Welcome to the March 2018 edition of the London-focused escape 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 scene.
I’m continuing to catch up on my review backlog but, if you’re after an opinion, feel free to drop me an email and I’ll try to help.
It’s been a quiet month for me again, except for a solid week of escaping in the middle. That saw me spending four days in Berlin including visiting the Room – one of the best venues in Europe – as well as a couple of other gems. Reviews for that trip will hopefully be posted towards the end of this month.
Then, once I’d got back, I played a few days’ around the UK – seeing games down in the SE (Dinoland! Frankenscape!) and up in the Midlands (including Heistakes, Tommy and Edith)
And once that had all calmed down, I finally visited Escape Plan in London for a long overdue play of Battle for Britain. Oh – and I had a quick trip to the Vaults at the beginning of the month for the Lifeboat.
This month, I’ve got… nothing booked! I’m hoping to preview the Tomb Raider game that’s been splashed around the news, visit a mini escape room as part of a larger immersive theatre event and play a City Dash after a very long hiatus.
News and Rumours
If you’re not a Twitter kind of person then good news: I’ve finally joined the dark side and launched a Facebook page. It’s great for keeping up to date with the blog but please do use it for quick questions – you can send messages to me there, and I’ll probably give you a far quicker answer than via email or Twitter. I’m happy to offer advice on escape rooms all over the UK and beyond – if I don’t know the answer, there’s a decent chance someone I know does!
Huge news this month with Time Run finally announcing their permanent closure which will happen in late April. That’s a big deal because London has no premium offering to take that space so it will be interesting to see how that plays out. I can well imagine people jumping in to fill that void and, of course, hopefully Time Run will be back in the not too distant future with a similarly impressive offering.
City Mazes have barely opened their doors but they’ve already decided to replace one of their games. Lost Cabin is getting lost in a week or two and instead you’ll find you can book The Runner, which looks to be a loosely Maze Runner themed game.
The Lifeboat is a temporary escape room taking place at the Vault Festival until mid-March. I played in early February and had a fun time although enthusiasts’ opinions have varied wildly.
Claustrophobia is in the test phases for their first London rooms, so my guess is that they’ll be opening properly this month but I’ve had no confirmation. Expect three games to start with, expanding to five later in the year. No news on the other Russian franchise, Komnata. Watch this space!
Escape London open The Cabin in Shepherds Bush this month replacing their collect-as-much-as-you-can Casino game.
Other cool stuff
First off international/armchair news – The Cryptex Hunt got off to a great start last week. If, like me, you’re not really a puzzle hunt kind of person then it’s still worth jumping in. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the audacious environments Errol, Dan, Darren et al have created. Expect some escape room style puzzles as well as a few which are definitely well beyond escape room levels of difficulty. The good news is that there are hint givers on hand if you need them (and feel free to contact me via email, Facebook or Twitter if you want hints!)
The Hunted Experience is coming to London. If you’ve watched the TV show you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, well, you’re in the same boat as me. It is pretty much what you’d expect given the title though – be chased through London trying to evade capture. Fire Hazard are behind the scenes here, so expect a pretty impressive experience.
If you’re at all interested in the theory of games or trying out new games then Now Play This should be right up your street. It’s a weekend event, being held at the start of April, dedicated to all manner of games. There’s nothing directly escape room related this year but I’m sure there will be plenty of tangential interest.
I’m not quite sure where to file this but Aces and Operatives is a new game from Rogue Events, the company behind the Bothwell School of Witchcraft – a three day long Harry Potter styled experience in an old castle-like building. Aces and Operatives runs for but a single day – 10th March – and seems to be another immersive gaming experience.
The Vault Festival is currently in progress and still running Revolution – which I covered in my Vault roundup and thoroughly enjoyed playing last year.
The Imperial War Museum are running an exhibition on artists’ responses to war and terror. Alongside that they’re hosting The Network: Online Hacking and Cyberterrorism, an immersive gaming experience on 6th/7th April. The show is produced in partnership with Exit Productions who produced the highly rated Revolution, so I have reasonable expectations.
Hidden Figures: WWII is a new experience that’s just opened in the Colab Factory near Waterloo for a two week stint. I’m heading along next week and I don’t know anyone who’s played yet so I can’t give you much advice. The particularly attractive thing to me is that there’s a mini-escape room in the middle of the game.
Treasure Hunt meets theatrical adventure? This event in Croydon is being produced by the Parabolic Theatre Company and looks incredibly intriguing. There’s plenty of time to sign up – it opens on 3rd May and runs for three weeks. I headed along to one of their pure immersive theatre performances and while I had my criticisms, they feel like a company that can create an interesting storyline for something a little more game-y.
The Grift is on till 25th March in Bethnal Green. One participant (in their promo video admittedly) described it as ‘escape room meets the Crystal Maze with immersive theatre’, which certainly got my attention, and a friend of a friend said it was good, so I’ll probably head along. Talking to the team behind the show, I’d characterise it as an immersive game with challenges but don’t expect to be competing as you might in, say, A Door in a Wall’s traditional games. Note that it’s closer to theatre prices than escape room prices, so expect to be paying £45+ to head along.
It’s really not a game experience but Somnai looks like it might be quite a big thing and of interest to those people who like immersive experiences so I’ll tack it on here. It’s a popup but it will run for a while.
Take a look at the main section for details – I published an article earlier in the month with every discount I could find!
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!