A report from Up The Game 2017

Tim Horwood, co-proprietor of Derby’s escape game game Make Your Escape was one of several UK owners to visit the Up The Game conference in Amsterdam in the surrounds of the impressive Breda Prison Dome. He kindly wrote about his experience for Exit Games UK.

As escape room operators ourselves, last year’s inaugural Up The Game conference was a springboard for our business, which we opened just two months later. We had so many ideas from attending it, and gained so much advice, making so many contacts in the process. From advice of the legal side of running an escape room company, to the storytelling aspects and use of technology we subsequently incorporated into our games, it really was pivotal to Make Your Escape’s development.

So, it is with some trepidation, we attended the “difficult follow-up” of such a successful event for us personally. We had lower expectations – for a start, the venue had been switched from Amsterdam to Breda. The first thing I did was reach for google maps. Secondly, the conference was to be held in a prison – ok, it sounded a novelty, but would it actually work? Thirdly, we’ve been open almost a year, and I was concerned that many of the talks would go over old ground. Still, we all know the industry is an evolving one, so I was interested to see just how the conference had grown, if at all.

The venue was, quite simply, astonishing, and a vast improvement on 2016. The main criticism I had last year, was that it was often difficult to manoeuvre between rooms due to the narrow corridors and low capacities of the smaller stages. This year, there was no such problem, and it’s credit to the organisers that the capacities seemed appropriate. The only issue I found was that there was no central stage in the same way there was the previous year, so organiser Alexander Gierholz had to welcome the attendees in the huge, open foyer, whose acoustics were appalling and sounding like, well, a prison. Other than that, the foyer space served well as a communal area for escape room operators, enthusiasts and suppliers to mingle, drink, eat, buy, sell, and plan itineraries. The buzz felt much friendlier than the more clinical feel of 2016.

So onto the speakers, and there was a huge variety this year. Last year we had the team behind the Crystal Maze attraction talk about how they set it up. This year, Scott Nicholson opened proceedings on the main stage, discussing or, at times, defending how he’d been involved in setting up this year’s Red Bull Mind Gamers. For me, Scott was probably the main draw for the event, a great achievement having him sign up to the conference, and becoming involved in the discussion panels later in the day. Having said that, there were some great names on the bill, Stephanie Allen from the acclaimed Punchdrunk, the brilliant Jasper Wille, presenting utilizing actors in interactive experiences and, skilfully engaging the audience, and Room Escape Artist’s Lisa and David Spira.

Our very own Nick Moran from Time Run, arguably, gave one of the best talks of the day, on the tools of immersion used in escape rooms. As the industry grows, so too do the customers’ expectations and the standards we see. Time Run is a great example of a truly immersive experience, and for Nick to share his thoughts on the subject, interjected with bucket loads of humour, his was the standout session of the weekend.

In addition to the talks and presentations, the conference gives an opportunity for discussion, and panels of experts from various corners of the industry, from operators to enthusiasts to bloggers discuss various aspects and developments.

We also had talks on legalities again, how escape rooms are useful for team building, and the importance of set design…with Wilko Drews giving some brilliant advice on how to make your escape room set look far more expensive than it actually is, but then confessing to spending 80,000 EUR on his own room!

As escape rooms incorporated more technology, Chris Lattner and Malte Eiben’s tech workshops proved particularly popular, ranging from basic tech to advanced tech, and Adrian Bacanu of the quite brilliant Quest Mission gave an engaging talk on how escape rooms encourage personal development, are incredible tools to assess human behaviour, and shape people’s lives. For many enthusiasts, creators and operators, this could not be any closer to the truth.

Once again, Logic Locks and Real Life Gaming succeeded in creating an outstanding conference, bringing together the best of the industry – ‘Connecting Creators’ was this year’s motto, and Breda felt the perfect venue for this. Very much looking forward to seeing what happens next year…

Make Your Escape is the brainchild of Shelly Burton and Tim Horwood, perceived following a trip to Budapest in 2014. The two escape room enthusiasts wanted to mix storytelling, traditional puzzles and technology into their rooms, but also create games which offer a twist, and also set themselves within Derbyshire. Whilst the original idea was to introduce the escape room sector to their city, they also wanted to create games based around local stories and legends. 

‘The Signal’, based on a story that appeared in the local newspaper following a sighting of lights in the sky, is designed to engage players and then offer them a moral dilemma as to whether to do “the right thing” and the couple cite Up The Game 2016 as a major influence on the game.

‘Spellbound’ was designed for larger teams, again following advice picked up from Up The Game, and is based on the local legend of the Witches of Bakewell, who were hanged close to the escape room.

Two new games are being built ready for the Summer, with the promise of a unique premise…

Escape Room Rumours – 30 January 2017

news-spiral

Another week, another rumour round up… This site is always on the look out for new games or venues that are opening, references in the media or anything else that might be of interest to the readers, so please do send an email if you spot anything of interest. That applies to owner too – feel free to send me your news for inclusion here. Don’t be shy!

On to the news

As January draws to an end, it’s clear the market has properly woken up after its Christmas slumber:

  • General
    • I’ve been remiss in not mentioning this before. For those willing to head to the Netherlands, there’s an upcoming escape room conference called Up The Game. Tickets aren’t cheap but there are plenty of speakers including the David and Lisa from the Room Escape Artist, Fire Hazard, Scott Nicholson and Punchdrunk plus, undoubtedly, many more.
    • Cadbury’s are another company jumping on the Escape Room bandwagon with their Cadbury’s Creme Egg Lodge that’s visiting London, Bristol, Edinburgh and Leeds. It’s not clear how much of an escape room they’re running giving the very short ticket slots and it’s already sold out but still interesting.
    • I came across this article from Cambridge University’s Computer Lab about an attempt to create a virtual escape room.
  • East Midlands
  • West Midlands
    • Escape Stoke got a visit from their local newspaper
    • Escape Live Coventry are opening their doors with Prison Break their first game.
  • Scotland
    • Go Escape are in the process of launching in Dunfermline and were mentioned in a local paper.
  • South West England
    • Trapped Escape Rooms in Gloucester open their doors this week with two games: The Haunted Hotel and Prison Break
  • North East England
    • The Strategy are a new escape room company opening up in Sunderland. Several games in the works but The Box is their first offering.
    • Whitley Bay-based Pirate Escape opened their third room, The Tavern, last week. It’s a little unusual in that it’s aimed at smaller/beginner groups and has a minimum player count of just one…
  • London
    • Breakin’ Escape opens this week with six, yes SIX, rooms. This is a franchise of Breakout Romania (name changed in the UK because of the existing Breakout company). All six games are available immediately after a mammoth build over Christmas.
      • Blackwing’s Cave
      • Sherlock’s Despair
      • The Flying Dutchman
      • War on Horizon Alpha
      • Butcher’s Lair
      • Heist Plan: The Garage
    • Dyson’s popup escape game take place in London next week.
  • Yorkshire and the Humber
  • Ireland
  • North West England
  • East of England

That’s all I’m aware of. If any of the above is incorrect or if you’re aware of other news, discounts or competitions, then let me know via email or in the comments below and I’ll include updates in the next edition.

Thanks for reading!

Coming soon to your own home: Escape Room in a Box

The titular box in which an escape room can be found

A phrase that I once heard and has got stuck in my mind runs “say it best, say it first, say it last or say it worst”. By cute coincidence, the only citation for it that I can quickly find comes from Professor Scott Nicholson of white paper and Escape Enthusiasts fame. Today’s article is about Escape Room in a Box, the Kickstarter campaign for which closes in less than two days’ time with glorious success; under $20,000 required to fund it, easily over $100,000 raised. Saying it best or first seem impossible now; at least this can be the last place where it gets mentioned… until the next place becomes the new last place.

If you’re reading this, the concept hardly needs explaining. Escape Room in a Box “…is a 60-90 minute cooperative game where 2-6 players solve puzzles, crack codes, and find hidden clues in order to find an antidote to thwart a mad scientist’s plot to turn them into werewolves.” How good could such a game be – or, more to the point, how much could you enjoy such a game? It depends perhaps what aspects of traditional location-specific exit games you most enjoy. Some aspects, like the puzzles, can reasonably be replicated in your own home. Other aspects, like the theming of the environment and ambitious physical props, are much harder. (If a big part of the attraction for you is getting to play with toys that you wouldn’t have the chance to play with elsewhere, it’s less attractive.)

The Logic Escapes Me thought hard about the potential opportunities and limitations of the format and expressed them in their tremendous preview. Perhaps it might best be read in conjunction with Room Escape Artist‘s review of a preview copy of the game, which validates Ken’s concerns and suggests that they have largely been dealt with in a fashion close to reaching the immediate potential of the format. On the other hand, to give full context, perhaps you should compare that review with Esc Room Addict of Canada’s counterpart review of a preview copy, which was rather less enthusiastic.

In any case, the concept appears to have been in the right place at the right time and caught people’s attention more widely; the campaign has been discussed at the Huffington Post and also by those alpha YouTubers at Geek and Sundry. Also excited was Adrian Hon of Six to Start (probably best known for the Zombies, Run! fitness app), also who mentioned it on Twitter. Subsequent discussion started with his opinion “Last escape room I played was $45 *per person*. Surely they could have a higher price/tier, and make the game better or longer?” Perhaps the success of the campaign points to there being the demand for the genre after all – and, from there, it’s tempting to wonder how other members of the family might differ.

Could a later iteration be a partly digital game, requiring its players to supply their own mobile device on which to run an app? Plenty of potential there, starting with being just another medium through which to deliver different sorts of clue, going through being a unique input device and going as far as in any other mixed media game. Certainly the prediction that there may be competitors was proved quickly correct, with ThinkFun introducing Escape the Room: Mystery at the Stargazer’s Manor this month (at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of US$21.99, so set your expectations to low-tech), set to be distributed in the UK by Paul Lamond from June. That promises to have an online hint system at the very least.

Exit Games UK would be very interested if existing exit game brands were to consider this technique as a brand extension. Suppose someone has come and played your game, had a tremendous time and have left the room in high spirits. Might this be an excellent time to try to sell them a game so they might have related fun at home? It would take a certain sort of set of strengths for the combination to make sense; home games can convey puzzles very well, so this would work particularly well for a site which prided itself not just on its puzzles but also on certain sorts of puzzles which would translate to a home environment. It would also be a good way to advance the story of a persistent game universe, to keep them keen on playing within your universe when it takes so long and so much to introduce another physical game set there.

Looking forward to the Unconference in Leeds next Wednesday

unconference

(Posted by Dr. Scott Nicholson from the Ontario Escape Room Unconference 2015.)

This site has mentioned the “The Great Escape UK” unconference next Wednesday a few times; tickets are still available with registration open until at least Sunday. That ticketing page confirms the venue (a mile from the coach station, half a mile from the railway station) and sets the tone and suggests what might be in store. Definitely room for more owners, would-be owners, enthusiasts and those who just want to learn a lot more, myself firmly included.

Conversations I would be interested in having next Wednesday include:

  • What does the future of exit games look like? (I think there is no one future, but many different parts of the future…)
  • What does the UK market really look like at the moment – what is the survey (discussed yesterday) not properly capturing?
  • What other sorts of puzzle adventures are there to enjoy? I talk about quite a few on this site, but there must be others that I know very little about and would love to know much more about.
  • What are the characteristics of an excellent exit game employee, how might they be recognised and rewarded?
  • …and doubtless many, many more that I look forward to being pleasantly surprised by.

Hope to see you there!

The 2015/2016 Survey and some events coming up

Abstract survey graphicThis site has just sent out 75 e-mails to exit games in the UK, with representing total of 88 locations, inviting them to take part in a survey. If you see this and didn’t get the survey – either because this site might have used the wrong address, or couldn’t find an address at all in a handful of occasions – then this site apologises and invites you still to send in your responses by e-mail. The views of players and other participants would also be interesting and most welcome (perhaps as a comment to this post?) but only site operators will have their responses tallied for the final results.

All responses are anonymous; if you choose not to mention the name of your site in the answer to a question then nobody will know the answer has come from you.

1. How was 2015 for you and for your business?
2. How do you feel 2015 was for the world of exit games in the UK at large?
3. What can you reveal about your plans for 2016?
4. What do you expect to see happen to the UK’s exit games in 2016?
5. What are your biggest concerns for 2016?

This site hopes to have a few dozen responses trickle in over the next week or so (there have been ten responses within about as many hours so far; credit to the proprietor of Puzzle Room for being the quickest off the mark) and will collate and present the results in an article here. The first place to hear the results will be the The Great Escape UK unconference taking place in Leeds on Wednesday 13th January (i.e., a week tomorrow). There have been at least twenty people sign up for the unconference, and the unconference structure is a tried and tested model, so it should be a really good day. There still are spaces available if you haven’t signed up yet and want to come.

However, if you don’t want to have to wait another week, there’s fun on the agenda this weekend. Scott Nicholson is promoting the first BreakoutEDU Game Jam which invites people to use the BreakoutEDU toolkit of generic exit game apparatus to devise educational exit-like games that might be played in the classroom, library, museum or other educational environments. (While the equipment list is a constraint, it’s also a platform; you can rely on other people having the right equipment to replicate your game.) People are invited to meet up in locations around the world to co-operate on their games. This site isn’t yet sure if there are any locations definitely confirmed for the UK this weekend, but the Facebook events page definitely suggests there’s interest here. For some people who might be interested in creating their own room but know that they aren’t well-suited to making it a business venture, this might be an ideal opportunity.

If that’s not your thing, it’s not the only option! The World Puzzle Federation‘s 2016 Grand Prix competitions start this weekend with this year’s first Sudoku Grand Prix, set by the Dutch team. If 90 minutes of hard but interesting sudoku and variants sounds like your cup of tea, register an account at the WPF site (which is free!) and take a look at the instruction booklet. Then carve out a 90-minute slot this weekend (late Friday through to most of Monday) and go wild!

Late October news round-up: the Foreign Office

Stylised globe encircled by a bolt of lightCloser each day… Home and Away. Following on from yesterday’s home news, here’s the remaining news from around the world.

  • Today sees the sold-out Ontario Escape Room Unconference 2015 at Ryerson University in Toronto. It is being chaired by the irrepressible Dr. Scott Nicholson, the foremost academic in the field – but, being an unconference, all fifty ticketholders are expected to actively participate. While unconferences don’t stream well, there’s a Facebook group, the Twitter hashtag #oeru15 and hopefully documentation to follow. If the unconference model proves to work well, perhaps it might be the first of many.
  • Carrying on from yesterday’s discussion of bespoke amateur games (and that’s no insult at all; the word amateur essentially derives from the Latin verb amare and refers to someone who does something for the love of it), while MIT has been famous for its annual global-cutting-edge Mystery Hunt for decades, it was delightful to see that the Next House dorm at the university have their own two-storey pop-up exit game, within a basement, over Hallowe’en for a second year. It could well be fiendish!
  • Speaking of student puzzle hunts, hadn’t previously seen mention that registration is now open for the 2015 SUMS Puzzle Hunt for teams of up to five, run in the traditional five-daily-rounds-of-increasingly-difficult puzzles Australian style with the first round being released on 2nd November.
  • Sanford, FL is a part of the Greater Orlando area possibly best known for its airport. However, they also have an exit game on a cycle limousine. Say what, now? Up to fifteen people bring their own beer and wine (in plastic containers) or soft drinks onto the human-powered vehicle and must pedal with their feet, as if on a bicycle, to propel it along. (A pilot steers the contraption.) While they’re doing that, and drinking, they have two hours to solve the pirate-themed puzzles – and get the clues from the locations to which they will pedal along the way – which will lead them to save their kidnapped captain. Can’t say it’s not original…
  • Finally, many belated congratulations to Lisa Radding and David Spira of the excellent Room Escape Artist blog on their engagement! Mission Escape Games of New York City helped by hiding a custom box made for Lisa as they (and their team!) played the location’s brand new Nemesis game (see their review) – but the fun only started there. Happily, the second half of the story has been impeccably caught in a series of photos. The very best of joy and health to you both!

Early September news round-up

News round-upLet’s dive right in to the latest assortment of links:

  • Episode six of Race to Escape was broadcast on Saturday night and has made its way to illicit video-sharing sites already. This was the final episode of the first series, which this site broadly considers to have been a triumph, with every episode bursting with new ideas – though, unfortunately, sometimes setting a bad example for real life play by literally bursting the rooms that they established. No idea what the ratings have been like and whether there’ll be a second series; there are plenty of things that could be done in later series, but even if it’s one-and-done, it’ll have been a glorious one-hit wonder rather than a flop out of sight. (It’s also the sort of timeless show that will surely be repeated, on and off, over the next twenty years at least.) If you don’t want to risk the illicit video-sharing sites, the episode is available at YouTube at about 110% speed, so it sounds a little bit funny but may not be caught automatically as a copyright violation. The same channel has all six episodes, similarly in Pinky-and-Perky-o-vision.
  • This site is looking out for content from the first Escape Games Convention last Friday. So far there is an overview video that is slickly produced, conveys the sense of excitement and hints at another event next year, if light on detail; you can also see Dr. Scott Nicholson’s talk, which is well worth quarter of an hour of your time.
  • Breakout Manchester are teaming up with the Christie charity, a local hospital charity that provides “enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds“, not least cancer research, between 6pm and 9pm on Tuesday 13th October. Teams of 2-5 can book a room for a special price of £75, regardless of team size, all of which goes to the charity. Great work!
  • Lost and Escape of Newcastle have a Groupon deal available at the moment, though availability is limited and it’s not clear when the deal might deal itself out. Up for grabs is a ticket for up to three players for £29, or for up to five players for £49. The tickets are only valid for games on Tuesday to Friday, starting at 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm or 9pm (so not the 7pm prime time slot!) by 30th November. So there are a few caveats, but that’s a nice price.
  • Code to Exit of Altrincham near Manchester got in touch to say that “((…))we have a 50% sale on at the moment on The Blue Print Room. Also 10% Student Discount available on the top of that. ((…)) We are also opening our second room this month, I will keep you updated on the exact date.The Logic Escapes Me were well impressed by the site and they know their onions, so it’s well worth considering.
  • And finally, but what a finale: Handmade Mysteries, of Lady Chastity’s Reserve fame, point to a Mashable article about Midnight Madness 2015, the latest annual incarnation of the huge-budget all-night puzzle hunt sponsored by Goldman Sachs. 21 teams raised over US$3,000,000 for charity between them, so that gives you an indication of just how high you have to roll if you want to play!

Interview with the Cyberdrome Crystal Maze team

The Aztec Zone of a branch of the Cyberdrome Crystal Maze in JapanWhat’s your favourite game of all time? Any sort of game: board game, video game, card game, puzzle game, physical game, computer game, role-playing game, exit game, all sorts of other genres of game, whatever you like; compare your favourites from each medium against each other and pick a favourite. Too hard? You can narrow it down to four.

My four, in no order: puzzle hunts at large, the live action RPG campaign I played in at university, obscure mid-’80s hybrid board/computer game Brian Clough’s Football Fortunes and The Cyberdrome Crystal Maze. You can probably have a reasonable guess, among other things, that I was born in 1975.

This site has touched on the Cyberdrome Crystal Maze in the past without going into the detail it deserves. It was a physical attraction, based upon the The Crystal Maze TV game show, where teams raced from game to game about the centre, sending team members to play bespoke physical games or computer games where physical games would have been impossible. These were often as puzzling as the mental games on the TV show, or at least emulated the demands of one of the show’s physical games. It worked heart-breakingly well. The photo above is of the Aztec zone at the branch in Kuwana, near Nagoya in Japan.

I wrote a longer piece about the game roughly half my lifetime ago, and will probably still have reason to write about it in another twenty years’ time. It’s the one topic that I’ve always wanted to write about on this blog but always shied away from for fear that I could not do it proper justice.

However, failing that, here’s something rather special instead. Some detective work led me to the e-mail address of one Carl Nicholson, one of the founders of the Cyberdrome Crystal Maze – indeed, the technical side of the outfit. Mr. Nicholson extremely kindly agreed to answer some questions by e-mail; even better still, his partner in Cyberdrome, David Owers, whose focus was the business side, contributed some answers as well, and Carl has even got in touch with other members of staff. Huge thanks to all of them for their time, effort and responses, as well as for being the people behind a sensational game; it’s fascinating to hear more of the story behind the scenes. Continue reading

Late July news

Mystery HQ Wigan imageThree quick news stories:

1) The warmest of welcomes to London-focused new exit games weblog The Logic Escapes Me. It’s full of well-written reviews, noting that that is a route that this site has never gone down. It’s not completely clear who the site author is, but this site has a pretty good guess. (Actually, one pretty good guess and two moderately good guesses, with hopes that the two moderately good guesses do start their own weblogs before long.) Highly recommended and a very welcome addition to the blogroll; there are already plenty of cracking exit game (and related topics – in fact, especially when weblogs go on to related topics) around the world, but there’ll always be room for one more.

2) Wigan has no exit games yet, but there’s a crowdfunding campaign under way to launch Mystery HQ Wigan, which would be the town’s first. The campaign also hints at an exciting-looking hunt on the day before the site launches, which strikes this site as an excellent publicity stunt.

It would be fair to say that this site hasn’t yet got too far with its crowdfunding campaign, but it would also be fair to point out the history of UK exit games crowdfunded on Indiegogo; Can You Escape? of Edinburgh are excelling after a moderate crowdfunding campaign, and it’s also a joy to see progress described at the Quest Room Facebook page after their own Indiegogo campaign didn’t really catch traction. Yet if we’re talking about crowdfunded UK exit games, a round of applause to Engima Escape, a winner on Kickstarter, which launched last week, is attracting favourable early comment and still has a 25% discount offer available!

3) It’s not just UK exit games that crowdfund, though; this site is unusually uplifted by this Canadian Kickstarter campaign for In Depth: a Traveling Mental Health Escape Game. What a distinctive and progressive concept! The plan is to build a game that goes on a two-week tour across Canada, and to film a documentary about the experience. Exit Games UK is really excited that people are trying to use exit games as an educational medium in this way, noting Prof. Nicholson’s historical work in this regard, and feels strongly positive about the topic chosen.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in five people face the reality of living with mental illness, but less than half will ever seek treatment for it. We seek to craft an escape room that not only challenges and entertains guests, but carries a positive message in a portable package that can be easily assembled and disassembled in a matter of hours. We want the experience of the room to be clear and concise, but not preachy. We seek to create an experience that immerses people in a game that encourages communication, cooperation, and fun.

The people behind the project also run Ye Olde Dandy’s in Toronto. The area is not short of exit games, so it takes a remarkable additional attraction to make a site stand out, and Ye Olde Dandy’s has one that’s one of a kind: table flipping. Board game fans know that in Soviet Russia, table flips you, but this is literal stress-relief through table-flipping, and it looks rather spectacular and simultaneously very violent without being violent at anyone. Think of it like a punchbag, perhaps. Heck, the fee covers the labour costs of the person setting things up and tidying things up afterwards…

News round-up: convention, DASH 7 video and sudoku championships

News round-upLots going on at the moment. Normally this would be three separate posts, but there’s so much else to write about!

1) This site recently mentioned the Escape Games Convention in Stuttgart, Germany on 4th September. Katharina Wulf of co-hosts ExitVentures (who are apparently putting together a printed German-language magazine) wrote on a forum as follows:

We (as the oragnizing team) are trying to make it valuable to come for English speaking people as well. Here some information in English: One highlight will be the talk of Attila Gyurkovics. He is the first operator of live escape games in Europe with ParaPark (Budapest) and the first one who developed live escape games on the basis of flow theory. Attila Gyurkovics will talk about his experience and his future visions. Prof. Nicholson (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada) will give scientific insights into the field and an overview over the North American market via video message.

((…)) In addition there will be some workshops focusing on following topics: “Live escape games next level” (about innovative new room concepts) and “Live escape games association” (about the creation of common structures for the industry in Germany). ((…)) The video message from Prof. Nicholson and the speech from Attila Gyurkovics will be in English. Beside that we will offer the workshops in English, too. Furthermore we will be able to provide you with information in English for the other agenda items. In the session the participants will elaborate relevant topics in small groups. This can be realized in German or English.

It’s looking ever more tempting, especially for us non-German-speakers!

2) The UK Puzzle Association are running their annual UK Sudoku Championship online this weekend. Start after midday on Thursday, up until the end of Monday, and you have a two-hour window of your choice to score points by solving the 17 sudoku and sudoku variant puzzles. The top two finishers will earn places on the UK team for the World Sudoku Championship. It’s always a great contest for sudoku fans and there are no charges for taking part.

3) Lastly, back at DASH 7, Yasmin Curren took extensive video through the day. She has taken weeks of hard work, for which we’re all surely very grateful, to apply her magic; the results are a spectacular three-minute summary of the fun to be had, though perhaps the puzzles – being less telegenic – have to take second place. Be sure to look out for the Quidditch, Wronski Feint and all: