Some time ago, this site looked at where the biggest gaps in the market remained, with two particularly obvious conurbations standing out: Cardiff and the South Hampshire metropolitan area from Southampton to Portsmouth. More of developments in Cardiff some other day, but South Hampshire is set to get its first game from next Saturday. Is it in Southampton? Is it in Portsmouth? No! As suggested in the title, it’s in Fareham, a market town between the two. The game is available in the heart of the town’s shopping centre and is set to open for a limited run; currently this is expected to be on weekends (and weekdays through the Christmas holidays) until the end of January 2016, but an extension is possible.
Unusually, the game is promoted by the Hampshire Cultural Trust, perhaps making this the first UK exit game to come from the public sector. The trust’s vision is to “be renowned for creating world-class culture in Hampshire“, and hurrah to them for keeping up to date and taking on board that culture can be playable, with exit games among the forefront of playable interactive performance. Perhaps this might be a model for other counterpart organisations to consider.
The site will open with a single 60-minute game for teams of 2-5. Unusually, separate versions are available for teams aged fourteen plus and teams aged seven plus, including at least one adult. “With gambling debts mounting, Nell Trent and her grandfather are facing a life in the workhouse or worse. But is there a secret fortune hidden somewhere within The Old Curiosity Shop? With only an hour to find it before the bailiffs arrive, you will need to be quick witted in order to solve the puzzles and save the family.” The price is attractive: pairs can play for £30, trios £39, foursomes £44 and parties of five £45, all of which have a booking fee of two or three pounds on top.
Curiouser and curiouser!