Early February 2016 news round-up

News round-upTime for an assortment of links and news stories.

  • Congratulations to The Gr8 Escape of Belfast for announcing their recent award from Acquisition International, earning the Best Creative Corporate Activities Company title for Belfast. Escape Live of Birmingham also announced that they are a finalist in the Midlands Business Awards; looks like it’s in the Service Provider of the Year (up to £1m) section. Best of luck for the 26th!
  • That’s not all the Escape Live news, though. Tomorrow night, i.e. the evening of Friday 12th February, sees them host “((…)) a date night with a quirky twist ((…)) hoping to strike the city’s singletons with cupid’s arrow by hosting a mass double date at the venue – inviting them not just on a search for the puzzles’ answers, but for love too. The venue is hoping to attract couples of single friends on Friday, February 12, for a date night which will include meeting other single couples of friends as they work together to escape each room. Manager Jordan Ladley said: ‘Valentine’s Day for couples is one of the most exciting and fun days of the year, but what about those who don’t have someone to share it with? ((…)) Throughout the evening we’re inviting up to eight couples of friends to join us for a mass blind double date as we enter them into each room on a quest to crack the codes and escape. But who knows what – or who – else you might find while on the frantic search for answers!’” Very cute gimmick; Exit Games UK hopes it works out well for them.
  • Breakout Games of Aberdeen and Inverness have suggested that they will be featured in a TV show about a collaborative hiring process. That sounds dry, but the practice is much more fun than the theory. Candidates try out for a regional manager position at hipster craft brewer BrewDog, but are unaware that it’s their potential subordinates – rather than their potential bosses – who’ll be assessing whether they’re a good fit for the company. Will the exit game experience show the candidates at their interview-prepared best or what they’re really like when the pressure’s on? Time will tell!
  • Also in Scotland, Exit Plan Edinburgh got in touch and suggested that they’re offering a 25% discount this month. A little unusually, the site is not too strict about applying their nominal sixty-minute time limit, and have happily posted pictures of teams who have extracted the maximum value from their game by taking several tens of minutes more than that to get out with the Tesla Cube.
  • Lastly, to the cool links. Liz Cable of Time Games, organiser of the recent unconference in Leeds, is leading a workshop on Sunday 6th March at the Courthouse Words festival in Otley on How to create a puzzle room in a box. Given the quick but fun boxes of tricks in play at the unconference, this should be a treat.
  • The Escape Rooms Master directory site are asking site owners to fill in this five-minute questionnaire. The results of the survey should be extremely interesting – and the more responses, the more representative the survey.
  • A review site based on the Eastern Seaboard of the US, Escape Clues, has made a well-regarded post simply entitled Why Some Escape Rooms Rock! – and Others Suck! Indeed so; neat comparisons and contrasts between desirable and undesirable properties in various categories.

Coming soon to Edinburgh: Exit Plan Edinburgh

Exit Plan Edinburgh logoAnother new exit game opens its doors in Edinburgh on Monday. (Then, presumably, closes some of them again, at least for an hour at a time.) Exit Plan Edinburgh is based in an office complex within Edinburgh’s New Town, with St. Andrew Square probably the nearest stop on the tram line. The site is set to open throughout the day, every day; its first game, The Tesla Cube, has a one-hour time limit and is designed to cater for teams of two to seven. Perhaps there is a hint of local flavour in, at least, an allusion to Edinburgh’s strong history in theoretical physics.

The brilliant inventor and scientist, Doctor Boson, has spent a lifetime advancing and improving upon the designs of his idol Nikola Tesla. In particular, the development of an object called the ‘Tesla Cube’ – a device of near limitless power. Until recently, you were the Doctor’s assistant. That was before he fired you for doing nothing more than simply questioning his motives for developing such a device. This only increased your suspicions about what the Doctor was really up to so you decided to find out for yourself.

You have learnt that rather than using this device to solve the world’s energy problems as he said, the Doctor is in fact working in secret for a criminal organisation and the true purpose of the device is as a key component for a terrible weapon. He intends to hand over his completed prototype to his employers this evening – you cannot allow this to happen but you know that nobody will believe you without proof. The Doctor has just left his apartment to finalise his plans – now is your chance to break in undetected.

The price is reasonably competitive with that of other local games; £44 for two players up to £66 for a foursome and £73.50 for a team of seven. Many thanks to Ken for pointing this one out.