Escape room news round-up, mid-May

News round-upA slightly unusual post for this blog, but news breaks quickly enough that sometimes a newsflash is required.

The Melbourne 1888 Challenge will be a 15-minute escape room played, replicating the sweltering heat of the Australian desert, on exactly the two nights of Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th May at the venue of Time Run in London. It’s for players aged 18+ only, for participants “will have the chance to cool-off and unwind afterwards and enjoy a refreshing ice-cold pint of the iconic lager“. It’s only £5 per player, plus a small booking fee, and even that small sum is donated to Mind, the mental health charity. Hurrah!

It’s not clear whether the 15-minute game uses content from either of Time Run’s current missions, but even if it does and you have played both already, the chance to spend another 15 minutes (plus briefing and debriefing) in the Time Run world, and in the company of the sensational Time Run players, is a wonderful opportunity, especially if you like the drink in question. This is rather happier Time Run news than the main headline, which is that their landlords have decided to convert the property into (inevitably) flats and thus the site has declared a closing date. The comment that “We will be back later this year, at an all-new venue with an amazing new game” is reassuring but it’s still hard to see this as anything other than very sad news.

The Melbourne 1888 Challenge is far from the only pop-up game in London at the moment, though it may be the most exciting. London Escapists list the others, as well as discussing tales of the UK SCRAP Zelda’s booking system going horribly wrong and overbooking certain slots. It’s easy to be sniffy here, but other game owners have tales of their own booking systems going wrong, and these booking systems have the theoretically easier-looking job of selling each slot once only, so I have more sympathy than once I did.

Early May was conference season, with the Room Escape Conference in Niagara Falls and Up The Game in the Netherlands. The former did not allow recording of its paid-for seminars, but the Codex forum has textual recaps of some of them and the Unlocked channel by the Trap Door escape room may have vlog recaps. I believe that it has been suggested that at least some of the Up The Game sessions were recorded and fingers crossed that these will be released before long.

Other than that, here are some links which may entertain:

  • Excellent, if ever-so-slightly hipster, tabletop game blog Shut Up and Sit Down reviewed EXIT: The Game and Unlock, two escape-room-at-home card games. Other such games are available; the more, the merrier!
  • A very popular thread on Reddit asks: “Escape The Room Employees, what is the weirdest thing you’ve seen someone do in one of the rooms?” The results are… perhaps mostly what you might guess, especially given the context, but there are some tales well worth seeing in there.
  • Several of these tales concern proposals (or “promposals”, for apparently making a spectacle of asking someone to a dance is now A Thing). It was fun to track these in the early days, but I stopped when I got to ten. It’s so common these days that one site now has their own guide on how to propose at an escape room. Every escape room will be different, but this looks like good practice to me!


    • They’re not the same! The differences aren’t too big, but definitely non-trivial.

      It does suggest that sites can expect to host a proposal once in every few thousand games, as opposed to “few hundred” or “few ten thousand”.


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