Pop-up Round-up

Monochromatic Jack-in-the-Box graphicWho knows what you’ll find inside boxes in exit games? Ken does and this site thanks him for the information, as happens so often. Pop-ups are relatively hard to find, so here are two past stories and two future stories.

The University of Reading, for the last two years, have run a competition called Ideafest in which the university’s students pitch business ideas, first by video and then – for the five finalists – in person. This year’s competition awarded cash and mentoring prizes to the best three proposals and a proposal for an exit game claimed third prize. The proposal was for a game called Survivor for two to four players, with the distinctive feature that it would be played in a van. Sounds plausible – and if it were set in a non-roadworthy fixed van with sufficiently long wheelbase, sounds very plausible, though cold.

That was, sadly, months back. However, as recently as a week and a half ago, there was a pop-up exit game at Crawley Library as part of Geek Week. Charming – but, yeah, that’s a cap that happens to be about the right size.

Looking ahead to pop-ups that people might still have a chance of playing, the Game Development Society of the University of Essex, who have a pleasingly catholic purview of media in which they design, are putting up their “first Escape Room event“, known as Winter Escape Room, at their Colchester campus. At time of writing, if this site interprets the event’s ticketing page correctly, spaces are available at noon on Thursday 3rd December and Saturday 5th December only, but perhaps there might be Spring or Summer Escape Rooms to follow?

Lastly, again looking ahead, perhaps the most pop-up sort of game of all is one that moves around: as the URL suggests, Escape Party is an escape game for hire that will come to your party. The game can be set up either indoors or outdoors; a 15m2 space is required, perhaps a smallish back garden. Setup takes half an hour, then the moderator will run the game multiple times for up to five teams of five. If you can book for five groups of five, the price is pretty reasonable, especially if you’re in the Midlands, with groups in the south-east or London attracting a higher fee for a longer journey. The experience can’t be the same as going into a dedicated environment, but there may well be circumstances where people physically can’t get to the exit game and may well be delighted by the exit game coming to them. Thumbs firmly up for the “If You Don’t Like The Game, You Don’t Have To Pay!” guarantee, too!

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