This is the twenty-second instalment of a (just about) monthly feature which acts as a status report on the exit games in the UK and Ireland, hopefully acting as part of the basis of a survey of growth over time. It reflects a snapshot of the market as it was, to the best of this site’s knowledge, at the end of 31st January 2016.
|Category||Number in the UK||Number in Ireland|
|Exit game locations known to have opened||114||8|
|Exit game locations known to be open||100||5|
|Exit game locations in various states of temporary closure||5||2|
|Exit game locations known to have closed permanently||9||1|
|Exit game locations showing convincing evidence of being under construction||8||0|
|Exit game locations showing unconvincing evidence of being under construction||8||0|
|Exit game projects abandoned before opening||2||0|
The term opened should be understood to include “sold tickets”, even when it is unclear whether any of those tickets may have been redeemed for played games; the definition of location should be understood to include outdoor locations, pop-up/mobile locations with open-ended time limits and component parts of larger attractions that are played in the same way as conventional exit games. Pop-ups with deliberately very short runs (e.g. Hallowe’en specials, or games run at conventions or festivals) are not counted in this list; games with deliberately finite but longer runs (e.g. Panic!, which awarded a prize to its champion at the end of its sixteen week run) are counted.
This month has seen seven UK additions, one Irish addition, one UK subtraction and a UK recount which deducts one from the total. (This site had both The Escape Hunt Experience and Escape Entertainment in London – specifically, in the same building in London – in the total for a while.) The Irish addition is Asylroom, which apparently dates back to October; more on this soon. The UK subtraction is Mystery Squad, which appears to have subtracted its web site. No sign of either of the sites listed as having suspended web sites in previous months.
The Report Card
|Site name||Number of rooms||The reviews|
|Site name||Total number||Different games||Find reviews|
|A Curious Escape||1||1||(TripAdvisor)|
|Breakout Games Aberdeen||4||3||TripAdvisor|
|Breakout Games Inverness||3||2||TripAdvisor|
|Can You Escape||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|City Mazes Cardiff||2||2||(TripAdvisor)|
|Clue HQ Blackpool||4||3||TripAdvisor|
|Clue HQ Brentwood||2||2||TripAdvisor|
|Clue HQ Sunderland||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|Clue HQ Warrington||5||5||TripAdvisor|
|Code to Exit||2||2||TripAdvisor|
|Crack The Code Sheffield||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|Dr. Knox’s Enigma||2||1||TripAdvisor|
|Escape Game Brighton||2||2||TripAdvisor|
|Escape Plan Live||4||4||TripAdvisor|
|Escape Rooms Cardiff||3||3||TripAdvisor|
|Escape Rooms Durham||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|Escape Rooms Plymouth||2||2||TripAdvisor|
|Escape Rooms Scotland||3||3||TripAdvisor|
|Exit Plan Edinburgh||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|Hell in a Cell||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|Hidden Rooms London||2||2||TripAdvisor|
|History Mystery Norwich||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|House of Enigma||0||0||(TripAdvisor)|
|Instinctive Escape Games||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|Lady Chastity’s Reserve Brighton||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|Lady Chastity’s Reserve East London||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|Lady Chastity’s Reserve South London||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|Lock Down Zone||0||0||TripAdvisor|
|Locked In A Room||4||1||TripAdvisor|
|Locked In Edinburgh||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|Locked In Games||2||2||TripAdvisor|
|Lost & Escape||2||2||TripAdvisor|
|Make A Break||0||0||TripAdvisor|
|Mind the Game||1||1||(TripAdvisor)|
|Namco Funscape Escape Room||1||1||(TripAdvisor)|
|Noughts and Coffees||1||1||(TripAdvisor)|
|Red House Mysteries||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|Room Escape Adventures||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|Salisbury Escape Room||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|The Bristol Maze||2||2||(TripAdvisor)|
|The Escape Network||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|The Escape Room Manchester||5||5||TripAdvisor|
|The Escape Room Preston||5||5||TripAdvisor|
|The Gr8 Escape||4||4||TripAdvisor|
|The Great Escape Game||4||4||TripAdvisor|
|The Live Escape||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|The Panic Room||1||1||TripAdvisor|
|Tick Tock Unlock Glasgow||2||1||TripAdvisor|
|Tick Tock Unlock Leeds||3||2||TripAdvisor|
|Tick Tock Unlock Liverpool||2||1||TripAdvisor|
|Tick Tock Unlock Manchester||2||2||TripAdvisor|
|Trapped Up North||0||0||TripAdvisor|
|Zombie in a Room||0||0||(TripAdvisor)|
Corrections would be most welcome.
This site supports all the exit games that exist and will not make claims that any particular one is superior to any other particular one. You’ve probably noticed that this table has removed the review summaries; this site has pages with the review summaries for every site in the United Kingdom and, separately, for every site in Ireland.
This site takes the view that if you’re interested in review summaries, you probably care (at least to some extent) about the question of which site probably has the best popular reviews. Accordingly, you might be interested in the TripAdvisor’s escape game rankings lists in (picking only cities with multiple exit games listed) Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Bristol again, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Inverness, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham or Sheffield.
Additionally, TripAdvisor now has pages entitled Top Escape Games in United Kingdom and Top Escape Games in Ireland. No obvious changes to the ranking algorithm from the previous month. While the top two sites remain constant – congratulations to the site which remains top of the UK national list for a fifth consecutive month – numbers three and four on the chart swap back places and there’s a lot of upward momentum for sites in London and Leeds from fifth place onwards.
You might also be interested in listings at Play Exit Games, a few of which contain ratings and from which rankings might be derived, or ranking lists from other bloggers. Looking at London sites, The Logic Escapes Me have provided recommendations and detailed comparisons, as well as a brilliant brand new comparative ratings table from a handful of critics; see also this piece at Bravofly and thinking bob‘s comparisons. In the North-West, there are the QMSM room comparisons (recently updated to cover reviews of 25 rooms to celebrate the site’s first anniversary!) and Geek Girl Up North site comparisons as well. If you have your own UK ranking list, please speak up and it shall be included in future months. The next step (and one towards which The Logic Escapes Me is making progress) could be some sort of exit game Metacritic, comparing the reviews and opinions of those who have played a great number of such games; hopefully, this would corroborate the popular reviews, or perhaps point out some inconsistencies.
In previous months, this site has made a series of estimates as to the number of people who had played exit games in the UK and Ireland. You may also have noticed that this document is being published far from the start of the month. While it probably is useful to have such an estimate – not least because if nobody puts work into putting in a rigorous estimate, then less rigorous estimates are the best ones going, mentioning no Facebook threads, and thus might get more credibility than they deserve – it’s an awful lot of work to make the estimates and keep them up to date. Accordingly, with apologies, the series of estimates must be discontinued, and the The League Table feature will continue without it for the sake of sanity and even vague timeliness.