January 2016 news and rumours

Happy New Year and welcome to the January 2016 edition of the escape rumours post, and once again there’s plenty to keep the escape enthusiast busy in the coming months. Read on to find out more.

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 have been a couple of Groupon offers over the last month.

  • Sherlock Unlock is doing a £49 per room deal, which (assuming the room is halfway decent) is a fantastically good price. I’ll be taking two teams down in February to play their games.
  • If you fancy something with a little more pedigree, Hidden Rooms are offering £31 for three players which still represents great value, and may be a much more convenient location. I’ve reviewed both Prison Break and Chain Reaction.
  • If you’re willing to travel outside of the very centre, QuestRoom also have a Groupon deal working out at around £11 per person, assuming you have either 3 or 5 people. I’ll be taking a team along in January.
  • Within striking distance of London, Clue HQ in Brentwood are running a fantastically good deal – £36 for up to six people.

Not strictly a special offer, but Mystery Cube will be increasing their prices from 24th January, so if you want to book one of their rooms, jump in now to save yourself a bit of money.

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.

Plans

After six escape games and one immersive event, things are looking a little quieter in the New Year. Upcoming visits and reviews:

  • January
    • QuestRoom
    • Oubliette Escape Rooms
  •  February
    • Mystery Cube
    • Sherlock Unlock – Outbreak
    • Sherlock Unlock – Chaos
  • March
    • clueQuest – Revenge of the Sheep
  • April
    • The Crystal Maze

News and Rumours

Enter the Oubliette have announced their opening date as 9th January. I’m pretty excited by what they might create, so we’re booked in a couple of weeks after they open. I’ve been bitten a couple of times in the past by playing games immediately after they go live, so hopefully we’ve struck the right balance between playing asap and giving them a chance to iron out any wrinkles. Watch this space!

clueQuest have now started taking bookings for their new game, Revenge of the Sheep, and announced an opening date of 24th March. I’m excited about this game too – I’ve had great experiences with them, so I can’t wait to play! They’ve also quietly opened up another Operation Blacksheep room, bringing their total to seven rooms. Once their new rooms come online in March, I expect them to be the biggest operation in London by number of rooms.

Sherlock Unlock have now opened their doors, with “Chaos” and “Outbreak” both coming online during December. Sadly nothing Sherlock related as far as I can see, but two new games is never a bad thing, and with the Groupon offer outlined above, there’s almost certainly a bargain to be had.

Handmade Mysteries have one heck of a reputation, so it’s great to see that while they’ve expanded down to the south coast, they’ve not forgotten their London roots. Since mid December, they’ve had a second room in the capital, this time up in Hackney. The People’s Park Tavern plays host to the third instance of Lady Chastity’s Reserve. It’s been modified slightly, to allow six people to play and consequently includes a couple more puzzles. Frustrating for those of us who were looking forward to trying out a new experience, but great that the Northern half of the city will be able to break open Lady Chastity’s reserve.

Those of you following the exitgames blog, might have noticed that the Bristol Maze was recently announced. If you follow that link through to the website, you’ll find that they’ve announced three other venues, one of which is in London and due to open in March. They’re aiming to have two escape “complexes” when they first launch with fairly large capacities (2-8 and 4-10) – one a hostage themed experience and the other still to be confirmed. Assuming things go to plan, they’ll add in a couple more games later in the year.

Archimedes Inspiration have pushed back their opening dates again. No confirmation of when, but it sounds like they’re just being cautious and we should hear more very soon. I’m certainly expecting to see them open in the next couple of months.

The Crystal Maze have now pretty much sold out their tickets through to September. I wasn’t at all surprised at the popularity of the Kickstarter projects, but I’ve been amazed that almost the same number again have signed up for the £50 tickets – a back of the envelope calculation suggests they’ve netted close to £2 million so far! Can’t be long before they officially announce their precise venue, but in the meantime “somewhere between Kings Cross and Angel” should give you a pretty good idea.

Last I heard the Enigma Quests and Enigma Escape teams were both looking to open their second rooms in the new year. I’ll pass on updates as soon as I hear more – watch this space.

That’s all folks

That’s all I’m aware of. If any of the above is incorrect then let me know, or equally if you’re aware of other news, discounts or competitions, and I’ll include updates in the next edition.

Thanks for reading!

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