The land of lochs

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With a population of around 5.4 million and 50 open escape rooms, Scotland is the leader in the “room per capita” stakes, so it’s about time this site caught up with what’s been happening north of the border.

1) Escape, the Edinburgh-based company that has spread out across the world, opened a new location in May. Having gone to the other side of the world, this time they’ve stuck a little closer to home with Escape Livingston. Given the close proximity to Edinburgh and, to a lesser extent, Glasgow, it’s no surprise that they’ve gone for a different set of rooms to the nearby venues.

Prison Break is an all new game to the Escape franchise and in it your team have been wrongly incarcerated, having been paid a large sum of money the warden holds the information that is key to clearing your name. You’ve been working on escaping for months and now is the time, get out the cells and break into the wardens safe and escape the facility. He’ll be back in an hour though….

Espionage, on the other hand, is only new to the UK having already seen action in Dublin. Espionage is set in an everyday apartment. However as you may expect there is a twist. Your team have been challenged with retrieving data that has been obtained by the journalist residing there. The apartment consists of clean lines and minimalistic design to hide a variety of complexities. In rooms containing hidden drawers, locked boxes and other more obscure items you need to try and find where to begin. That could be the biggest puzzle of them all.

Both rooms can accommodate 2-5 people and cost £48-66 depending on numbers, but they’re running an introductory offer of £29 for a team if you sign up soon.

2) Clue HQ is another franchise that has been popping up around the UK, this time opening Clue HQ Glasgow. Like its Sunderland counterpart, this Clue HQ is located within a Laser Quest venue and it’s tempting to conjecture as to whether or not this is a long term tie-in or just a happy coincidence. Either way, it’s clear that more venues are opening up co-located with other entertainment establishments and this site welcomes the crossover that such a trend brings.

The Glasgow franchise opens with just a single game, their well established Bunker 38.  In it, you’ve been living in an underground bunker for years due to a radiation leak. Now you’ve been given the all clear, but you’re locked in and oxygen levels are running low! With only 60 minutes of breathable air left, will you be able to escape in time?

The game can take 3-6 players and costs £63-90 but, if you’re quick, you may be able to snap up a Groupon offer of £39 for 6 people. If you’re thinking of going at the weekend, be aware that the small print says there’s a £10 surcharge.

3) Amazeing Places is a new company with a big vision.  Their first maze opens on 2 July in Stonehaven but, according to their website, they have plans to open 50 across the UK. Entry to the maze is £5 per person (half price for concessions) but, as well as the basic option, they offer three escape games: Chain Reaction, Adventurer and Spy.  No description is given of the individual experiences, although it’s strongly hinted that they take place within the maze itself and the site states that items are issued at the start to help solve the challenges. Given that experiences aren’t all available every day (indeed sometimes only one of the three is available), it seems safe to say that changes are made to the contents of the maze. Games cost £10-20 per person and teams of 2-6 players can take part.

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