Early July exit game news

Newspaper graphicExit game news from three parts of the UK today.

1) In London, Time Run have extended their, er, run from 2nd August until at least 30th September – excluding Mondays, as ever. That said, from 3rd August onwards, the off-peak (weekdays before 5pm) price rises from £24 plus VAT per player to £29 plus VAT per player, and the peak price rises from £29 plus VAT per player to £35 plus VAT per player.

Unrelatedly, Room Escape AdventuresTrapped in a Room with a Zombie has moved within town to Whitechapel; ScareTOUR report that the game’s operation has been taken over by Apocalypse Events, who already run plenty of other zombie-themed experiences in the capital. Charmingly, on Valentine’s Day, they had Zombie couples makovers in the same venue as the old TiaRwaZ site…

2) Further north, Logiclock of Nottingham have announced that their second room will be Made in STEIN: Science Adventure. The STEIN company, standing for Science, Technology, Entertainment, Innovations and Novelty, previously had an employee called Professor E. “You’ll enter Professor E.’s room. Professor E. had to go very quickly and without attracting attention. He had to leave so fast he couldn’t find somebody who could continue his work. There are lots of candidates but he needs the best of the best. The Professor asked Mrs. Taylor, his assistant for help. In order to prove your skills you have one thing to do: escape from Professor E.’s room“.

3) Further north still, Breakout Games Inverness of the Highlands announced that they hosted their first proposal! This isn’t an industry first or even a UK industry first – Breakout Manchester have hosted at least one and this site would bet that it isn’t an industry second either – but this is as happy as news gets, and hiding the engagement ring inside the last puzzle is the classiest possible way to do it.

A persistent urban myth is that some stores’ managers have the discretion to celebrate a customer’s waters breaking in their shop with free vouchers and the like. When will we see the first exit game host an unexpected birth on the premises… let alone a labour lasting less than an hour?

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.)

Exit games in the news

Newspaper graphicSome longer posts, some shorter ones. Here’s a quick round-up of recent mass media stories about exit games.

  • Can You Escape of Edinburgh have a preview in the Edinburgh Reporter, which reveals three interesting things that this site did not previously know: a leaderboard of fastest escape times is at least implied, the venue has plans to double in capacity from one room to two early in 2015 and the business has received funding and support from Business Gateway Edinburgh. Might other potential (and even existing?) operators around the UK and Ireland be able to get assistance from their local business incubators? It’s something well worth considering.
  • Logiclock of Nottingham have a story in the Nottingham Post about their background and opening. The site also has fifty half-price tickets available as an opening discount for teams who are willing to dig through the web site and find the unusually-coloured digits. If you’re good enough to play and win their pirate-themed game, finding this code should be a snap.
  • It didn’t raise mass media interest, but it did raise a smile; Puzzlair of Bristol recently had their youngest player ever, a 10-week-old baby. By implication, this baby did manage to break out in time… inside their nappy.
  • Not a UK story, but really interesting: Escape Games of Toronto were profiled in Canada’s largest newspaper’s “Business Club”. The site has five rooms, with three more coming soon, and a large lobby where you can borrow board games to play on-site before or after your escape mission. (A good match, though it must help that Canada is so large that rents might not be nearly so much of an issue as they are in the UK.) The site is recommended by Toronto Room Escapes, a rare honour, though the Escape Games Review, er, review is also well worth reading.

    It’s particularly interesting in that it discusses what a really high-end site has to do to survive in an extremely crowded market, far more crowded locally than any in the UK, even that of London. This site is much more bullish about exit games’ future than the proprietor is, though perhaps Toronto and Budapest over time might go to show what market saturation might look like. The article is extremely interesting for its view behind the scenes and also for the free consultancy provided by a number of the best local business brains, which might yet prove food for thought, subject to local adaptation, for site owners closer to home.

Latest news and views

"Daily News" newspaperA quick round-up of recent points of interest:

  • Congratulations to Logiclock of Nottingham, as discussed a week and a half ago, who opened their booking site a couple of days ago and were taking bookings from today onwards. The piratical theme of their first room is a rarity for the UK; perhaps there might be the scope for them to get some authentically local flavour for a later game by adapting one of the UK’s best-loved legends, though perhaps it might be difficult to hint at the flavour of a forest inside a room.
  • Scotland are hosting New Zealand’s rugby team tomorrow and some of the All Blacks have been playing Escape at Edinburgh today. The site has a fantastic photo and comment about one team’s visit and another one on Twitter.
  • Escape Rooms of London, always well-regarded within the comments section here and thought of as one of the more challenging sites in the country, have a 10% discount code available for slots before 5pm on weekdays until the end of the year.
  • This site enjoyed Room 505, a stop-motion video on an escape game theme that evokes the conventions and atmosphere of modern video games, with the best sort of silly conclusion.
  • One idle reflection that recently occurred: it’s relatively uncommon to see photos of teams made up entirely of older players. Family groups spanning the generations are frequent and delightful, but many in the third age community have considerable time and disposable income. Some games are more kinetic than others, and issues of mobility and sensory acuity are more likely to be relevant here, but when at least one site is considering deliberately targeting a younger audience, might there be the scope to attract an entirely new audience to the industry as well?

Coming soon to Nottingham: Logiclock

Logiclock logoIn the last day or two, a long-time “Coming soon” splash screen has been replaced by a very enticing-looking web site for an exciting-looking forthcoming exit game, Logiclock, due to open soon in Nottingham. The site’s Facebook presence suggests that the project has been under construction, or at least has existed as a name, since before this web site started, so it’s good to know that there’s been extensive development involved.

The site will open with one room, Pirates of Nottingham.

There has been a secret pirate house discovered in the heart of Nottingham which is full of treasures. Many people have tried to acquire the treasures, however the pirates have always caught them during the mischief and threw them into prison. Up until now, no one has left the pirate shelter alive. The time has come for anyone to outsmart the pirates’s leery mentality.

Intriguing. Has there really not yet been a room in the UK or Ireland with a pirate theme? Apparently not, so originality points for spotting a gap in the market. The game is for teams of 3-5 players and scheduled to last one hour. Prices have not yet been confirmed, but start at £16 per person depending upon team size. The site also hints at a second room under construction and more might yet follow.

The location is reasonably central within Nottingham, between the Victoria Centre for shopping and the Royal Centre tram stop. It’s also a couple of minutes’ walk from one of the stops of the free Centrelink electric bus service, so certainly very easy to get to. With great pleasure, there is another red “not yet open” dot in the map, and Nottingham has always been one of the most prominent gaps in the market, so this might well turn into a major player in the market. No opening date has yet been announced, but if you’re interested, start following the site’s social media. Perhaps there’ll be some opening discounts too!

Looking a long way ahead to more exit games

Enigma Escape bannerNormally this site can announce concrete details of an exit game reasonably shortly before, or reasonably soon after, it opens. This time, this site doesn’t have so much to go on, or knows that this is a longer-range preview. Nevertheless, these titbits are far too interesting not to share.

As previously hinted at, this site recently learned of another exit game planned for London, but whose operators have made it clear that they’re not in a rush to hit a deadline and will work long and hard rather than push out something before it’s ready. Nevertheless, with early social media campaigns under way and some gorgeous graphic design, here’s the story behind the team behind Enigma Escape.

We are two young cousins with a passion for video games, and in particular room escape games.
After playing some live room escape games in Hong Kong, Budapest and London, we felt that we could do a better job in creating the ultimate live room escape experiences.
It didn’t take too long to decide that we would quit our jobs and set up Enigma Escape.
Our mission statement is to be the best in room escape entertainment, by introducing well designed and innovative escape rooms, backed up with our outstanding attentive customer service values.
The perfect room escape experience is a blend of an intriguing storyline, innovative theme, challenging team-building oriented puzzles, and attentive customer service.
We have analysed many room escape businesses and far too many lack in at least one of these areas.
Our first location will be in London. We are in negotiations in securing a lease on a premises and hope to open by the end of the year.

This site applauds their lofty ambition and looks forward to the long haul of following their progress.

Three months ago, this site touched upon the crowdfunding campaign for QuestRoom, also planning to launch in London. While the crowdfunding was not a complete success, the campaign announced “Our goal is to reach £15,000 which would cover the start up the game and the first couple of months’ essential costs. The plan is flexible; we’ll find a bank loan for the missing amount if we need to.” The continued development of their web site suggests that they are making good on that part of the plan and this site also looks forward to seeing their plans come to fruition. More news as it becomes available.

The next story is from further afield. Very little to go on at the moment, but there’s a very early web site up for Logiclock, which intends to establish itself in Nottingham. Sounds wise; the East Midlands may well have a gap in the market, especially with the continued hiatus of Cipher Entertainment of Leicester. One noteworthy piece of cunning from Logiclock is that there also seems to be a realescapegame.co.uk web site pointing to their work, arguably an allusion to realescapegame.com, the web site of the US subsidiary of SCRAP Entertainment, who started things off.

In late-breaking news, the proprietor of the very successful Escape of Edinburgh has announced on Facebook that they plan to establish a second venue in Glasgow, with a target opening date of August 15th. This site has been looking for someone to open within Glasgow for a while; it’s surely fertile territory and the proprietor’s track record is well-established, so the prospects are about as strong as they come.

These have all been added to the “Announced but not yet open” list; when there are definite addresses and web presences, this site will very much enjoy adding more dots to the map!