Sunday night links

A golden chain of linksYou all know the puzzle about “how many links would need to be cut in order to make a complete chain”, surely? This site was going to have to post these links anyway, so here’s an old-fashioned link-log post.

1) Episode three of Race to Escape was broadcast on Saturday night and has made its way to illicit video-sharing sites already. The variety of themes and puzzles from show to show are at the very top end of what might be hoped for, even if inherently it has to represent a certain sort of theoretical exit game, rather than a practical exit game that you might play in practice. The illicit video-sharing sites don’t make it easy – there are doubtless plenty of adverts and maybe worse – but here’s a link to a list of sites. Megavideoz worked relatively well here.
2) Ken points to something a little special happening at Alton Towers as part of Scarefest: “In 1994, a government organisation known as The Phalanx, tasked with protecting the world from unknown threats, took on their most high profile case ever – to control the Nemesis creature and contain those that served it to the underground. ((…)) Sub Species: Operation Lockdown is a two hour extreme horror escape room experience. As Phalanx Operatives you’ll be put into small groups and must complete a series of challenges throughout the operation including facing one of three escape rooms. Gain points by being the least contaminated Operative at the end of the mission and be entered in the leader board of infamous Phalanx Ranked Operatives. This will be a test of skill and nerve as you work together as team.” It’s very exciting to see that a company with the resources of a major theme park is looking at the market, and perhaps they have the wherewithal to throw things at it that smaller companies cannot; they are using their credibility and reputation to set a price point of £99 per player, which redefines the top end of the mass market, so they had better have something very special for the money.
3) David points to a BBC News story about a biannual puzzle contest at hacker event Def Con. Interesting to see that the social aspects of hacking (as opposed to, or as well as, the technical ones) are as much an element of the contest as they are in real-life digital espionage.
4) If you want a much more accessible puzzle event, then this Tuesday is the second of the month, which means it’s Puzzled Pint time, including in London. London has eastern and western events; the majority of the free tickets have already gone for the eastern one and no more can be made available. (The western venue doesn’t have a formally limited capacity, but isn’t all that big, either.) Solve the location puzzle, using the hints if you like, to find out where the puzzles and pints will be.
5) If you don’t want to wait even that long for a puzzle contest, the Indian Puzzle Championship is taking place online right now, and worldwide solvers have a couple more days to finish it. Find a 2½-hour window of your choice and enjoy the puzzles which look exciting and accessible.
6) Superb work from The Logic Escapes Me on their timeline of London games, which builds on this site’s own timeline by tracking not only when sites opened and closed, but also when individual rooms opened and closed at each one. An admirable piece of documentation!


  1. Would have made my life a lot easier if I’d realised you’d already collated the opening of the individual venues. I’d never seen the page you linked above. Still – it was fun reading through your entire back catalogue to find references to some of the sites where I didn’t have info!

    The main thing I wanted to do was produce the graph, and the timeline just fell out. Have you thought of doing something similar here? I’ve seen your analysis in the six monthly updates but I always think a picture is worth a thousand words.

  2. I’m currently working on a review that asks if a certain ‘premium’ escape game is worth the extra (SPOILER: it is), and we know The Crystal Maze is planning to charge around £50 a pop, but £99 for a game/”experience” seems like a heck of a lot more than that, regardless of it being two hours long.

    • Inclined to agree, but theme parks increasingly cater for high rollers with their skip-the-queues tickets and the like, so similar super-premium experiences are perhaps to be expected.

    • Secret Cinema clocks in at £75 so it’s not crazy. £99 is sort of premium-level for horror experiences too.


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