Now open in Chester: Rooms Quest

Rooms Quest bannerSocial media photos suggest that Rooms Quest opened on Monday 8th February; the city is within a mile and a half of the north end of the Welsh border, and parts of it are absolutely gorgeous. The site uses some of the East Wing of the same building as the town’s railway station, though it has its own entrance, through a green door opposite the Best Western Hotel. The site is opening with three games, each of which takes teams of three, four or five. Bookings are available daily, starting at 90-minute intervals from the somewhat syncopated starting times of 10:40am to 9:10pm.

The Platform 7 3/8 game makes thematic use of the surroundings. “Having entered the door to Platform 7 3/8 you find yourselves trapped in the depths of Chester Station. With walls over a foot thick you will have to have your wits about you as you find the clues, solve the puzzles and meet the physical challenges (no heavy lifting) to make good your escape to freedom and with only one hour before the Transport Police change shifts – the clock is ticking!

The Jailbreak room isn’t set in the conventionally-defined prison that you might expect from the title. “It’s another lively night out in Chester for you and a group of your friends when it slowly dawns on you that one of your party is missing! Walking the rows calling their name you find them trapped in the cloakroom of the club you just left – caught napping as the last security guard vacated the building! You now have one hour to aid in their escape before the time delay alarm is set off and all hell breaks loose.

Lastly, the Safe Haven game completely inverts the traditional escape paradigm; you’re trying to break in, not out, with allusion to the Panic Room movie. “You are together with a group of friends when you hear the alarm sound for an impending gas attack. Terrorists are about to release the deadly nerve agent Sarin onto the general population of Chester. To survive you all seek refuge in the “Safe Room” and similar to Ms Altman Panic room, there are a few holes to plug before you can safely breathe and just one hour before the gas fills the room.

A varied and relatively original offering. Prices are £60 for teams of three, £72 for foursomes and £80 for full teams of five. Another new hosting town in the busy north-west; this site looks forwards to reading reviews!

Laser games and exit games: part one of possibly many

Clue HQ Sunderland lobby photoSome exit game owners in the UK remember the laser game bubble of the early 1990s; perhaps a couple of hundred or so laser game centres opened up and down the country, with the vast majority closing within a matter of perhaps two or three years. (Maybe longer, maybe shorter.) Some wonder – and some fear – whether exit games might do the same thing.

Exit Games UK notes major differences between the two in the number of games played per day per centre and the contribution made to a centre’s daily turnover by people who play one game and never play again. (The replayability of the two types of game is rather different, too.) The laser game industry is probably doing better now than even at the height of the bubble then, with many more game equipment manufacturers and with the barrier to entry to getting into the business being much lower now than once it was. While marginal centres come and go, the best laser game centres existed for five, ten or fifteen years, and the best exit game centres should last at least as long as well. Exit games have greater potential for reinventing themselves over time, too, which should only add to their longevity.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see some degree of convergence between the two game types. This started in this country when Clue HQ opened a branch at the (itself relatively new) Laser Quest in Sunderland, pictured above; its second game is due to launch soon. A second step is that there is another branch of Laser Quest due to open in Glasgow in March and its own web site suggests that Clue HQ Glasgow is coming soon, too. (This is no secret; it’s acknowledged on, for instance, the Clue HQ Facebook page.) It’s interesting also to note that it doesn’t necessarily have to work this way around; Laser Quest Preston opened very recently, practically sharing space with – and certainly co-promoting with – the branch of The Escape Room in Preston. It’ll be interesting to follow the trend as it develops.. and to see whether the other laser game manufacturers get involved.

Months ago, Ken pointed to this story from Newcastle-under-Lyme, which is very strongly linked with (and practically part of, de facto if not de jure) neighbouring Stoke-on-Trent. The regenerated Lymelight Boulevard shopping centre launched Laser Quest Stoke (told you!) last year, and the aforementioned newspaper article suggested “The laser light gaming centre is due to open next month with Key Quest, an escape room game, expected to follow later in the year.” Accordingly, this site has been looking out for further developments in the area, the Escape Artist Stoke-on-Trent initiative notwithstanding.

The name Key Quest reveals something very interesting, though. The Key Quest Escape Room in North America is an interesting chain where a common thread of the locations’ addresses runs located within Laser Quest. From the web site, “Key Quest is a live action escape room, presented by Laser Quest. Players must use observation and critical thinking skills to find clues, solve a series of puzzles, and ultimately, discover the “key” to escape the room within a set time limit.” Could the branch of Laser Quest at Lymelight Boulevard eventually host the first branch of Key Quest in the UK, analogous to branches of Laser Quest in North America? Might it be that the journalist, or the communication between site owner and journalist, simply misconstrued or misinterpreted the link?

This site doesn’t yet know, but will be keeping an eye on this fascinating development. Watch this space!

(*creeps behind you and zaps you in the back while you're watching that space*)

Now open in Lisburn: BreakFreeNI

BreakfreeNI logoThis site has a frankly lamentable grasp of the geography of Northern Ireland. It has been looking for games in Belfast for a long time, noting that ESCAP3D there may be older than every single game in Great Britain except HintHunt. It has been looking for games in Derry/Londonderry for almost as long. After that, it’s stopped looking. One set of demographics suggests Lisburn is the third largest town in the province; it’s just to the south-west of Belfast, to the point that another categorisation suggests it’s part of the Belfast Metropolitan Urban Area. Whatever it is, as of today, it’s a place with its own exit game. Hurrah!

The site is opening in the east of Lisburn, with Hilden as its local railway station, in a row of shops next to a branch of the Jeffers bakery (where the sign above the door, Google Street View suggests, may be missing a couple of letters) almost within sight of the river Lagan. The site is opening with two games, each of which has a sixty-minute time limit and is recommended for a team of two to six.

Colonel Wilber Brown Disappeared in 1920 while searching for a Secret Entrance to an Undiscovered Pharaohs Tomb in the Valley Of The Kings. Can you Solve the Colonels Mysterious Disappearance and Escape the Curse of the Pharaohs Tomb?” runs the story behind the Curse of the Pharaoh escape. By contrast, the Dark House escape aims to spook; “For Over 200 years the Dark Creepy Victorian House has held many Dark Secrets, Tales of Ghostly Apparitions and Mysterious Disappearances. Can You & Your Team Mates Survive and Escape from the Dark House?

The booking is slightly ad hoc at the moment (and 24 hours’ notice must be given) but the site opens from midday to 10pm daily and as early as 10am on Fridays and Saturdays. The fee is a very reasonable £45, inclulding free tee and coffee, but the first week sees an opening discount to just £35. Lots of exciting games all over the island of Ireland; has there ever been a better time to visit?

Early February 2016 news round-up

News round-upTime for an assortment of links and news stories.

  • Congratulations to The Gr8 Escape of Belfast for announcing their recent award from Acquisition International, earning the Best Creative Corporate Activities Company title for Belfast. Escape Live of Birmingham also announced that they are a finalist in the Midlands Business Awards; looks like it’s in the Service Provider of the Year (up to £1m) section. Best of luck for the 26th!
  • That’s not all the Escape Live news, though. Tomorrow night, i.e. the evening of Friday 12th February, sees them host “((…)) a date night with a quirky twist ((…)) hoping to strike the city’s singletons with cupid’s arrow by hosting a mass double date at the venue – inviting them not just on a search for the puzzles’ answers, but for love too. The venue is hoping to attract couples of single friends on Friday, February 12, for a date night which will include meeting other single couples of friends as they work together to escape each room. Manager Jordan Ladley said: ‘Valentine’s Day for couples is one of the most exciting and fun days of the year, but what about those who don’t have someone to share it with? ((…)) Throughout the evening we’re inviting up to eight couples of friends to join us for a mass blind double date as we enter them into each room on a quest to crack the codes and escape. But who knows what – or who – else you might find while on the frantic search for answers!’” Very cute gimmick; Exit Games UK hopes it works out well for them.
  • Breakout Games of Aberdeen and Inverness have suggested that they will be featured in a TV show about a collaborative hiring process. That sounds dry, but the practice is much more fun than the theory. Candidates try out for a regional manager position at hipster craft brewer BrewDog, but are unaware that it’s their potential subordinates – rather than their potential bosses – who’ll be assessing whether they’re a good fit for the company. Will the exit game experience show the candidates at their interview-prepared best or what they’re really like when the pressure’s on? Time will tell!
  • Also in Scotland, Exit Plan Edinburgh got in touch and suggested that they’re offering a 25% discount this month. A little unusually, the site is not too strict about applying their nominal sixty-minute time limit, and have happily posted pictures of teams who have extracted the maximum value from their game by taking several tens of minutes more than that to get out with the Tesla Cube.
  • Lastly, to the cool links. Liz Cable of Time Games, organiser of the recent unconference in Leeds, is leading a workshop on Sunday 6th March at the Courthouse Words festival in Otley on How to create a puzzle room in a box. Given the quick but fun boxes of tricks in play at the unconference, this should be a treat.
  • The Escape Rooms Master directory site are asking site owners to fill in this five-minute questionnaire. The results of the survey should be extremely interesting – and the more responses, the more representative the survey.
  • A review site based on the Eastern Seaboard of the US, Escape Clues, has made a well-regarded post simply entitled Why Some Escape Rooms Rock! – and Others Suck! Indeed so; neat comparisons and contrasts between desirable and undesirable properties in various categories.

Now open in Camberley: Mystery Room UK

Mystery Room UK logoAlong the M3 from London, out to its west-south-west, is the town of Camberley at the very north-west tip of Surrey. On Saturday, the town saw its first exit game open, Mystery Room UK. The site has opened between a Chinese restaurant and a Co-Op with a single game to begin; this has a 60-minute time limit and has been designed for teams of two to five.

The first game, The Suspect, sees you play as “detectives on the hunt for a missing woman, Jennifer Summers. A cryptic letter was recently received but there’s been no ransom. It doesn’t make any sense! The intelligence team have been trying to crack the code and solve the mysterious disappearance but have been unsuccessful. They need your help!! The prime suspect has been identified and is being monitored. You and your team are to enter his office and search the area for clues whilst he is away. You must try to find evidence linking him to the disappearance and ultimately, find where Jennifer is so we can rescue her! We don’t know what you might find so you must be prepared for anything. Time will be short so work quickly to find all the evidence against – The Suspect!

Unusually, once you’ve booked to play, “your team are given a password to the player access area. There you will find a starter clue and a game briefing. This gives you a taster of what to expect from the room when you arrive on the day. ((…)) Although the clue is fun to puzzle over, it won’t stop you from playing if you don’t have time to solve it before your game. When you arrive you will have time to discuss the online clue to see if you were correct, or to be brought up to speed if you haven’t had time to work on it. It does have a bearing on the story so we would suggest that you take a look at it before you play if you are able to. It might just get you off to a better start!” A lovely touch, and one that only adds to the anticipation of the joy of playing.

Games are offered starting between 10am and 6pm on Fridays, Saturdays and alternate Sundays. (There are sporadic weekdays where games are offered as well, suggesting that additional arrangements are possible.) The price is £38 for a team of two up to £65 for a team of five. On top of that, the site has had one of the more remarkable opening offers; the first ten teams to book got to play for free, with the next forty playing at half price. Keep an eye on the list of sites announced but not yet open (towards the bottom of the page) and if anything is local enough to catch your eye, register with it and see if you can catch a deal like that in the future!

Now open in Cambridge: Cambridge Escape Rooms

Cambridge Escape Rooms graphicExit Games UK has been looking forward to this one for a while. Cambridge is one of the bigger tourist destinations in the country and has long been an obvious venue to host an exit game; work on one has been long under way, with its proprietor long responsible for Play Exit Games (which is much better-programmed than this first-generation old site!) and, more recently, Escape Game Card, among other ventures.

The first game at Cambridge Escape Rooms has a 60-minute time limit and is for teams of 2-6 players. Games start every 90 minutes between 11am and 9:30pm daily, with advance bookings being very strong, particularly at weekends. Full price starts at £44 for a team of two and goes up to £84 for a team of six, but weekday games before 5pm have a £2/player discount.

That first game is Secret of the Tomb, and is the first game in the UK from TRAP (“Team Race Against Puzzles”) of Budapest. TRAP have installed games in 13 other countries around the world; their original Budapest site is, at time of writing, TripAdvisor’s top-rated site in Budapest beating 48 (forty-eight) others to that title. (And that’s just the ones rated on TripAdvisor; dear old daddy suggests there are 79 in total, though that total may well count two physically distinct halves of a site separately when TripAdvisor does not.)

Brent Chadwick had a rough childhood. He grew up in the shadow of his mother, Lucille, who was the founder of the ‘Church of the Untemptables’ (COTU). The COTU was a Christian-fundamentalist church in the eighties that preached: ‘Resist all temptations, but if you aren’t able to resist, you still have the chance of salvation if you punish yourselves equal to the sin you have committed.’ So no wonder Brent went crazy and, after his mother died, moved to a hidden room – the very room you are about to enter. This strange place is full of traps. The only way to escape is to find the urn of Lucille’s ashes. If you fail and are still here after an hour, Brent will arrive home and I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes when he does.

Neither would this site. The pedigree is tremendous and the price is attractive, especially if you can play before 5pm on Monday where the discount for holders of an Escape Game Card is so large that it will more than pay for the card in a single visit. What a lucky place Cambridge is!

Long open in Galway: Asylroom

Asylroom logoThis site normally titles its articles about exit games as “Now open in…” when the post comes shortly after opening. This post concerns a game that has been open since October, so “Now open” would seem to be taking something of a liberty. How many other games might exist out there that have not yet reached this site’s attention? Many thanks to the Asylroom proprietors for getting in touch.

Asylroom is an exit game in Galway on the west coast of Ireland. The location features two different games, currently Sherlocked and Se7en Sins; the latter game is set in a psychiatric asylum, as hinted at by the site’s name. Both games have one-hour time limits; Sherlocked is suitable for teams of up to six, with teams of four to six recommended, and Se7en Sins is suitable for teams of up to five. Games are available seven days a week, running from 4pm until late on weekdays and practically from midday to midnight at weekends. The fee is €65 per team, or just €55 on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

The Sherlocked game has the following story. “Sherlock Holmes while working on his very last case was kidnapped! Before it happened he finally solved it but was so terrified about the result that he hide it in his room and create plenty clues which leads to result. Being in rush he unfortunately left the room in a mess which doesn’t help to find the clues. Will you be able to get things together and find out what is all about and leave the room before kidnappers be back?

In Se7en Sins, here’s the story. “Se7en. This is the number of sins. That is the number of victims, which reaches the wrath of his chosen one. This is the number of ways of taking the life that he chooses. This is the number of days in a week in the life of the rainy city. And that is the number of the room that you will be trying to escape exploring the crannies of the mind of the madman. But are you sure he is mad? Or maybe crazy is the road which leads to the lucky escape?

Exit Games UK is seldom critical, but gets prickly at outdated and unhelpful depictions of mental health issues wherever they are featured. Exit games seldom get bad press, though this story from Canada shows how a stigmatising theme can have bigger conseqeuences than intended. (On the other hand, last time I brought the issue up on a forum, someone with such a game, as well as others, suggested that the theme was more commercially successful than their others…)

The League Table: end of January 2016

Ascending gold bars with a red trend line

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.

The Census

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)
Adventure Rooms 2 2 TripAdvisor
Agent November 6 3 TripAdvisor
Asylroom 2 2 TripAdvisor
Bath Escape 2 2 TripAdvisor
Breakout Games Aberdeen 4 3 TripAdvisor
Breakout Games Inverness 3 2 TripAdvisor
Breakout Liverpool 5 6 TripAdvisor
Breakout Manchester 8 7 TripAdvisor
Can You Escape 1 1 TripAdvisor
Cipher 0 0 TripAdvisor
City Mazes Cardiff 2 2 (TripAdvisor)
Clue Finders 2 1 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
clueQuest 7 2 TripAdvisor
Code to Exit 2 2 TripAdvisor
Crack The Code Sheffield 1 1 TripAdvisor
Cryptic Escape 1 1 TripAdvisor
Cryptology 2 2 TripAdvisor
Cryptopia 0 0 TripAdvisor
Cyantist 2 2 TripAdvisor
Dr. Knox’s Enigma 2 1 TripAdvisor
Enigma Escape 1 1 TripAdvisor
Enigma Quests 1 1 TripAdvisor
ESCAP3D Belfast 1 1 TripAdvisor
ESCAP3D Dublin 0 0 TripAdvisor
Escape Clonakilty 0 0 TripAdvisor
Escape Dublin 2 2 TripAdvisor
Escape Edinburgh 3 3 TripAdvisor
Escape Entertainment 8 2 TripAdvisor
Escape Game Brighton 2 2 TripAdvisor
Escape Glasgow 3 2 TripAdvisor
Escape Hour 3 2 TripAdvisor
Escape Hunt 0 0 TripAdvisor
Escape Land 0 0 TripAdvisor
Escape Live 2 2 TripAdvisor
Escape Newcastle 2 1 TripAdvisor
Escape Plan 1 1 TripAdvisor
Escape Plan Live 4 4 TripAdvisor
Escape Quest 3 3 TripAdvisor
Escape Rooms 2 2 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
Escapism 1 1 TripAdvisor
Escapologic 3 3 TripAdvisor
escExit 1 1 (TripAdvisor)
EVAC 1 1 TripAdvisor
Ex(c)iting Game 2 2 TripAdvisor
Exit Newcastle 2 2 TripAdvisor
Exit Plan Edinburgh 1 1 TripAdvisor
Exit Strategy 1 1 TripAdvisor
Extremescape 1 1 TripAdvisor
Fathom Escape 1 1 TripAdvisor
gamEscape 2 2 TripAdvisor
GR8escape York 2 2 TripAdvisor
Guess House 0 0 (TripAdvisor)
Hell in a Cell 1 1 TripAdvisor
Hidden Rooms London 2 2 TripAdvisor
HintHunt 5 2 TripAdvisor
History Mystery Norwich 1 1 TripAdvisor
House of Enigma 0 0 (TripAdvisor)
iLocked 0 0 TripAdvisor
Instinctive Escape Games 1 1 TripAdvisor
Jailbreak! 1 1 (TripAdvisor)
Keyhunter 3 3 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’d 2 2 TripAdvisor
Lockdown-Inverness 2 2 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
LockIn Escape 3 3 TripAdvisor
Logiclock 1 1 TripAdvisor
Lost & Escape 2 2 TripAdvisor
Make A Break 0 0 TripAdvisor
Mind the Game 1 1 (TripAdvisor)
Mission Escape 3 3 TripAdvisor
Mystery Cube 1 1 TripAdvisor
Mystery Squad 2 2 (TripAdvisor)
Namco Funscape Escape Room 1 1 (TripAdvisor)
Noughts and Coffees 1 1 (TripAdvisor)
Oubliette 1 1 (TripAdvisor)
Panic! 0 0 (TripAdvisor)
Pirate Escape 1 1 TripAdvisor
Puzzlair 4 4 TripAdvisor
Puzzle Room 1 1 (TripAdvisor)
QuestRoom 1 1 TripAdvisor
Quests Factory 0 0 TripAdvisor
Red House Mysteries 1 1 TripAdvisor
Room Escape Adventures 1 1 TripAdvisor
Salisbury Escape Room 1 1 TripAdvisor
Secret Studio 1 1 TripAdvisor
Sherlock Unlock 2 2 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
The Room 5 5 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
TimeCraft 1 1 TripAdvisor
Time Run 2 1 TripAdvisor
Trapped In 2 2 TripAdvisor
Trapped Up North 0 0 TripAdvisor
We Escape 1 1 TripAdvisor
XIT 4 4 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.