Welcome to the first 2017 edition of the London-focused monthly escape rumours post. Apologies to those of you who are waiting for the, ahem, 50ish reviews that are backlogged. Lots of them are just queued ready to be published and for the others I’ve got notes, so don’t worry too much and if you’re after an opinion then feel free to drop me an email.
Note that this 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 in the UK.
So, what have I have been up to in the last month? Well, quite a lot, even by my usual standards. Twenty-six escape games, a piece of immersive theatre and one other game which I’ll talk about later… That haul saw me playing in Blackpool, Liverpool, Manchester, Stockport, Preston, London, Milton Keynes, Andover, Winchester, Salisbury, Southampton and Bournemouth.
But that’s history – what about the future? Well, I’m off to Nottingham this weekend to play every game in the city – six at Escapologic, three at Logiclock, two at Cryptology and one at iLocked. After that there’s nothing booked till March although I expect that to change in the next couple of days as I get dates lined up for Time Run, Enigma Quests and, hopefully, a few others.
News and Rumours
Before we get any further, the big news from December was that three London escapers made up three quarters of the team that qualified for the Red Bull Mind Gamers challenge. Sera and Sharan are well known in the escape community while the third member of the team, and the reason that it’s big news on this site, is yours truly. Yes, we’ll be flying off to Budapest in March, courtesy of Red Bull, to represent the UK in a global escape competition with a room designed by Professor Scott Nicholson from Wilson Laurier University in Canada, one of the leading lights of game design. Jealous much?
OK, now that the humblebrag is out of the way, time to talk about what you’re really interested in:
If you’re a die hard escape room fan and don’t mind taking a day off work then Liz Cable of Time Games is running the Escape Game Unconference on Tuesday of next week. Tickets have sold out but if you’re interested in attending there’s a waiting list. A few more tickets went on sale over Christmas and I managed to grab one of them before they disappeared so the good news (for me at least) is that I’ll now be heading down to Kings Cross.
Breakin’ Escape is the first UK expansion of the Romanian based Breakout franchise (with name change for obvious reasons). They’re opening mid-January in Islington with six rooms – a massive increase in the options for London escapists. It’s not just the franchise name that has changed in the migration to the UK, they’ve also changed some of their game names for reasons that are pretty obvious if you check out the parent company. Somehow I don’t think the Bat Cave and the Death Star are going to be acceptable in the UK. Instead, you’ll be able to play Blackwing’s Cave, Sherlock’s Despair, The Flying Dutchman, War on Horizon Alpha, Butcher’s Lair and Heist Plan: The Garage. By all accounts they have some impressive sets so it will be interesting to see where they stack up against the existing London games.
Adventox looks likely to open in February with a couple of games mentioned on the website: Alcatraz and Stop Terrorism. As far as I can tell, it appears to be located in the West 12 Shopping Centre although the website is using an address taken from a different escape room… Worth mentioning that, if you’re quick, you might be able to sign up to their beta program and get a game for free: https://www.facebook.com/adventox
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. I’ve been expecting this to be released for the last couple of months but keep your eyes open – now that the Christmas rush is done, surely it will be ready soon.
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 next month. Watch this space for more details!
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s not one, not two but THREE popups coming to London over the next few months. Modern Fables are playing their cards close to their chest but I expect an announcement in February. Clockwork Dog are due back too although, again, they’re being quite coy on exact timings. Finally, Dean Rodgers of Crystal Maze, Time Run and Heist fame is launching a popup event at the Vault called Houdini’s Last Trick which will run for three months and then, hopefully, go on tour. Tickets are already on sale for that, so snap them up while you still can.
And that’s it for another month. Check back in for the February update!
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!