Coming soon to London: Lock and LOL

Lock and LOL graphicEdited 24/10/14: please be aware that Lock and LOL has gone out of business. There has been a more recent post detailing some of your options in case you have lost money to them. The rest of the post is quoted for completeness only.

It’s always a delight to hear about forthcoming exit game sites, though sometimes it’s a slight stretch to know what to be able to say about them in advance. This one looks exciting and has a very distinctive twist. London, prepare for the October 10th opening of Lock and LOL.

Lock and LOL describes itself as “the invisible live escape game” – more specifically, as clued by the graphic, “a unique interactive journey to an invisible world, where you have to find your way out in total darkness using only your senses of touch, hearing and smell […] This is the first escape game in the world which provides the same experience to blind and sighted teams alike. They can even race against each other with the same chances!” This site has never heard of something quite like that before. There has been passing mention of a dark start as the first challenge to one room, but playing the entire room in darkness will be a challenge to first-time exit game players and multi-site veterans alike. The degree of accessibility designed in is also extremely cool.

The web site points to a Kickstarter campaign, as well. Now the full truth is that crowdfunded campaigns for exit games have not been tremendously successful in the past, though we know of two sites that look like they’re making good progress after their crowdfunding campaign. (Fingers firmly crossed that we’ll have more to report from Edinburgh really soon, before Festival season starts in anger.)

The good news is that Lock and LOL has advanced plans for its first room even without crowdfunding; the site quotes an address (which has been added to the map), as well as a start date. The crowdfunding campaign would be for work on additional rooms and an improved lobby area “so guide dogs have a more comfortable space to wait while their owners are having fun“, which makes great sense. This is creative and delightful; do, please, consider doing your own research and think about backing the campaign if you can. More news on the site as it becomes available.

London is clearly very well served for exit games. Everyone knows how big a success HintHunt and clueQuest have been; Escape Land has also got off to a very strong start, selling out days in advance and already getting compliments on TripAdvisor, particularly for its staff.

We’re looking forward very much to Lock and LOL, but also to Escape Hunt, whose opening is now scheduled for September. And yet, and yet, this site is confident (read this with a conspiratorial *wink*!) that there will be least one more by the end of the year. Looking at the map and thinking about how non-trivial transport across London can be, there’s definitely room in west and south London for others.

Some might start to wonder whether the market might be oversaturated; this site thinks there’s a loooooong way to go before that. exitgames.hu now quotes Budapest as having as many as 57 games, as well as the occasional citations of Beijing being into triple digits. If that’s too much of an outlier for you, this site very much enjoyed this list with fourteen sites (totalling 44 rooms) in the province of Ontario, Canada, eight of which claim to be in Toronto alone. If you can get the word out, there’s clearly a lot of demand out there!

5 Comments

  1. Lock and Lol have ceased trading. I believe this was a fraud and have little hope of having my money refunded.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, Melanie. Please see the latest post with some of your possible options about getting a refund. Good luck, please keep in touch about your progress and please don’t let this put you off playing other, more established, reputable exit games.

      Reply
  2. Hi,

    My 4 friends and I were due to play this on 19/10/14. We contacted the company through a mobile number on their facebook page when stood outside the supposed address which appeared to just be a block of flats. The man on the phone was very uninformative, wanting us to get off the phone and claiming he had emailed me cancelling the game the previous day (this had not happened!). I contacted wowcher immediately and they emailed him too asking him to refund me however I have heard nothing except an email at 6:04am this morning informing me that Lock and Lol has caesed trading and to check my emails (still nothing!). I too beleive this is fraud and have already contacted the police to report it and plan to contact trading standards. I would please encourage anyone else in this situation to do the same so it can actually be seem as a substantial scam. Even though we have only lost £40 in ticket costs, I am more concerned about how this company have managed to take plenty more money than that and easily get away with it!

    Jane

    Reply
    • Thanks very much for your comment, Jane. It’s a particularly displeasant surprise to hear that games were being cancelled as far back as last week (from context, it may well be that nobody got to play the game at all…) and I’m sorry that I did not have earlier reports of this to pass on. Please see today’s post detailing some of your options; you did the right thing getting in touch with Wowcher at once and it’s disappointing to hear that they have not yet been able to provide more help in light of what they say in the FAQ. There might be other routes to explore, possibly going as far as a chargeback request. Please keep in touch with your progress.

      Reply
  3. **sorry, meant a text at 6:04am this morning! What kind of company sends text messages at that time in the morning anyway!??!

    Reply

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