Edited 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!