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…

Now open in Plymouth: Escape Rooms Plymouth

Escape Rooms Plymouth logoEvery now and again, this site finds details of a new location and it’s not quite clear whether the location is open for business or not. All the signs are in place, and maybe the site even appears to be open for business, but it’s not clear whether people are actually playing the game. When this happens, enquiries are made and this site – possibly burned by experience – errs on the side of caution and waiting for evidence before announcing it to the readership.

Accordingly, because of the previous absence of social media updates or reviews, this site has held off talking about Escape Rooms Plymouth until it recently started posting photos of its players as evidence. With this in mind, Escape Rooms Plymouth might just be the first new UK exit game of 2015, ahead of all the ones previously listed as coming soon!

Two identical rooms are already open with the title Germ, with a third room entitled The Hazard coming soon. The rooms have a 60-minute time limit and are recommended for 3-6 players. The story behind Germ suggests “You have been captured by insurgents whilst investigating allegations of chemical weapon stocks within the eastern territories during the cold war. A double agent has left you clues that could lead to your escape…

An advantage of having two identical rooms is that, as the site invites you, “Imagine two teams of 6 players from each department of your company racing against the clock to escape.” As is often the case, the price per player goes down if you have more players; three players pay £18 each, four players pay £16 each, five players pay £14 each and six players pay just £12 each – so adding a sixth player adds just £2 to the cost of the team. On top of that, if you bring two full teams of six, you will get a partial refund to make the price just £10 per player. (Full admission: the second room of the two doesn’t seem to be available to be booked until Tuesday 20th January.)

In previous searches, this site had found an exciting-looking interactive theatrical game called Resurgam taking place in Plymouth, but it’s exciting to see exit games as such spread around the country; this site wishes Escape Rooms Plymouth well and looks forward to following for news of The Hazard and, maybe, more. It seems unlikely that there will ever be a game further south-west… unless Cornwall might host one some day?