and almost instantly sold out of, tickets for their monthly event, A Veiled Threat. Their test event went down well, so let’s hope they have an extended honeymoon period. More tickets will go on sale for the July-onwards events, so jump on their mailing list if that appeals. Alternatively, if you can’t wait till July, then they’re about to announce their next big event. No details yet, but they usually run two shows a year, in May and October, so it can’t be long before we hear something!
clueQuest brought us Revenge of the Sheep this month. We were lucky enough to be invited along just before their official launch, so you can already read full details in my review, but I can confirm here that it’s a lot of fun.
The Crystal Maze finally opened. All reports (including one from a friend who went on the opening day of testing!) suggest that they’ve nailed it. I’ll be visiting in April, so watch out for a review towards the end of this month.
Archimedes Inspiration have finally opened. We’ll be heading along some time in May, but initial reports sound positive, especially if you like your room on the tough side! No news yet on the other three rooms they’re planning on opening, but we’ll let you know when we hear.
OM Escape opened their site just north of Kings Cross, round the corner from clueQuest. They’ve already got a couple of tried and tested games in their portfolio from their American franchises, so expect to see some pretty slick games right from the start. The first game, Joker’s Asylum, is already running and I’m expecting to hear news on opening dates for other rooms in the very near future.
Handmade Mysteries have opened a second copy of Lady Chastity’s Reserve in Battersea. What makes this particularly interesting is that one copy can hold six people, while the other can take five! I can’t help but wonder whether this is part of a longer term plan to replace the smaller room with a new game so that the two Lady Chastity’s Reserve games in London (remember – there’s also one in the North) are both the same size. Who knows?
Enigma Quests are on the verge of announcing their next room which is based around a bank heist. If you’ve read my review of School of Witchcraft and Wizardry you’ll know there’s a lot to be excited about here. I’ve exchanged email with their owners and you can expect some earlybird offers to help with play testing, and they’ve suggested that they’re looking at another round of crowdfunding to help spread the word. Crowdfunding is usually a bit of a risk for “investors”, but with Enigma Quests now being an established company I’m expecting this round to generate far more revenue.
It’s not 100% confirmed, but the Channel 4 series “What Britain Buys” launches on 25th April. It centres around the latest trends for where Brits are spending their money and, naturally, escape rooms fall into that category so are going to be appearing (probably on the opening night). Even better, one of London’s escape rooms is set to be showcased, with Mary Portas experiencing the delights of being locked in a room. If your friends and family haven’t experienced the fun of escape rooms, now’s your chance to share!
Speaking of 25th April, still no solid news on the Unconference plans, beyond that provisional date (and an Eventbrite invite), but as far as I’m aware it’s still going ahead. More news on Twitter as I get it.
No update on Escape Games London – they had a test afternoon by the looks of TripAdvisor, but the March opening doesn’t appear to have materialised. Similarly no news on Claustrophobia, Mission Evasion or Clue Adventures. I’ll let you know when I hear more.
Escape Zone London‘s crowdfunding project never really gained traction and closed without making its target, but I’ve checked in with them and their plans are to open anyway, albeit in a slightly longer timescale, so hopefully we’ll something from then over the Summer.
On the borders
I’m London focused, but the M25 doesn’t actually have passport control, so occasionally I look a little further afield. This month I’m going to focus on…
It’s right on the border of what I’d consider reasonable for an escape room outing, but you can get from Waterloo to Winchester in about an hour, so I thought I’d include it, especially since it’s recently had two escape room announcements.
Clue Capers have opened up a single room, Mission to Winchintzy, already but their long term goal is to have two identical rooms and a third different one, with new rooms coming online every six months. They also intend to offer different difficulty levels on the games, so if you want a challenge you can choose Dastardly mode.
Live Escape Winchester are yet to open, but there’s enough on their website to suggest that they can’t be far off, and it’s pretty clear that they’re enthusiasts, having played in Budapest and Florence. I’m curious to see what the produce given their wide range of experiences!
With potentially three rooms open by the end of the year, maybe I’ll make a trip down at some point!
That’s all folks
That’s all I’m aware of. If any of the above is incorrect then let me know via email or in the comments below, or equally if you’re aware of other news, discounts or competitions, and I’ll include updates in the next edition.
Thanks for reading!