London news and rumours – July 2016

news

Welcome to the June 2016 edition of the escape rumours post. Note that this is about London (and a little further afield). I do a separate (terse!) weekly post about UK news or you can read more in depth (although not quite so up-to-date) news on exitgames.co.uk.

Competitions and special offers

There are a few offers for London games this month.

  • Escape Games London are running an introductory Groupon offer. I’ve not yet played their room (although I have signed up for the Groupon offer). Looks like they’ve now sorted out the booking issues.
  • Sherlock Unlock continue their Groupon offer. I recommend reading my reviews beforehand though. Note that they’re opening a new game this month which I think is covered by the Groupon offer.
  • Quest Room have re-opened their Groupon offer. Again, you should read my review before purchasing.

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.

Plans

It’s been a moderately busy June with a variety of fun activities – five escape rooms, an escape room in a box, a news appearance in the Culture section of the Sunday Telegraph, an urban game and a couple of immersive theatre performances. Check out the front page for reviews.

If you’re more interested in what the future brings, here’s my current list of bookings:

  • July
    • 9: Escape Quest: Bad Clown (90 minutes!), Amazon Escape and Curious Encounters
    • 11: Omescape (Penitentiary)
    • 18: Escape Games London (Escape from the Theatre)
    • 31: Southend
      • Escape Live Essex (Dr Wilson’s Office)
      • Escape Live Essex (Room 13)
      • Alien Escape
  • August
    • 1: The Game’s Afoot
  • September
    • 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!

News and Rumours

Mission Breakout London launched this week http://www.missionbreakout.london). The venue is particularly interesting – it’s located in a disused tube station, South Kentish Town. This ghost tube station opened in 1907 but closed in 1924 due to low usage, only to be adapted as an air raid shelter during the Second World War. You can already book their first game which is based on a true story around codebreakers.

Escape Games London has opened. It’s hard to know exactly when, given the first TripAdvisor reviews are five months old, but then there was a hiatus, but I think it was sometime in mid-June. To start with it’s a single game, Escape from the Theatre, which sees you split into two teams of up to 15 (!) and then, I assume, racing to escape. Note that this game is 45 minutes and future games are of that length or 50 minutes, so factor that in when looking at ticket prices.

Locked in a Room have long been open in Bristol, but as of last month they announced they’ll be opening up in London. More precisely in the ExCel centre. No clear sign of when they’ll open – the booking page is already available, but I’d imagine that’s left over from when they copied the Bristol site. Similarly they’re showing the same two games, but it’s not clear if they’re coming across or whether that just copied and pasted too.

Agent November’s crowdfunding campaign to resurrect 2.8 Hours Later finished a shade short of £2000. Obviously disappointing compared to what they were aiming for but I’m sure when October comes around they’ll have created something that plenty of people sign up for and that goes from strength to strength.

We said goodbye to Enter the Oubliette last month. I was really sad to see them go as they were, in my opinion, one of the best escape games as well as being genuinely lovely people. There’s a silver lining though – I met up with them earlier in the week and they certainly haven’t ruled out building another escape room, although I don’t expect them to recreate Escape from New Pelagia.

Clockwork Dog’s three week run ended to critical acclaim (well, from myself and Escape Review!), but they’re hoping to be back with more later in the year. Watch this space!

No updates from Claustrophobia, Clue Adventures or Escape Zone London. I’ll let you know if I hear more.

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…

Reading

It’s less than thirty minutes from Paddington by train and up until last month it was probably the most obvious gap in the UK market. Several companies had tried to open there but struggled with finding venues and getting planning permission. The good news is that the wait is finally over and this month you can play three different escape rooms from two difference companies in the town. Like buses, eh?

Escape Reading opened on 30th June close to Reading West station with two games, the Library and the Bank Robbery. First teams are through and look like they had a good time but no reviews from enthusiasts yet.

Meanwhile, Time Trap is an escape room that’s still in the planning stages, but is putting on a “performance” at the Reading Fringe. Running on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 Jul they invite teams of up to six players to try their hand at the Dungeon. They’re looking to open up a full time escape room in the Autumn.

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!

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