30 January 2015

"Escape games" in London

You and three of your friends get locked in a room and have one hour to figure out how to get out.

A new concept for me.  To an avid reader of John Dickson Carr mysteries, this sounds like fun.
This is HintHunt, an interactive locked room mystery game, hidden in plain sight just down the road from Euston Station...

Everyone seems a little wary, but confident, as the girl runs through the rules of the game, telling us that we will get hints from her whenever she thinks we need them (“No one has ever done it without hints, there is no shame in getting hints”), and that each key or code we find will only work on one door or safe. It all sounds rather straightforward and, dare I say, eminently doable – until she drops the bomb that only 50 per cent of people make it out in time.

The next hour passes in an incomprehensible blur of searching, re-searching, punching numbers into safes, punching other numbers into safes, locks, keys, map coordinates and, at one point, a UV torch... The hints that appear on the count-down screen started as a slow trickle, but by 50 minutes in are coming thick and fast.
Three other London-based "escape games" are listed at the link.

Addendum:  In March 2015 The Guardian posted a feature story on this topic.


  1. I read every single John Dickson Carr and Carter Dickson.

    1. Me too. And I've saved every one of them to reread as soon as my deteriorating memory assures me of being surprised at every ending again. Shouldn't be long now...

  2. Nashville has their own Escape Game and it's a blast! http://nashvilleescapegame.com/

  3. There are several American cities with Escape the Room venues including Pittsburgh, NYC and others. Some are affiliated with each other & others are independent.


  4. We played something very similar as children. That guy was the best babysitter we ever had.

  5. We have an escape room in Houston, Texas as well. It was a blast even though we didn't get out in time. The employees there told us only about 5% of the groups manage to figure it out in time to get themselves out.


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