Welcome to the February 2017 edition of the London-focused monthly escape rumours post. Hopefully you’ll have seen that I’ve stepped up the publishing schedule over the last month with 25 articles and I’m now publishing a review every day. The good news is that I’ve got another couple of weeks ready to go and I’m working hard to keep that rate up for the foreseeable future – I’m still about 50 reviews behind and, given current plans, I’m not expecting to catch up till June or July, even at that rate. As always, I’ve got notes on all the games I’ve played, so don’t worry too much and if you’re after an opinion then feel free to drop me an email and I’ll try to help.
Note that this update is about London (and a little further afield), the weekly post about the UK and Ireland is now published over on exitgames.co.uk – so head on over to that website if you’re interested in all that’s happening further afield.
So, what have I have been up to in the last month? A little down on December with only 15 games, mostly on a trip to Nottingham, but I’ve been concentrating more on organising my future escape schedule which is looking, well, ridiculous. Here’s the current outline:
- 3: Dyson Smart Rooms (in spite of all my friends getting tickets, I missed out so I’ve signed up for playtesting instead).
- 8: Time Run – Celestial Chain (at last!)
- 12/13: Edinburgh
- Locked In Edinburgh – Distillery and Animal Hospital
- Can You Escape – Odyssey
- Escape Hour – Diamond Heist
- Exit Plan – Tesla, Svengali and Framed
- The Escape Mobile: Houdini’s Last Trick
- Decide A Quest (part of the Vault Festival)
- 23/24: Scotland (probably)
- 25-28: Vienna (probably)
- 2: Enigma Quests – Million Pound Heist (which Mrs Logic has already played. Grrrr)
- 22-26: BUDAPEST – RED BULL MIND GAMERS TOURNAMENT
- 29: Inside Out – Finding Sherlock Holmes
On top of that, I’m hoping to organise trips to Breakin’ Escape, Operation Escape and Room Lockdown in London and, if I ever complete the capital’s games, The Panic Room in Gravesend is right up at the top of the list.
News and Rumours
Breakin’ Escape opened right at the tail end of January in Highbury with six, yes SIX, games: Blackwing’s Cave, Sherlock’s Despair, The Flying Dutchman, War on Horizon Alpha, Butcher’s Lair and Heist Plan: The Garage. These are tried and tested games so, unlike with most companies, you can probably afford to start after only a week or so of things settling in to allow them to find and repair any (physical) weaknesses in their build and get the games masters trained up. It’s going to take me a little while to organise the trip down but I’ll try to get there soon. I’ve been down to the venue and was impressed by the two people managing the set up not to mention the outside of the games – each entrance is customised for the room behind it and the waiting area is nicely laid out. So far, I’m very impressed!
Dean Rodgers of Crystal Maze, Time Run and Heist fame launched his popup event at the Vault. Houdini’s Last Trick will run for three months and then, hopefully, go on tour. Initial comments are positive and by now I’d imagine they’ve ironed out any wrinkles so sign up for a twenty minute escape room experience and while you’re down there, why not check out some of the other amazing things that the Vault Festival has on offer.
Adventox, located in the West12 shopping centre, looks likely to open this month with a couple of games mentioned on the website: Alcatraz and Stop Terrorism. I’ve had a few exchanges with the owner and it sounds like they’re switched on to meeting the escape room community demands and want to listen to players. Looking forward to hearing more.
If you’ve ever played with Lady Chastity, you’ll realise that Handmade Mysteries know how to show people a good time… well, they’re back soon with Poppa Plock – a game that seems to be set in a toy shop. Unfortunately they had a devastating setback when their proposed location burned down but they’re on the lookout for a new venue and hope to be ready to launch the game as soon as possible.
Escape Rooms have been looking to expand for an age but hit a few delays along the way. Finally, things are looking up with them expecting to open their new location this month. Watch this space for more details!
No updates on the other two popups from last month’s news. Modern Fables are still playing their cards close to their chest but I expect an announcement by the end of February. Clockwork Dog are due back too although they’re being similarly coy on exact timings.
Last month saw the second London Escape Room unconference which was a memorable experience for all involved. Perhaps a little crowded but it was great to see so many people related to the industry get together for the day to talk about what we love. Plenty of interesting topics but, as always with this sort of thing, it was the ad hoc chats that most caught my attention – talking to people I’ve only met via email, revelling in the excitement of those people who are on the cusp of opening their games, hearing about the expansion plans of some of the experienced companies and generally just getting to immerse myself in all things escape for a day.
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!