2020 has been… Quite the year! For me at least, it’s gone “January – February – Quarantine – December”. Whilst this means I did not get ANYWHERE near my escape room target of 50 rooms this year (thanks coronavirus), an almost brand new sub-category has emerged in the escape room industry: Play at Home.
From a relatively small part of escape rooms, I can confidently say that the play at home genre does (and will continue to) form an integral part of any escape room business, and I’m extremely excited to see where 2021 takes this trend.
Without further ado, here are my measly stats for 2020!
|Total Escape Rooms||12|
|Total Play at Home||95|
|Fastest (Escape Room) Escape||30 minutes|
Escape the Vault
|Slowest (Escape Room) Escape||52 minutes|
Sherlock: The Time is Now
And if you’re interested… In 2020 I have also designed 7 escape games, 1 outdoor adventure, and started work on a small indie videogame!
Favourite Escape Room
Impossible to pick! Impossible firstly because I find the good in everything and strive to leave positive reviews where possible. Impossible secondly as my ‘big plans’ got decimated down to just a few real life escape rooms behind a mask and eight bottles of hand sanitiser. Nonetheless, there are two stand out experiences to mention:
A high tech, immense and multi-roomed experience from the talented people behind Time Run. As a Sherlock fan, this ticked all the boxes.
Ready Escape Games: Escape the Vault
A trip all the way to Brighton to meet the creators and experience this brilliant 40 minute escape room. After a rocky start, we smashed it! But the real stand out was the location, the environment, and the team!
Last Escape Room Before Lockdown
All, that sweet, sweet time before the apocalypse arrived! Around a week before lockdown hit (whether that was the formal mandate by the government, or the “we’re all going to work from home I bet it’ll only last a week or so” period), I was lucky to attend the launch of A Dalek Awakens at Escape Hunt Reading.
First Escape Room After Lockdown
For a brief period in August – October, things returned to *almost* normal. People were encouraged to Eat Out to Help Out and escape rooms across the UK reopened allowing groups of up to 6 in a ‘social bubble’. Well, my regular team immediately ‘bubbled up’ and off we headed to The School of Witchcraft & Wizardry at Enigma Quests. This was an escape room that had been on our list for literally years since it first came out. It did not disappoint!
Top 10 Play At Home Games:
So now, onto the hot topic of the year. Playing escape rooms from home! But I couldn’t just pick one favourite. There are so many games and so many types – how on earth can one compare a remote avatar with an audio adventure, or a digital game with a printed one? Instead, here’s a top 10:
- Real Escape Game Japan: The Strange Village [Digital]
- Agent Venture: The Heist [Remote/Digital]
- Next Level Escapes: A Temporal Tangle [Digital]
- The Profoctor Predicament [Printed]
- The Curious Elevator or Mr. Hincks [Physical]
- Clue Quest: Humanity 2.0 [Printed]
- Truth Seekers Remote Adventure [Remote]
- Clue Cracker: Escape from Extinction Island [Digital]
- Project Avatar: Stalker [Remote – Review Not Yet Published!]
- STL Fantasy Maps: Escape the Empire [Printed]
Enter: Video Games
In late 2020 I also added the category “Video Games” to this blog. *Cheers in gamer* Whilst I haven’t published nearly enough reviews to talk about my favourites, the one stand out for me that defined this whole year was the Rusty Lake series. On every lunch break and well into the evenings, you bet I had a Rusty Lake loaded up on my mobile phone. It got me through a lot! Haha! You can read my review for Paradox here.
…And finally, a couple of blog stats, in case you’re interested!
This website launched in May 2020 and went from an average of 300 visitors a month, to an exciting 4,000 – 5,000 visitors per month in November and December. This probably has a lot to do with the fact I started posting more:
Wow! Thanks for sticking around this far 😀
Our most popular posts per month were:
- May – The Panic Room: My Dearest Emily
- June – The Enigmagram
- July – Clue Quest: Humanity 2.0
- August – AIM Escape: Operation Mindfall
- September – Escape Live: The Rogue Agent
- October – The Escape Game: The Truth Seekers Remote Adventure
- November – The UK’s Top Black Friday Escape Room Deals 2020
- December – Top Christmas Gifts for Escape Room Fans in 2020
And finally, since WordPress provides such a handy data widget, here are some more general site stats which I found pretty fun to share!
Total Posts: 96
Total Words Written: 50,670
Total Comments: 65
Overall, what a year. I for one am glad it’s over (and just quietly hoping it was a “bad year” and not the start of a “bad decade” haha). But also looking forward to the exciting new games and experiences 2021 will bring.
But, I don’t mean to be hasty! 2020 wasn’t all bad! For one, I’ve made so many new friends in the escape room world (you know who you are!) and played a lot of brilliant and surprising games this year I’d never otherwise had tried. So here’s to many more digital games, remote avatar and printable kits, and here’s also to hoping that the world returns to normalcy just a little bit more and escape rooms can reopen.
Thanks for sticking around with me and this blog for this long! Cheers to 2021!
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.