As the number of unvisited escape rooms in London dwindles, we’re left wondering how quickly more will open to satisfy our escape room hunger. The good news is that new rooms, games and venues have been opening reasonably frequently for the last year or so. Averaging over one game a month, and in some months as many as three new games, we should be well stocked for a while yet. I’d expect at least five in the remainder of this year (for rumours about some of them see this post). Note that I distinguish between venues (individual companies/locations), games (distinct experiences) and rooms (physically individual escape rooms, where some may be duplicate experiences).
For the geeks out there who want to see the graph, and the historians who want to see the detailed timeline, here are our notes:
- April: HintHunt opens its doors near Kings Cross and “John Monroe’s Office“, London’s first escape room, appears.
- April: HintHunt opens its second challenge, “the Zen Room“
- June: Finally there’s competition in the capital, as clueQuest opens its first room, Plan 52, in Tottenham Hale.
- Feb: DifferencEngine and Dean Rodgers open “the Heist”, a temporary escape-style game running in Central London that will close in September of the same year.
- Mar: ClueQuest open a second room, Operation Black Sheep, bringing their total to three rooms.
- Hint Hunt open their second Zen room, bringing their room count to five.
- Escape Land open their doors in Cambridge Heath, East London with “Age of Steampunk“.
- Aug: Escape Rooms open, bringing us “the Pharaoh’s Chamber“.
- Agent November open “Major X Plow-Shun” the first outdoor “escape” “room”
- Escape Rooms open a second room, “Room 33“.
- Oct: The international franchise Escape Hunt, open their venue in the heart of the City, becoming the largest escape room venue in London with ten escape rooms of three different varieties, “Kidnapping in the Living Room“, “Murder in the Artist’s Bedroom” and “Theft from the Laboratory”.
- Dec: Room Escape Adventures opens the largest (occupancy) escape room in London, the first to offer individual tickets (rather than requiring groups to book the whole room out), the first to have an actor and the first to have a host in the room. “Trapped in a Room with a Zombie” is very, very different.
- Jan: Mystery Cube open the southernmost London escape room in London
- Lock’d enter the market with “Grandpa’s Last Will“
- Mystery Squad open the second outdoor London escape room company. With no fixed abode, games are available across zone 1.
- ClueQuest move to Kings Cross, to a venue suitable for up to nine rooms, and almost immediately enlarge to six rooms.
- Lock’d open a second room at their Bermondsey venue entitled “Museum Warehouse“
- Time Run launch with two rooms, both housing “the Lance of Longinus“
- Handmade Mysteries open “Lady Chastity’s Reserve“, the first London escape room housed within a separate business (the Four Thieves Pub) and with a distinctly adult theme
- Escape in Time open “Secret Studio“.
- June: Hidden Rooms opens with two rooms “Prison Break” and “Chain Reaction“
- Enigma Escape open “the Killer” – the first crowdfunded room in London
- Escape Plan Limited open “the Adventure Begins“
- Enigma Quests open “the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” – the second crowdfunded room in London.
- Lock’d open a third room, Perpetuum Mobile.
- Escape Hunt close down and Escape Entertainment opens up in the same venue with six copies of “Bank Heist” and two of “Prohibition Pandemonium“.
- For one night only: a pop up mini escape room event organised by ThinkingBob.
- QuestRoom opens
- EscapeLand closes (and IP seems to have been bought by Hidden Rooms)
- iLocked closes
- ClueQuest open up additional copies of Operation Blacksheep
- Sherlock Unlock opens two rooms and Handmade Mysteries opens in new venue (but with existing Lady Chastity’s Reserve game).
- Enter the Oubliette open “Escape from New Pelagia”, the third crowdfunded room in London
- Mind the Game opens “The Crazy Prof”
- exitgames.co.uk and in particular, the monthly league table to check that I’d got things more or less right.
- The Wayback Machine (or the Internet Archive) for checking old versions of ClueQuest and HintHunt websites.
- Twitter and Gmail to check old tweets/emails on other sites.
Fab, detailed work. Thumbs firmly up.