Hatches, a match and an underground patch

Cartoon of people reading newspapers and a bookSome quick news stories:

1) This site has previously discussed Escapologic of Nottingham and gamEscape of Liverpool as locations opening soon; happily, both launched as planned on Friday 1st May. They look cool as well as being exciting additions to both of their cities; best of luck to them both.

A couple of weird coincidences: there are only two exit games in the UK whose names include the word “logic”, and they’re both in Nottingham. This site is also not quite sure where to put the stress in either of the names (EscaPOlogic? EscapoLOgic? EscaPOLOgic? GamEScape? GAMEscape?) when you pronounce either of them out loud. No matter!

2) The Room opened in Glasgow only four weeks ago, but already it has hosted its first proposal! Congratulations to the happy couple, and to The Room as well. This isn’t the first exit game to host a proposal; the Breakout Manchester Twitter was appropriately joyous when they hosted theirs, and it seems far more likely than not that other sites have hosted proposals as well. This site only hopes that exit games have hosted more proposals than they have caused divorces.

3) Last March, in the first dozen days or so of the life of the site, this site pondered whether there might ever be an exit game in a deep-level shelter, far beneath the streets of London. Entirely seriously, something rather similar to this might become an option. Transport for London recently announced that its “Commercial Development team are looking for third party partners to develop innovative commercial projects across Underground, Rail and Surface Transport assets“. The current opportunity is one of the most evocative of them all: Down Street station, on the Piccadilly line until it was closed over 80 years ago; Wikipedia notes that it was “used by prime minister Winston Churchill and his war cabinet until the Cabinet War Rooms were ready for use“.

TfL will be launching a Down Street station bidders’ conference to launch the tender process; the brochure (6 MB .pdf) invites you, among other things, to “Imagine a truly immersive theatrical production performed in front of a small, exclusive audience” in part of the lift shaft. If there can be a theatrical production, there can be an exit game, either there or in any of several other parts of the facility – and, with the right story, maybe one with as much authenticity as it gets. This site gets the impression that it wouldn’t be cheap, but if the right site ever thought about Going Underground, this might be the ideal opportunity.

Bonus! 4) Considering the world’s biggest sporting event taking place this evening, Escape Live win huge timeliness and topicality points for this delightful pun.

3 Comments

  1. Wow! Thanks for finding and sharing the news of the tube station Chris, this is *extremely* exciting!
    We’re actually 200% consumed with the design and production of the next two Sherlocked experiences in Amsterdam (which should both turn the exit game genre on its head, but that’s another story), but this is the kind of opportunity one dreams about, so we’re off to the drawing board and booking a flight to London for the 12th! 🙂
    cheers, Victor

    Reply
  2. The idea of having an event in some sort of underground venue really appeals (even Escape Hunt, which was two floors underground and didn’t really make use of it, gave a fantastic feeling of foreboding). Given that there’s already a zombie event at the vaults (http://www.the-vaults.org/#!zombie-blitz/cauh), it seems similar industries are already taking advantage of venues to start the experience.

    There must be tens of underground stations in London with unused nooks and crannies, so it would be great to see those used in any way, let alone for an exit game. I’m curious about the idea of using a disused underground station – I think my feeling about it would very much depend on what the other uses were and in particular whether they required the entrance decor to be mainstream. That could break some of the magic.

    I’d love to see an exit game which feels like it starts right from the entrance. Something where you have to input a secret code to even get into the building for example, and you’re instantly “in play”. This could be a perfect opportunity for that because you’ve got an evocative location. A friend once went to a place in Budapest where you didn’t meet your host till after the game – you rang the front buzzer and were told to come to room X, the door would be open and then, when you walked in, the door shut and the game began…

    Reply
    • I don’t know of any concrete plans to do that, but I do know proprietors in the UK have played that game in question and really liked that aspect of it too, so it would not come as at all a surprise if someone were to do that some day. Perhaps the UK market prefers health, safety and customer service to something relatively, er, down-and-dirty, but it’s an angle to take, so somebody will take it, even if it’s only as part of a pop-up. Or, alternatively, perhaps there could be some misdirection about the starting location – get people to one place, start their clock, then tell them that they need to go somewhere altogether different to actually get to the room. Heh heh!

      Perhaps this comes under the sort of deprecated business practice of the category “only the person running the game thinks that’s funny”, but I’m sure there could be context to make it work. For instance, you might not start the clock until there was a bus to the right location that people could catch right away, and make sure they could start work on the puzzles while their bus was in transit…

      Reply

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