Welcome to the June 2018 edition of the London-focused immersive gaming rumours post. Note that this is about London (and surrounding areas). If you want to know about games further afield, then follow exitgames.co.uk, where I publish a weekly update on the UK escape room scene.
May was a busy month as I hopped over to the continent to play some escape rooms and present at Up the Game, the European immersive gaming conference. As well as those ~30 games, I managed to pick up a few around the UK, dropping in on Escape Hunt in Leeds, Deception Escape Rooms in Derbyshire and Inkwell Investigations in London (all of them games I’d recommend!). Outside the escape room world, I also headed along to For King and Country and tried out the prequel to the new Kickstarter project from Argyx.
This month sees a change to the format. I’ll still be covering escape rooms but I’m seeing more and more immersive gaming and puzzling fun, so I’ve decided to bite the bullet and split it all out.
The biggest news this month, possibly this year, and the reason that this article has been delayed for a few days is that Time Run have finally announced their new project. Due to launch in October or The Game is Now is an escape room based on Sherlock, as in Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, the TV series. If you want to know more about that then I’ve got a separate post all about the launch.
STOP PRESS: AI Escape have launched their latest game, Project Ðelta. Discount tickets available now while they’re testing but they’ve been playtesting for a while so I expect this be pretty solid already. Given the quality of their previous games I’m really looking forward to playing their third experience.
A new venue, AIM Escape, is in the final stages of testing over in Aldgate East. there’s an interesting choice of games with a couple, Psychopath’s Den and Hangover Deja Brew, aimed squarely at adults, another (Patient 2150) aimed at teenagers and above while the final one, Spy Heroes, has a minimum age of six. It claims to be the UK’s most premium experience so set your expectations, well, reasonably high?
Those of you who like puzzles and alcohol will no doubt have heard of the Bletchley, a cocktail bar with enigma machines… It’s long been talked about in escape room enthusiast circles so it’s exciting that they’re launching an escape room experience. Details are still vague, but it looks likely that it will be heavy on the experience with a story that revolves around AI and a mention of Black Mirror in their Twitter description. The Grid opens at some point over the summer and there’s a waiting list to get booked in, complete with puzzle to keep out the riff raff. Warning: don’t think too deeply – it’s really very simple.
Thanks to Toby from Escape the Review for pointing out that Namco have switched out their game again. For £30 you and up to five friends can spend 765 seconds solving Secret Agent in China
Meanwhile, they’ve obviously decided that the escape room concept is working with Romford’s Namco opening up at some point in the recent past. Looking at the website, they’ve taken the Blue Eyed Cats from London so it’s interesting to speculate whether this model will continue with Namco games slowly migrating their way around the country. Worth waiting a week or two if you’re thinking of playing – rumour has it that they’re about to launch a Groupon offer.
Popup Escapes in Putney has been given a new lease of life with an agreement that it will open until the end of the year. Perhaps time to change the company name 😉
Clue Adventures launched Gangsters Treasure last month but word
on the street from the owner is that it will be getting a new venue come July. Venues are notoriously fickle, though, so if you’re keen to play, I’d recommend grabbing the chance while you can.
As ever, if you’re looking for general recommendations in the capital then you can check out my London guide which lists my favourite games or the more detailed recommendations based on whether you’re looking for a two player or eight player game, like mechanical puzzles or need a wheelchair accessible game.
If you’re of a certain age then you’ll have fond memories of watching Knightmare as a kid and probably screaming at the children for being stupid. Well, what could be more fun than doing the same but at adults? Knightmare Live has been going strong for the last five years or so and they’re back at Underbelly on 17 June and 18 July this year. Enter, stranger.
Speaking of reminiscing, A Door in a Wall are back with their latest project, Dead Man’s Hand. Why reminiscing? Well, this is a revamped version of a show they put on about five years ago. That’s great news for those of us who only stumbled upon the company more recently as it’s presumably given them a head start in creating this project. I suspect that’s why it can appear hot on the heels of A Dead Drop which unfortunately dropped dead last month due to the venue closing. The new show takes place on Saturday afternoons near Farringdon
If you’ve not had a chance yet, I’d recommend heading along to The Void, a VR Star Wars experience that’s been wowing visitors to the Westfield shopping centre. It’s only twenty minutes long but it really shows off the best of VR and immerses you in the action using a variety of clever techniques.
For King and Country from Parabolic Theatre continues for the next month or two down in the CoLab Factory near Waterloo. I’ve posted my review of the experience but TL;DR it’s well worth attending.
Hunted, the urban game based on the TV show and produced by Fire Hazard, is all set to hit the capital’s streets this month. Expect high-octane adventure on the streets of the city.
Dead Quiet starts next week and takes place on various Saturday afternoons during June and July. I’ve not get any experience with the company, Immercity, but it sounds like it’s mainly immersive theatre with a bit of murder mystery layered on top. If you head along, do let me know how you find it!
The Murder Express takes an Agatha Christie style story and throws you into the midst of the action. They’ve created a train for the game and you can purchase food and drink during the show so it’s a slightly different slant on the usual experience mentioned on these pages.
Puzzles and more
DASH 10 has been announced and tickets go on sale on
As per usual, Puzzled Pint takes place on the second Tuesday of the month. If you’re looking for some fun, sociable puzzling then it’s a great start. And if you’re nervous that the puzzles will be too hard then don’t worry – there’s a games controller who’ll help you out as much as you need. You can check out puzzles and solutions from previous months on their website here.
Midnight Madness took place in mid-May, mixing up puzzles and immersive theatre for a twelve hour experience around London. It sounds like it all went well and while I haven’t seen any write-ups, they’ve posted photos which suggest people had one hell of a time.
OK, it’s a bit more hardcore and less sociable than the other puzzles mentioned here but if you’re interested in hard logic problems (think sudokus but more interesting), you might want to check out the UK Puzzle Championships. I’ve played the last couple of years and while I’ve finished distinctly close to the bottom of the ranking, I’ve had a thoroughly fun couple of hours! The competition takes place over 23rd – 24th June.
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, tell me and I’ll include updates in the next edition.
Thanks for reading!