Have you ever tried to search for an escape room only to find you turn up one of its competitors? Well, good luck finding Escape London if you don’t have its URL (although, obviously you do if you’ve read this article!). Fortunately it’s backed by the wide ranging Escape brand which is spreading its way across the land and so the page ranking will surely improve rapidly and allow people to find it. As mentioned before, they’ve built up a decent sized portfolio of games, so it’s always interesting to see what they decided to deploy in each location. This time round they opened (on 1st August) with three games, Da Vinci, Casino Escape and Area 51. All three games can take two to six players with the price ranging from £48 to £95 depending on numbers.
Area 51 is clearly targeted at the Sci Fi/conspiracy theory stories popular among X-Files fans. It’s probably not a coincidence that this game has been released around the same time as the X Files TV series has been revived – 15 years is a good time to have a renaissance and the children of the 90s are very much the sort of people playing escape games now. In terms of the more detailed plot: “Roswell is a highly debated subject. Imagine something similar on your doorstep… rumour has it that there was an incident and hidden away in a basement there is evidence to prove it. No one knows what it contains but you and your friends are about to find out as you have stumbled across it.”
The Da Vinci Room, for those who’ve forgotten the plot, sees you “take on the role of thief, but for the greater good. Dr John Albright has studied the workings of Da Vinci in great detail. He has amassed a huge collection over the years, including what many believe to be the Holy Grail. Having gained his trust by helping him “acquire” items over the years, you have access to areas of his home and knowledge of his security that no-one else does. You’ve been paid well for your services over the years, but you’ve always felt that an item of the importance of the Holy Grail should be on display for all to see. The professor is away and now is your chance. Get in the room, grab the grail and get out. It should be easy! “The Da Vinci Room” is a live escape game with a twist, you need to get an item out of the room as well as you! The setting is a beautiful old study with artwork, certificates and various vintage items ranging from typewriters to violin cases! Primarily focusing on code-breaking, symbolism and association problems The Da Vinci Room offers an exciting challenge for players young and old.”.
Casino Escape is a game that’s obviously reserved for the high rollers in capital cities, with only Edinburgh having seen it before. The plot looks like they’ve jumped on one of the most popular trends of 2016 – the non-binary win condition, where the players don’t get a straight win/loss, but get a score when they exit the room. There’s a hint that you can choose to be greedy but at the risk that you might not escape at all, reminiscent of those Richard O’Brien door slams and pictures of unhappy contestants locked in dungeons in the Crystal Maze. To quote the website: “As if escaping the casino wasn’t challenging enough the room is filled with additional puzzles that hold rewards. Should you stay or should you go? You won’t get rich without taking the risk…“