Welcome to the May 2016 edition of the escape rumours post. Note that this is about London (and a little further afield). Exit Games does an excellent blog on UK wide news, with frequent news updates. If you’re not already a reader, then I highly recommend you sign up.
Competitions and special offers
There are a couple of offers for London games this month.
- OMEscape are running a 15% discount for their games, using the code OMESCAPE15. I very much doubt that will last for long, so if you’re interested I’d recommend jumping in.
- Mind the Game continue their Groupon offer. I visited in February so you can read my opinion if you want. Of the current Groupon offers, I think this is the best option.
- Hidden Rooms are still offering £31 for three players which represents great value. I’ve reviewed both Prison Break and Chain Reaction if you want to read more about the games they offer
- Sherlock Unlock continue their Groupon offer. I recommend reading my reviews beforehand though.
- Reading this article might also lead you to find a 25% discount for Enter the Oubliette…
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.
It’s been a busy April with a huge variety of fun activities – five escape rooms, a zombie experience, a Door in a Wall murder mystery and, of course, The Crystal Maze! Check out the front page for those reviews.
If you’re more interested in what the future brings, here’s my current list of bookings:
- 10: Escape Land (Da Vinci’s Exploration)
- 19: OMEscape (Biohazard Laboratory)
- 23: Lock’d (Perpetuum Mobile) and AI Escape (Leo’s Path)
- 25: A Door in a Wall (Played to Death)
- 1: Agent November (Rainbow Syndicate)
- 8: Block Stop (By the End of Us including the single player ticket)
- 14: Agent November (Major X Plow Shun)
- 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!
It’s taken a very, very long time, but I think that means I’ve either got plans to visit or have already reviewed every open escape room in London! Not for long though – I’m aware of around ten rooms that are going to open in the not too distant future, which brings us along nicely to…
News and Rumours
First a shameless bit of self promotion – escape rooms got mentioned in the Financial Times and I was lucky enough to be quoted (alongside Josh Ford from Time Run, Brendan Mills from Escape Plan and, of course, Chris Dickson from Exit Games UK).
The big news this month is that Enigma Quests have launched a crowdfunding campaign for their second room. If you fancy getting involved in their beta then you can pick up insanely cheap tickets – only £5 a head – or if you want the final experience (and a chance to get on their leaderboard!) then you can currently pick up a ticket for five people at only £51 (but be quick!). I’m particularly excited by this game because it features something I’ve been wanting for ages – variable challenge. Your mission is to pull off a heist and your success level is determined by how much money you retrieve, so there’s scope for making a game that challenges all levels of experience. If you’ve played their first game then you’ll know how good it was, so why not follow my lead and grab the £150 ticket which allows you to take a team down to each of their games – a great night for up to ten people!
Clockwork Dog have been in touch to let me know about their new popup escape room, Langstroth’s Last Riddle. Running for just three weeks initially, they’re situated in the Bee’s Sneeze in Stoke Newington (nearest tube: Highbury & Islington on the Victoria line). In their story, an antique collector has just died and all of his possessions are either being sold or bequeathed to relatives. All, that is, except one; an object, legend has it, of exceptional power. I really like that they’re popping up in a vintage shop, which should mean the theme extends from the moment you walk across the threshold. Booking from 23 May to 12th June in the evenings and at weekends, £20 – £26 per person. [Apologies – I mistakenly referred to the Bee’s Sneeze as a pub in the original version of this article].
A Door in a Wall launched their new game, Played to Death, and have already sold out on some nights. At the time of writing, their test night still has spaces, so you can bag a bargain for just over £20. I could go on about how amazing I think this company is (read here if you really want that), but the best endorsement I can give is that I’m taking 38 people down in May!
OM Escape don’t do things by halves. Not content with getting their first room, Joker’s Asylum, open last month, they’ve already opened Biohazard Laboratory and we’re set to see the Penitentiary and a second copy of Biohazard Laboratory added to their site in a little over a week. That really is fast – in the space of little over a month they’ve moved from not being open to being the third company in the capital to host three different rooms. I’ve already played Joker’s Asylum and I’m excited about visiting Biohazard Laboratory later this month.
I’ve not had any updates from the Escape from the Room team in Sutton, but as far as I’m aware, they’re still planning on opening in May.
On the borders
I’m London focused, but the M25 doesn’t actually have passport control, so occasionally I look a little further afield. No news games within striking distance this month, so I thought I’d use this section to talk about some existing escape rooms that you may not have come across. This month I’m going to focus on…
The Panic Room have only been open since the start of this year, but already they’re developing a great reputation. They’re located over in Gravesend – which, much to my surprise, is only 20 minutes out from St Pancras so turns out to be quicker to get to than some London escape rooms! They’re heavily booked, even in the daytime slots, which suggests they’re doing something right. Currently there are three games; two fairly conventional ones (the Witch House and the Panic Room) and one that’s designed for precisely two players (The Lab), but they seem to rapidly switch out rooms, so expect a couple of new ones in July and another in September.
Situated a little further along the coast near Chatham, Escape Plan Live has been around for close to a year now, and during that time they’ve built up a big library of games across their two venues. As far as I can tell, they run two separate venues, but only open up one of them on any given day. At one of the venues they host four games (Hostage Rescue, Murder Scene, Air Raid and the Orphanage) and at the other venue two (The Vault and Conspiracy!). Like the Panic Room, they switch over their room fairly regularly with a couple of games already having been subbed out as well as a couple of seasonal games over Christmas.
It’s impressive to think that someone living in Kent could probably have played around 15 games by the end of this year without ever having travelled outside a five mile radius. Why can’t they do that in my neck of the woods?!
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!