Nous sommes tous Français

&heart; FranceThis site sends its love and warmest thoughts to the www.escapegame.paris and www.escapegamefrance.fr blogs – and, indeed, everyone in France, whether they’re part of the exit game industry or not.

While there’s no pretending that this is in any way, shape or form any sort of compensation for the horrid developments of the last 24 hours, this site needs to share some good news for its own benefit.

  • Congratulations on their opening to Clue HQ’s new location in Brentwood and to Extremescape of Disley in rural Cheshire. The latter is a particularly pleasant surprise as prior suggestions were that it would open in 2016, but its Pirate Ship room is already open and taking bookings. Two rooms are open in Brentwood; The Logic Escapes Me has reviewed them and raved about the location.
  • Congratulations also to Escape Live of Birmingham for winning the “Business Start Up and Enterpreneur” category in the Birmingham Post Business Awards. (Other sites have also recently made it to the final shortlists in regional business awards and also deserve their own congratulations.) Escape Live have also recently been featured in The Guardian, in an article about the genre; news of their expansion, both at their original location and at a forthcoming Essex branch, has also made the press.
  • Escape Quest of Macclesfield are celebrating their first birthday today, with three celebrated games and more on the way. Hooray!
  • Much younger, Code to Exit of Altrincham are opening their second room, The Test, today. No locks! No furniture! No other games quite like it, by the sound of things! Definitely one where this site is looking forward to the reviews.

All of this is, at best, distraction from the real issues of the day. Sometimes a little distraction isn’t so bad, though.

Very late July news round-up

News round-upFor a link to a copy of the premiere of Race to Escape, see the previous post. Other than that, here are some news stories from closer to home.

1) The Escape Room of Manchester recently posted to Facebook that “Preston here we come and it’ll be open to the public in 30 days!” – exciting times. This site interprets the hash tags used to imply that the site will launch with two games already available in Manchester and three other games. Additionally, The Escape Room also commented that “We will announce the 3rd site in 2 weeks” – and no longer can you look for spoilers on the Escape Room International site as to where it might be, curses.

BlogPreston points to a planning application which hints at an address within Preston. Now some of the plans on the application itself (which are, arguably, possibly a little spoiler-y with regards to room layouts) hint at either it being an application for just that site, or perhaps for a second exit game whose rooms have suspiciously similar names. This would surely seem implausible, but, just on the wild off-chance: hey, the more the merrier – and lucky old Preston!

2) Escape Quest of Macclesfield recently posted news of their third game, Bad Clown. This site gets the impression that it’s not the Michael Jackson sort of “bad” either.

This game will be the first 90 minute room escape game in the UK, and the aim of the game is not only to find a way out of Mr Chuckles funhouse, but also to collect as many golden tickets along the way as you can. There will be several ways to gain golden tickets including finding and winning them throughout the duration of the challenge.

Bad Clown is not for the faint hearted, it will be played in very low light or occasionally complete darkness, and will be full of fun and frights. Mr Chuckles enjoys making his visitor jump and squirm. As such we recommend an age limit of 15+ with one adult accompanying every player under 18. It also means that pregnant ladies and people with heart conditions will be unable to play.

Advanced booking is now open from the 10th October 2015 onwards, and to celebrate our biggest, scariest and toughest challenge to date we have decided to dedicate Halloween 2015 at Escape Quest to Mr Chuckles with an exclusive chance to book one of a limited number of 13 games over the Halloween weekend, including a late night game on the 31st October which will see your team play well into the midnight hour.

Exit Games UK understands that this late-night scariest-of-scary games has already been booked by the Escape Game Addicts team – who were, incidentally, the first team to beat Breakout Liverpool‘s Wild West-themed Wanted room, when played from the perspective of the Indians.

3) You’ll hopefully understand and accept the reasons for the brief and somewhat detached coverage of these following announcements:

Colin Baker (no, not Six!) of Thames Underwriting wrote that they had “had a high level of enquiries recently which we have been able to help with as apparently most markets will not provide cover“. This site isn’t in the position to know whether exit games really are struggling to find insurance, or whether the thought of an insurer who is willing to specialise in the concerns of exit games would be valuable, or how good any particular insurance company is. Nevertheless, if it’s an issue, consider mailing Colin directly.

John Jacobs of Quirky Caches also got in touch. The titular caches refer to bespoke containers for geocaches, both sufficiently rugged to deal with the outdoor conditions and original in their design, featuring puzzles that must be solved to be opened. He’s clearly a highly skilled craftsman and has apparently already been supplying UK exit games with bespoke props. His site and social media have examples of his work; whether you’re looking for something for your room, or just for your own unusual storage requirements, he might have something relevant to your interests.

One becomes two

Jupiter symbolThis all-purpose symbol for cheating at Sudoku is used here to represent the concept of one becoming two. A third-century alchemist once wrote “Naughty, naughty, ve One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the one as the fourth“. Let’s hope that exit games up and down the land can perform their own alchemy as their one room is joined by a second, so that players who came and enjoyed a site’s first room have a reason to visit a second time.

Lost and Escape of Newcastle have opened their second room, The Lost Treasure. It’s a big game, at 75 minutes in duration, designed for teams of 3-7 players and the charge is £25 per person. The Ruby Heart, one of the treasures in national museum, is stolen by Mr. Evil. You, the secret agent, are asked to bring it back tonight. Can you complete the mission? The web site suggests that an unusual degree of physical agility will be required, so especially if you have a parkour or capoiera fan who fancied themselves one of (specifically) Ocean’s Twelve then this may be the one for you. Additionally, on their Facebook page, the site announced that there’s 20% off until the 15th of April.

The Great Escape Game of Sheffield opened their second room a week or so ago – and, with it, refreshed their web site. The Great Escape Game run 45-minute missions; their second room, Homicide, is their first six-player room, and especially cheap with a full complement of six; play before 5pm on a Weekday and a team of six is charged just £12.42/player (including the 3½% booking fee). Like the Saw series? You’ll love this! You and your team of federal secret agents have had an anonymous call from what you suspect to be a serial killer. There has been strange on goings for a while and the suspect has been leaving pieces of puzzle at every crime scene as a taunt. It is now your mission to put an end to all of this and save Sheffield; however when you arrive at this particular crime scene address something peculiar happens…

Lock’d of south-east London have unlock’d their second room, Museum Warehouse. One key harder (4/5 rather than 3/5) than their first room, this 60-minute 3-5-player game suggests Somebody is going to take out of the country five unique masterpieces from City Museum Warehouse. You have to find way into the warehouse, find all the objects and discreetly get out during one hour. This hints at five sequences of puzzles to solve during your team’s hour. Teams of three pay £77 flat rate, teams of four £88 and teams of five £99.

GR8escape York have similarly gone from a self-assessed difficulty level of 3/5 for their first room to 4/5 for their second. Teams of two to six can play their New York Room where the team, seeking to earn a detective’s role within the NYPD, search a possible crime scene. The local police department have found the apartment of master diamond thief Bugsy Bronxton who is believed to have stolen the famous Manhattan Star Diamond. The NYPD have been given a search warrant to look for the stolen diamond. ((…)) You will need to work with your rookie partners to search everywhere in the apartment. There will be clues and hints but you will need to work out how they fit together to succeed ((… and …)) find that missing diamond within 60 minutes. The room is so new that its top ten leaderboard only shows nine teams having completed it successfully, but even the fastest teams will get quite a full hour for their money. Teams of 2-3 pay £48, teams of 4 pay £58 and teams of 5-6 pay £68.

There are also rooms where opening dates have been announced and booking is open prior to their launch. Escape Quest of Macclesfield’s second room, from April 1st, will be Amazon Escape. You and your team of intrepid explorers have entered the Amazon rainforest in search of unchartered areas of land. Inadvertently you have crossed into territory occupied by the Keeyhidi tribe, some of the last remaining cannibals left in the world today; you are immediately captured and thrown into the cage you now find yourselves in. The tribe have a very special celebration planned when one of their men will marry a girl from the neighbouring Yohfindy tribe, giving you and your team an opportunity to escape. The ceremony starts with a visit to the Yohfindy village to collect the girl. It’s a 30 minute walk away, so I’d estimate that you have an hour to make your escape. It’s a game for teams of three to six, charging £57, £72, £80 or £90 depending on the size of the team. The site has been very effective at trickling information about their game out on social media; the world knows that there are tonnes of sand in the room, hinting at a relatively physcial game, and a unique ten-foot waterfall. Even if the flow there may be relatively low, the stereotypical image of colonial explorers points at pith helmets and some sort of headgear might just be a good idea.

Looking a little further ahead still, Can You Escape of Edinburgh have announced that their second game will be Operation Odyssey. Their site reveals more: The International Space Station and its escape pod have been hit by an asteroid shower and they have both sustained serious damage. The bad news is that the escape pod is the only way home, there is a crew on board the ISS who are depending on you to get it fixed. Can you step up and be part of the elite Space Cadets Squad that must race against the clock to restore the escape pod. You and your team will have one hour to repair it to working order before the next asteroid shower strikes. It’s in your hands, Can You Escape? The game can be booked from April 16th; teams of two are charged £40, threesomes £55, foursomes £60, fivesomes £65 and sixsomes £70.

Looking furthest ahead, Escape Rooms Plymouth have only announced theme but not yet a date for their second room, Bizzarro Quest. This “quest to the pharcyde” invites your team of three to six to step into an intoxicating world of bizarreness. Can you make your way out in under 60 minutes? Can you make head or tale of up or down? This fun, crazy game will be sure to test your wits but bamboozle your senses as it does. The prices are £45 for three, £56 for four, £65 for five and £72 for six. Looking forward to reading some more specifics before long.

Fingers crossed that the alchemist of old is onto something and that as one has become two, two does go on to become three, then many more…

All the news: Enigma Escape Kickstarter, Breakout Manchester charity day, new rooms and more

breaking-newsA quick round-up of news stories from the UK’s exit games:

  • Enigma Escape of London have a Kickstarter campaign in progress which offers a fascinating look behind the scenes of the budget for a high-end exit game in London. They’re planning to sink their life savings in to making their dream happen, but an extra £5,000 is necessary – ideally from the crowdfunding campaign, but they have other (slower!) plans in mind if it doesn’t happen. The site looks distinctive for, among other reasons, the potential for multiple conclusions to the game depending on the degree of success you had playing it. Extremely intriguing, and if you know you’re going to play the game then the best possible prices to play it are available by booking in advance through the campaign. Kickstarter campaigns for exit games have not had the best track record in the UK so far but this one looks so detailed that it’s clear how much thought has gone into it. Tell your friends! (Tip of the hat to Ken for the link.)
  • Breakout Manchester are holding a charity day today where all the proceeds – not just profits, but every single penny – are being split among four local charities. Heck of a gesture, and it’s such a popular site that it’ll raise a chunky sum.
  • Escape Quest of Macclesfield have opened booking for their second room, Amazon Escape, from April 1st. If it gets as good a reaction as this review of their first room, it sounds spectacular. Plans for Escape Quest‘s third room, a timed mini-game challenge, also seem exciting; its success or failure would seem to depend on the (quite possibly very considerable!) quality, quantity of variety of content on offer. The prospect of a room with replay value is also noteworthy.
  • Cyantist of Bournemouth have also opened booking for their second room, Clockwork Orange; you’ll only have to wait as long as Monday to play this. This hints of dystopia and the Nadsat argot, so get your droogs together. There’s currently a 25% discount for those who book and places are going quickly!

Black Friday 2014 Dealwatch: coupons and discounts to play escape games for less

All-black discount starEven the discount starburst has blacked out completely to celebrate the day. (While the day’s celebration is an import, perhaps this is in preparation for bringing the world’s number one online shopping day, China’s Singles Day, to being a similarly celebrated event in other countries as well.) There are a couple of deals coming up that are available today only, so hopefully some reader can take advantage in the last two hours of the day or so.

Escape Quest of Macclesfield have announced on Facebook that The next 5 bookings made using the code blackfriday will only pay £50 per room for any size team. This deal expires at midnight tonight.

Similarly, Bath Escape have made a Facebook post suggesting that you can book today and receive a 25% discount! Use the code black to get your discount!

GR8escape York‘s opening discount has gone, but has been replaced by a Christmas offer: To help spread the Christmas spirit at Gr8escape York, we are offering £10 off all bookings made from now until the end of December. This is for all group sizes and all available time slots in the month of December. Just use the code Spy School Xmas at the final payment stage.

On top of that, LivingSocial are running a Black Friday campaign, giving 10% off (at least most) of their vouchers. This is particularly relevant to this site because a voucher permitting play for any size group for £39. (Be warned that using the voucher to play on Friday, Saturday or Sunday attracts a £10 supplement, to be paid in cash.) The usual LivingSocial conditions apply. While that voucher has a time limit, the site has its own voucher scheme providing a variety of discounted play options for the first three months of 2015.

Some other ongoing offers include:

Logiclock of Nottingham has an offer called 50-50-5 whereby the first fifty teams to look through the site and find the five miscoloured digits can earn a 50% discount on their ticket.

Locked In Games of Leeds has a Groupon deal that has expired, but try the coupon code of lockedinnovember at the checkout stage for a £30/team ticket in November.

Puzzlair of Bristol announced on Twitter that they have entering the code Twitter on booking will provide a 25% discount until Christmas.

If the Black Friday offer at Escape Quest of Macclesfield has expired, the site has posted an opening discount: For bookings made during November use the code Special20 to get 20% off the price. Sounds good!

Escape Hunt of London’s Challenge is still on and may be the best deal going now that the time-limited 25% coupon promotion has expired. Also in London, Escape Rooms have a VisitLondon10 code for 10% off on weekdays up to 5pm.

As ever, if you know of other coupons, deals, vouchers or competitions, please send them through. If your site has a offer not listed above, please don’t assume the worst; get in touch and this site will happily spread the good news. (Alternatively, if you would prefer that this site does not list your coupon, or if the details of the offer are mangled, that’s fine too; again, please get in touch.)

Mid-November 2014 Dealwatch: coupons and discounts to play escape games for less

"Early Bird Discount!" graphicThe Dealwatch ground rules have not changed from last time:

  • Do check voucher companies’ terms, conditions and guarantees and this site takes no responsibility for deals that fall through for whatever reason, which sadly has happened once;
  • Many of these deals only permit a limited number of vouchers to be purchased and then the deal will expire. It’s quite possible that deals may have expired between being published below and your attempt to use them;
  • This non-commercial site does not attract any commission for promoting these deals, or for you using them;
  • These deals are not exclusive in any manner.

Escape Quest of Macclesfield opened for paying guests for the first time today, after a week or so of test games. Accordingly, they have been added to the list of exit games and the Timeline, and their dot has been turned yellow on the map. (The only cloud to gloom this otherwise glorious day is that the mapping provider in use recently turned the map from a Classic Map to a New Map, and this site is Not Happy about it.) In much happier news, the site has posted an opening discount: For bookings made during November use the code ‘Special20’ to get 20% off the price. Sounds good!

Locked In Games of Leeds have a Groupon deal offering chances to play one of their two rooms at £19 for teams of three, £25 for teams of four or £30 for teams of five. This site gets the impression that you’re really going to have to hurry with this one; there may be less than a couple of dozen vouchers still available and there may be less than a day to go for the deal’s time limit even if the vouchers don’t run out. If they have all gone, try the coupon code of lockedinnovember at the checkout stage for a £30/team ticket in November. There are a lot of exit game sites with reasonably similar FAQ sections asking “Is the game scary?” and responding “No”. Locked In Games doesn’t mess around. (That said, it does let 9-year-olds play with adult supervision, so it’s not exactly X-rated.)

Serial dealers The Gr8 Escape of Belfast have another Groupon deal going for their distinctive forthcoming Winter Wonderland Party room, to be available from early January to early March in 2015. For £69.95, up to eight children can try and tackle a 45-minute wintery room escape challenge, complete with a Snow Queen or Ice King theme for the birthday boy or girl. Spread across two rooms, participants have to solve all sorts of puzzles, clues and codes to get out. An additional 45-minute session follows, this time in a themed party area with juice and party game props, tea or coffee for adults, a gift for the birthday boy or girl, and a chance to pick items from the themed candy carriage or cart. This site fully approves of any initiative that means that people from outside the usual exit game age demographic get to play. Princesses Anna and Elsa would doubtless also approve. Understood? Understood.

GR8escape York said two days ago that their thirty voucher codes to play for £30/team had almost gone, so you’re really going to have to rush on that one. Escape Hunt of London’s Challenge is still on and may be the best deal going now that the time-limited 25% coupon promotion has expired. Also in London, Escape Rooms have a VisitLondon10 code for 10% off on weekdays up to 5pm. Puzzlair of Bristol have been getting more good press and their 10%-off HANDBALL code may still be in operation. ((Edited to add: they have announced on Twitter that they have entering the code Twitter on booking will provide a 25% discount until Christmas. Better still!))

As ever, if you know of other coupons, deals, vouchers or competitions, please send them through. If your site has a offer not listed above, please don’t assume the worst; get in touch and this site will happily spread the good news. (Alternatively, if you would prefer that this site does not list your coupon, or if the details of the offer are mangled, that’s fine too; again, please get in touch.)

Early November 2014 Dealwatch: coupons and discounts to play escape games for less

Price tag suggesting deal, sale or bargainThe usual Dealwatch rules remain in operation:

  • Do check voucher companies’ terms, conditions and guarantees and this site takes no responsibility for deals that fall through for whatever reason, which sadly did happen once;
  • Many of these deals only permit a limited number of vouchers to be purchased and then the deal will expire. It’s quite possible that deals may have expired between being published below and your attempt to use them;
  • This non-commercial site does not attract any commission for promoting these deals, or for you using them;
  • These deals are not exclusive in any manner.

ESCAP3D‘s Dublin location have a LivingSocial deal available for another week, or until all the vouchers sell out. Teams of six can play for €39 rather than the full price of €80. The voucher is only valid for new customers, and between 1:30pm and 6pm on Mondays to Saturdays. A cancellation/re-scheduling policy of 48 hours applies. How do you pronounce ESCAP3D, by the way? This site always thought it was a stylistic form of “escaped”, but it could just as easily be “escape-three-d”.

Last Dealwatch, this site described a Groupon deal placed by The Gr8 Escape of Belfast. While that’s history now, the site has a Facebook offer available for another month, offering 25% off if you’re booking either of its two Christmas-themed rooms to play after 5pm. The site has also revealed its future plans: “Winter wonderland – a froz3n surprise will hopefully be available in mid December, it will be a two room challenge designed to be easy enough for 7-11 year olds to complete within 45 minutes.” That’s extremely distinctive and very, very cool. If a major chunk of the long-term future of exit games is to cater for the birthday market, which it might well be, this seems like the state of the art.

Puzzlair of Bristol recently posted about their latest discount, supporting Bristol Handball. Follow the Bristol Handball Twitter account and book using the HANDBALL code for 10% off. (Handball is a fine game; much more fun to watch handball on Eurosport 2 than basketball on Eurosport, er, 1.) Puzzlair also have a a Christmas coupon scheme going, where you can exactly personalise the wording on your gift to whatever you think its recipients would most enjoy. No lunar porcine involvement is required.

Escape Hunt of London are promoting the Escape Hunt Challenge; book to play all three of its rooms and get a 20% discount. Beat all three rooms and win a limited edition T-shirt as well!

There are still some deals announced last time that are ongoing. GR8escape York have a code letting the first 30 teams to book play for just £30, and Escape Quest of Macclesfield’s social media competition is running for just a few more days, finishing well before (and announcing the winner of a free game in good time for) the site’s big launch on November 19th. Locked In Games of Leeds have two unsettling rooms, an even creepier new teaser video and a code of lockedinnovember to be entered at the checkout stage for £30/team games all through November… if you dare!

Late October 2014 Dealwatch: coupons and discounts to play exit games for less

"SAVE NOW" graphicThe usual Dealwatch rules are in operation:

  • Do check voucher companies’ terms, conditions and guarantees and this site takes no responsibility for deals that fall through for whatever reason, as, sadly, has actually happened;
  • Many of these deals only permit a limited number of vouchers to be purchased and then the deal will expire. It’s quite possible that deals may have expired between being published below and your attempt to use them;
  • This non-commercial site does not attract any commission for promoting these deals, or for you using them;
  • These deals are not exclusive in any manner.

The Gr8 Escape of Belfast have a Groupon voucher that will apply for their two Christmas-themed games, Snow Way Out and Santa’s Work (It Out) Shop. Games will be available from the 1st to the 23rd and from the 26th to 28th. Groups of up to six can play for £42 and groups of up to eight for £49 and fancy dress is encouraged.

If you act quickly, you can get a special deal at XIT of Dublin. Their new game, Curse of the Mummy opens very shortly; if you book in October – and there’s not much of it left – to play in November, your group need pay only €59 rather than the usual €79.

Talking of new openings, the opening deals at GR8escape York and Locked In Games of Leeds and are still available, each permitting teams to play for just £30. GR8escape York opened on Monday and limits its opening deal to the first 30 teams to book; Locked In Games opens very shortly and the opening deal will last all November.

Also in the North, Escape Newcastle is set to open on Saturday 1st November, as previously discussed. This site cannot yet find an opening discount for it, but both Escape Edinburgh and Escape Glasgow had them, so keep an eye out. If the site proves as popular and well-reviewed as its Scottish predecessors, it’ll be something quite special.

In other pre-opening news, Escape Quest of Macclesfield have a competition up and running. The site opens on November 19th; if you can help either (or both!) of their social media campaigns out before November 13th then your team might be the one drawn to play a free game!

Cyantist of Bournemouth have a couple of deals ongoing, either for those who have ever hosted guests using the Couchsurfing service or for those who buy tickets for their friends. The site also, unusually, features a free ten-minute online game to give you a feeling for what sort of things might await you. Clever idea!

September 2014 Dealwatch Special: coupons and discounts to play exit games for less

"On sale" graphic"On sale" graphicNormally this site makes Dealwatch a once-a-month attraction. However, when there are deals to report, particularly ones which may well go quickly, there’s no time to wait. It’s inconvenient that the hosting service that this site uses has been having problems today, though their track record so far has been very satisfactory and today’s communication – to be fair – has been pretty good.

The usual rules are in operation: terms and conditions doubtless apply and this site takes no responsibility for deals that fall through for whatever reason. These are not exclusive in any shape or form. Many of these deals only permit a limited number of vouchers to be purchased and then the deal will expire; it’s quite possible that deals may expire between being published below and your attempt to use them. This site does not attract any commission, whether you click through and purchase the deals or not.

Lock and LOL of London are set to open on October 10th, as previously discussed, though the first seven days are showing up as unavailable in the booking system. The site has a Wowcher deal available, letting a team of up to five play for £39. Your voucher will be valid between 10th October and 27th March 2015.

Escape Rooms of London are set to have a second Groupon voucher. The deal is being released to Groupon VIP members today and to the general public tomorrow. Be warned that the first time the site had a voucher, the first batch of 100 sold out within four hours. The details are set to be confirmed, and this site will update this entry with a link once they are known if it can. However, this site understands that the vouchers are set to be restricted to use during off-peak hours.

((Edited to add: The deal itself is now available. £49 for three players, £59 for four players and £69 for five players. There are quite a few conditions: the deal is valid for new customers only, for the Pharoah’s Chamber room only, and is only valid all day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays or on games starting by 3:45pm on Mondays and Thursdays, until 30th October 2014.))

In the previous Dealwatch, we noted that Escape Hunt of London, announced as opening on October 3rd, have a 10% discount voucher available. News reaches this site that there is not just a 10% discount but a 25% discount for any booking made by 21st October 2014 with the code EscapeHunt25. It’s not immediately clear if there is a date by which the games purchased through this discounted booking must be played, much in the same style as the previous discount code.

Paying an acknowledgement to the consistently vigilant Intervirals, Escape Quest of Macclesfield have ((Edited for factual correction: opened advance booking and then made a Facebook post suggesting that a 10% discount is available when you use the shopping basket Facebook share button.))

Those are all the active deals, discounts and coupons this site could find; if you know of others, please send them through – and if your site has a offer not listed above, please don’t assume the worst; get in touch and this site will happily spread the good news. (Alternatively, if you would prefer that this site does not list your coupon, or if I have mangled the details of the offer, that’s fine too; again, please get in touch.)

All the news from the UK’s exit games

Newspaper imageSix months ago today, this site posted its first two posts: one with the by now very familiar map, and one with a quick introduction. Back then, this site was aware of eight sites open in the UK and Ireland, and would later discover two more that were open at the time but not yet known; now, there are at least eighteen.

The Timeline tells the story of the ten openings over the last six months – and, as much as there were two open sites that took a while to make themselves known, who knows how many others there are, already open but waiting to be discovered? On the other hand, some things never change; perhaps Brighton (surely a rich market to be exploited!) will eventually get an open site some day to turn its red map dot yellow. It’s time to take a look around and catch up with some news stories from the sites – as it happens, mostly pretty northern sites.

In Belfast, The Gr8 Escape (website still under construction) have announced to their Facebook page that at the end of this month, they will be closing their two rooms down to replace them with a ninety-minute two-room extravaganza, potentially capable of seeing a dozen players at a time, themed around Hallowe’en and running through October. Sounds like a smart and distinctive move; fingers crossed for the results.

In Leeds, Tick Tock Unlock have similarly hinted at changes to come within months; “Our building has been recently bought out and will be converted to something else next year so sadly no scope to expand there; we will be moving to another one soon.” The site’s reviews are great, so surely this will be a case of onwards and upwards to bigger and better things.

In Warrington, Clue HQ have also posted a Facebook announcement that their second room will be entitled The Dungeon of Doom. (Surely it’s tempting to add a bundle more “o”s to the last word and pronounce it so that it takes two and a half seconds to say… that can’t just be us, can it?) The “Like”s have rolled in apace. No details on timing, other than “coming soon”. The room is also intended to be harder than their first Bunker 38 room, and they’re open about Bunker 38‘s difficulty rate, with only around 10% of teams making it out. Gulp!

In Macclesfield, Escape Quest also post news to their Facebook page, this time construction photos showing them making good progress towards their opening, projected for November. Additionally, they have posted the story behind their first game. The site will have a time travel theme: a smart choice, as different rooms become thematic as representing different journeys. The first room will be set in Victorian England in 1873. It’s not immediately clear whether the atmosphere will tend towards realism, steampunk or some other form of fiction, but all could work well.

Exciting times! If the next six months are nearly as active as the past six months have been, it’s going to be great fun to follow!