A List of All Escape Room Conventions and Conferences

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The escape room industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world – from an estimated 3,000 escape rooms globally in 2016, there’s currently well over 50,000 in 2021! With great escape rooms, come fantastic conventions and conferences to mix, mingle, and most importantly learn from the best designers and enthusiasts out there.

Here’s a list of some of the biggest escape room conventions and conferences taking place around the world:

Escape Room Conventions & Conferences

TransWorld’s Room Escape Conference

When: April
Where: USA (City Subject to Change)
Attendance Size: Unknown

Transworld’s Room Escape Conference takes place in St. Louis, MO each year and is estimated to be the largest dedicated escape room convention out there. It features seminars, exhibitions, new technology, parties and mixers, and several hands-on demos.

Photo (c) TransWorld

Up The Game

When: May
Where: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Attendance Size: Unknown

In recent years, thanks to the global panini (yes, we really just called it that!), Up the Game has gone fully digital. But pre-pandemic the convention saw great success after it’s foundation in 2016. Primarily, Up the Game is focused on the owner rather than the enthusiast. Topics of discussion and seminars include collaboration, business, innovation, technology, marketing and so on.

Up the Game

Reality Escape Con

When: August
Where: Boston, USA
Attendance Size: 900 approx

Hosted by bloggers, Room Escape Artist, RECON is one of the newer escape room conventions but gaining traction and popularity quickly! With headliners like Neil Patrick Harris during the digital RECON in 2021, RECON’s focus is on creating a convention for enthusiasts and owners alike. Expect workshops, games, immersive experiences, and lectures.

Graphic (c) RECON

ERIC – Escape Room Industry Convention

When: October
Where: United Kingdom
Attendance Size: 500-1,000 approx

Whilst technically closed since the world went into lockdown, ERIC gets a special place on this list as it’s UK based (as we are) and we hope it will return in full force just as soon as the world reopens. ERIC is geared towards owners and creators, showcasing new technology and innovation alongside a series of talks focused on topics like business ownership, management, and collaboration. It pulls in a wide range of expects and speakers from all over Europe.

Image (c) ERIC UK

Immersive Theatre Experience Conventions

Immersive theatre is theatre production in which the audience plays a crucial role. We’ve seen a lot of blurred lined between escape rooms and high quality immersive productions recently, such as events like The Drop, or audio adventures like Morpheus Show. As escape rooms become even more innovative there’ll likely be no distinction in the future. But for now, check out the following conventions to see the very cutting edge in escape room innovation:

The Next Stage

When: January
Where:
Los Angelus, USA
Attendance Size: Unknown

The Next Stage has an honorary place on this list because… Thanks to you know what… It’s premier show has been cancelled in 2022! We’re not sure exactly what to expect from The Next Stage onwards, but we’re sure that when it is safe to launch, it’ll be something special!

Electric Dreams Festival

When: July
Where:
United Kingdom
Attendance Size: Unknown

A self-proclaimed festival of storytelling through cyberspace, and somewhere where you’ll see fantastic immersive escape room media such as Swamp Motel’s Plymouth Point really come out. Each year every title in the digital show and every talk in the roster sends us down a rabbit hole of mystery and intrigue. Fans of the immersive, genre defying experiences, do not miss this!

Immersive Home Coming Summit

When: August
Where:
Las Vegas, USA
Attendance Size: Unknown

The Immersive Industry Homecoming Summit is a gathering of creators within the immersive world- yep, that includes escape rooms too! With features like Disney, Meow Wolf, AREA15, Broadway, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and many more, this summit is sure to impress each year. Shut up and take my money!

Image (c) Immersive Homecoming Summit

Tabletop Gaming Conventions and Expos

In these tabletop gaming conventions, recent innovations from escape room companies who have turned their hand to creating immersive, tabletop puzzle adventures can be discovered. For fans of the escape room industry – these expos are not to be missed!

UK Games Expo

When: June
Where:
Birmingham, UK
Attendance Size: 50,000 approx

The UK Games Expo punches well above it’s weight and pulls in a huge amount of visitors from the UK and Europe. But the most important part? It’s very well represented in the escape room industry. From local escape room exhibits, to popular tabletop puzzle makers like The Detective Society, Escape Plan, and 404 Escape there’s something for everyone at the UKGE.

Photo (c) Ben Broomfield

Origins Game Fair

When: June
Where:
Columbus, USA
Attendance Size: 20,000 approx

One of the oldest conventions on this list, the Origins Game Fair was first held in 1975. Today it’s grown to a large size and serves all manner of tabletop games – from escape room games, to board games, to wargaming and miniature gaming.

Image (c) Dicebreaker

Gen Con Indy

When: August
Where: Indiana, USA
Attendance Size: 70,000 approx

Part of the Gen Con group, Gen Con Indy is the live convention for tabletop games. Arguably the largest in the United States, Gen Con Indy is home to a range of tabletop games including escape room games – but also pen and paper, roleplaying, wargames, collectable cards, and even live action roleplay. It’s a fantastic haven for all things geeky – not just escape rooms and puzzle games.

Photo (c) Jeff Vrabel in Indianapolis Monthly

Essen Spiel

When: October
Where: Essen, Germany
Attendance Size: 210,000 approx

Taking place every October in Germany, Essen Spiel is the convention for board game enthusiasts and an excellent place to pick up a brand new boxed escape game and meet likeminded enthusiasts. It boasts the highest attendance numbers in all of Europe and is a platform for many exciting talks, workshops, and play tests.

Photo (c) Essen Spiel

PAX Unplugged

When: December
Where: USA (City Subject to Change)
Attendance Size: 40,000 approx

PAX Unplugged is part of the PAX group of expos, but this one specifically focuses on tabletop games. It features an enormous hall filled with tabletop gaming curated from decades of PAX shows, and plenty of panels and presentations. Escape room enthusiasts will enjoy big releases from the likes of Thames & Kosmos, Unlocked! and other publishers.

Photo (c) Dicebreakers

Have we missed your favourite convention or conference? Let us know in the comments below.

The Best VR Escape Rooms on Oculus Quest 2

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When in-person escape rooms are closed, or you simply prefer the option of playing escape rooms in your pyjamas – the Oculus Quest is here! With a fast growing library of fantastic escape room style puzzle games that feel as realistic as if you were standing in the centre of a real room, Oculus is the must-have console in an escape room enthusiast’s collection. Here’s a round up of some of our favorite escape room games available on the Oculus Quest 2.

Have a PSVR? Check out this list instead.

Last updated January 2022.

The Room VR: A Dark Matter

If you ask anyone in the escape room industry to recommend you a video game, chances are you’ll hear the name “The Room” thrown around a lot. It’s the quintessential escape room game now available on Oculus. Players are transported into a series of steampunk-come-Victoriana spaces to solve escape room puzzles. The premise is deceptively simple, yet Fireproof Games does it so well. Read more in our review of The Room VR: A Dark Matter here.

A Fisherman’s Tale

Play as a wooden fisherman doll living in a lighthouse, who goes about his daily routine and builds another wooden lighthouse doll in an even smaller lighthouse. It’s basically Simulation Theory: The Game. Now with extra maritime references. But jokes aside, A Fisherman’s Tale is a fantastically charming escape room puzzle game that blurs the boundaries of fiction and reality. Read more in our review here.

A Rogue Escape

Escape the planet or die… and die… and die trying. A Rogue Escape is a fantastically challenging VR escape room experience developed by Spare Parts Oasis. Trapped on an alien planet you’ve taken control of a mechanical submarine. Too bad you don’t know how to pilot it. Read more in our review of A Rogue Escape VR here.

I Expect You To Die (1 & 2)

Speaking of dying… No list of VR escape rooms would be complete without mentioning the iconic I Expect You To Die and it’s sequel from Schell Games. Play as an international super spy and solve puzzles to collect information from the enemy. But one small mistake and you’ll definitely die. Good luck!

Floor Plan 2

If you prefer your escape rooms a little more absurdist, then it’s definitely worth checking out Turbo Button’s Floor Plan 2. More puzzle game than escape room, you play a new employee at Puzzl Corporation and must travel between floors exploring and most importantly, solving bizarre puzzles.

Red Matter

Setting a new standard when it comes to immersion and graphics, Red Matter is a tense space-horror escape room adventure and one of the most highly rated puzzle games on the Oculus. Take on the role of Agent Epsilon, an astronaut of the Atlantic Union dispatched to an abandoned Volgravian base on Rhea, one of Saturn’s moons. Your mission: to investigate a shady top secret research project.

Have we missed your favourite VR escape room on this list?

Let us know in the comments below!

Thames & Kosmos announce their 2022 product catalogue of EXIT & Adventure Games

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This week creators of the hugely popular EXIT and Adventure Games series, Thames and Kosmos unveiled their 2022 product catalogue. This catalogue includes all their existing games, including a healthy number of STEM toys, science kits, and board games. Most excitingly, this catalogue gives us a sneak preview of a number of upcoming escape games, board games and brilliant IP partnerships us puzzle enthusiasts can look forward to in 2022.

Officially Licensed Lord of the Rings Escape Games

Among the new titles, one ring to rule them all sticks out:

EXIT: The Lord of the Rings – Shadows Over Middle-Earth

Suggested Retail Price: $19.95
Authors: Inka & Marcus Brand
Ages: 10+
Players: 1-4
Play Time: 2-3 hours

Frodo and Sam are on their way to Mordor to destroy the One Ring. But they need your help! Can you buy Frodo enough time to reach Mount Doom?

Screenshot from Product Catalogue 2022

Since the Lord of the Rings game was first teased last year in a Tweet by the creator, little more has been discovered about the game.

From experience with other series, such as Unlock!’s Star Wars games, official IP games tend to err on the side of easy as they target a more mass market audience, but we shall see!

New for 2022

Besides the Lord of the Rings IP, here are all of the other new for 2022 games we’ve spotted in their catalogue so far.

Adventure Games: The Gloom City File

Suggested Retail Price: $19.95
Authors: Inka & Marcus Brand
Ages: 10+
Players: 1-4
Play Time: 2-3 hours

A message tears you away from your bleak, ho-hum existence: three people have been kidnapped! Who is behind this and why is the perpetrator pulling you of all people, four suspended cops, into the matter? Time is of the essence and so you go to the abandoned asylum to start the investigation together. Will you be able to free the hostages and catch the perp? How the thriller ends is entirely up to you.

Screenshot from Product Catalogue 2022

EXIT: Advent Calendar – The Mystery of the Ice Cave

Suggested Retail Price: $49.95
Authors: Inka & Marcus Brand
Ages: 10+

Note, this calendar originally launched here in the UK in 2021, but will be launching for the first time in the United States in 2022.

Your pre-Christmas ski trip definitely hasn’t gone as planned: Just as you are taking a break and enjoying the crystal-clear mountain air, you hear a noise and see a terrifying avalanche crashing down the mountain towards you. Your heart is in your throat, you hastily grab your seven things and race down the slope. With the last of your strength, you throw yourself into a nice in the rocks as everything behind you is buried in snow. Your heart races and you pull yourself together. You can hardly believe it, but you are alive! Only then do you take a look around: is this some kind of cave? This advent calendar is both an EXIT game and adventure story: in order to free yourself from this predicament, you must open a door of the calendar each day. Behind each door you will find a new and exciting riddle, the solution to which will bring you closer and closer to escaping the cave! Will you solve the mystery of the ice cave and find an exit?

EXIT: Advent Calendar – The Hunt for the Golden Book

Suggested Retail Price: $49.95
Authors: Inka & Marcus Brand
Ages: 10+

Oh no! Something terrible has happened: Santa Claus’ golden book has disappeared! It contained a complete listen of all the Christmas wishes. If the book isn’t found by Christmas Eve, there will be nothing but sad faces around the tree on Christmas morning. It’s up to you to save Christmas – and time is of the essence!

Screenshot from Product Catalogue 2022

EXIT: Nightfall Manor

Suggested Retail Price: $27.95
Authors: Inka & Marcus Brand
Ages: 10+
Players: 1-4
Play Time: 2-3 hours

The old man was well-known for his eerie tales of the dark castle on the edge of the forest. Recently, he set out on his own to find the shadowy lord of the manor, but he hasn’t returned. Fearing the worst, you embark on a quest to find him. You must solve a series of riddles and piece together four jigsaw puzzles to uncover the mystery of Nightfall Manor and save your missing friend.

In this EXIT game, there are riddles within riddles hidden within four 88-piece jigsaw puzzles. Like other EDIT titles, Nightfall Manor has no game board, but it also has no riddle cards. Instead there are four jigsaw puzzles that you will find and assemble, one at a time. Each completed puzzle reveals a location containing more riddles to decipher.

Screenshot from Product Catalogue 2022

EXIT: The Return to the Abandoned Cabin

Suggested Retail Price: $17.95
Authors: Inka & Marcus Brand
Ages: 10+
Players: 1-4
Play Time: 2-3 hours

Sinister riddle master Dr. Arthur Funbeq has escaped from prison. The police ask for your help bringing you back to the infamous cabin where it all began. The adventure begins again!

Screenshot from Product Catalogue 2022

Redcliff Bay Mysteries

Suggested Retail Price: $39.95
Authors: Martin Kallenborn
Ages: 12+
Players: 1-5
Play Time: 4x 60 min

Mysterious things are happening in the tranquil coastal town of Redcliffe Bay. You are a team of investigators and need to get to the root of these occurrences in four exciting cases. You will meet several peculiar residents. All of them have their own particular traits and some even have dark secrets. But who has something to hide?

Round by round, you need to decide which location to visit to find important clues and interrogate people. An exciting feature of the game is the possibility of missing out on things happening in locations that you re not currently in, making teaming up and cleverly deciding where to go and when integral to your success.

Screenshot from Product Catalogue 2022

Which of Thames & Kosmos’ games are you most looking forward to in 2022?

Let us know in the comments.

On Your Marks, Get Set! Fool’s Errand – A 30 Day Fitness Puzzle Challenge

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Its time to give you the inside track on something new and exciting!

The team at Enigmailed, known for their outstanding innovative creations including the fabulous Chocolateral and Undeliverable (which we are massive fans of) now bring you something a little different, something which we are are equally excited about!

The headlines are simple:

30 Challenges, 30 Days, 30 Puzzles.

Lets face it, we wouldn’t be in the escape room game if it weren’t for our love of puzzles and our overwhelming desire to overcome challenges!

Fool’s Errand will be a month-long daily active puzzle challenge kicking off in April 2022. Early bird tickets to take part in the race cost £20 per person (discounted for teams and healthcare workers), and can be purchased here.

It sounds just like the thing I need to help me kick start my new years healthy lifestyle (slowly puts down the pack of delicious chocolate biscuits).

Is it a Sprint or a Marathon?!

Well, the great thing about this new adventure is that its completely down to you. If you want to hit things hard, go for it! If not, like me, slow steady steps is the way forward. You set your goals and challenges. The Fool’s Errand team will set your daily puzzles.

Given the creativity seen from Enigmailed before, be prepared for all kinds of fun and frolics – but be sure to get them thinking caps on – this will be no walk in the park!

If, like me, the thought of pacing the streets on your own fills you with dread, there is no need to worry; you can also share your puzzles and daily challenges as a team of two!

Brilliantly, there is also no need to be a real gym bunny, marathon runner or Olympic swimmer to take part. You choose your charity, and pass the sponsorship form to friends, family, office colleagues, even the people you pass on the high street, and then you can select your daily fitness goals.

Be it a half hour daily dog walk, your 10,000 daily step allowance, a few lengths of the local swimming pool, hell, even chasing the kids up and door stairs every day to make sure they pick their toys up!

Every day throughout April you’ll be emailed over a daily puzzle challenge. Even if your legs haven’t been given a workout, we’re quite sure your brain will! Enigmailed have promised that the answer to each puzzle will give you a subtle instruction to the next days task!

Satisfaction, Guaranteed

Being the selfish guy I am, clearly I will be raising money for my own selected charity, but, what’s in it for me?!

Along with the satisfaction of building on the healthy lifestyle ethos which we all long for, and the daily momentous moments of smashing through puzzles, there will be a daily leader board, support through the online social media channels and, to help build my ego a little further, daily spot prizes for teams and individuals that go the extra mile!

To top it off, each participant receives a 45mm commemorative colour metal pin, which comes complete with a built-in puzzle! Let’s be honest, we are not going to go short of puzzles in April! We’re looking forward to it!

Time to Get the Running Shoes on ?!

Yes! Why the hell not. Raise money for whatever charity you want, build up your fitness, get your puzzle count up, give your brain a daily workout, and maybe if your lucky, pick up a prize along the way. The decision shouldn’t be difficult, even if this picture of me tells a different story!

Don’t be scared now Nick. Slowly put down the bourbon!

Pick up your individual or team ticket right now with an Early Bird discount. If you’re up for the challenge, sign up, and get your brain and body ready for what’s sure to be a brilliant summer!

To enter, visit:

https://enigmailed.com/products/fools-errand-challenge-early-bird-entry

We Still Fax Returns this January 2022

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Despite the warnings that 2022 is just 2020 (too), we’re kicking off the year with something fantastically fun to look forward to. We Still Fax is BACK.

The one of it’s kind “fax-based” escape room experience has announced they’re running a limited series of bookings from January 1st – January 31st 2022. Everything you need to play will be delivered to your home address in the UK for a completely covid safe experience.

More information on how to book and what to expect can be found at www.antstheatre.com/westillfax

What is We Still Fax?

You receive a mysterious machine in the post. You plug it in and something strange happens… You connect with an alternate dimension; one in which the internet doesn’t exist and someone needs your help! To take on this important mission, you will need to crack codes, send faxes, unlock secret hatches and, when the time comes, push the big, red button. They are counting on you; their world depends on it.

If we had to categorise We Still Fax, it would be a cross between live immersive theatre and tabletop escape room. The idea is simple – ANTS Theatre sends you a large Fax Machine in the post. This Fax Machine is a relic from another universe… A universe the same up until one key divergent point: The internet was never adopted and people still fax.

This genre-defying experience is delivered to your home in the UK and the game begins at a set time when you’ll need to plug your fax machine in and receive your first fax.

Read our full review of We Still Fax here.

Sound interesting? Visit www.antstheatre.com/westillfax

About ANTS Theatre

ANTS Theatre is a production company made up of six interdisciplinary artists from all around the world. These artists include:

Lu Curtis

Lu is an award-winning producer, theatre-maker and director with over 5 years’ experience in the arts, including Theatre-Rites, Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust, English National Ballet, Crowded Room and Opera Holland Park.

Eva H. Lee

Eva is a Korean interdisciplinary artist born in Spain, raised in Brazil and Beijing. She studied at Royal Holloway before joining Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She works as a designer and choreographer alongside theatre-making.

Diana Vallverdu i Cabrera

Diana is a mathematician and theatre-maker from Barcelona. She studied at Polytechnic University of Catalunya (UPC) and has worked as a programmer. With ANTS, she has combined her two passions; applying logic to theatre making.

Paul Hernes Barnes

Paul is an award-winning rural theatre-maker from the West-highlands of Scotland with a taste for performance in non-theatre spaces. Past performance locations range from abandoned castles to railway station tearooms.

Mengqiu Xu

Qiu is a performer and theatre-maker from Nanjing, China. She worked as a performer for 5 years in China before receiving a postgraduate degree from RSCCD in Advanced Theatre Practice, as well as from UCL in Environmental Design and Engineering.

Zhaolin Zhou

Zhaolin is a theatre-maker and performer from China. Before working in theatre, he received a degree in medicine from Peking University, and uses his experience to explore the journey of who we are in this rapidly changing world.

The Best VR Escape Rooms on PSVR

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When in-person escape rooms are closed, or you simply prefer the option of playing escape rooms in your pyjamas – the PSVR is here! As a long standing Playstation fanatic (wait, it isn’t normal to collect and display every console back to PS1 in your living room?), I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a PSVR. Several years later, I’ve played through and rounded up a collection of some of the most fantastic escape room style games you can find on the PSVR.

Prefer Oculus? Check out this list.

Last updated January 2022.

The Room VR: A Dark Matter

If you ask anyone in the escape room industry to recommend you a video game, chances are you’ll hear the name “The Room” thrown around a lot. It’s the quintessential escape room game now available on PSVR. Players are transported into a series of steampunk-come-Victoriana spaces to solve escape room puzzles. The premise is deceptively simple, yet Fireproof Games does it so well. Read more in our review of The Room VR: A Dark Matter here.

Statik

Challening but not too frustrating, Statik is a perfect example of a well balanced escape room game. Statik is a VR game about solving puzzles in a place you don’t know, with a person you don’t recognise, and hands that aren’t completely yours. Good luck!

A Fisherman’s Tale

Play as a wooden fisherman doll living in a lighthouse, who goes about his daily routine and builds another wooden lighthouse doll in an even smaller lighthouse. It’s basically Simulation Theory: The Game. Now with extra maritime references. But jokes aside, A Fisherman’s Tale is a fantastically charming escape room puzzle game that blurs the boundaries of fiction and reality. Read more in our review here.

I Expect You To Die (1 & 2)

Speaking of dying… No list of VR escape rooms would be complete without mentioning the iconic I Expect You To Die and it’s sequel from Schell Games. Play as an international super spy and solve puzzles to collect information from the enemy. But one small mistake and you’ll definitely die. Good luck!

Floor Plan

If you prefer your escape rooms a little more absurdist, then it’s definitely worth checking out Turbo Button’s Floor Plan. More puzzle game than escape room, you play a new employee at Puzzl Corporation and must travel between floors exploring and most importantly, solving bizarre puzzles.

Red Matter

Setting a new standard when it comes to immersion and graphics, Red Matter is a tense space-horror escape room adventure and one of the most highly rated puzzle games on the PSVR. Take on the role of Agent Epsilon, an astronaut of the Atlantic Union dispatched to an abandoned Volgravian base on Rhea, one of Saturn’s moons. Your mission: to investigate a shady top secret research project.

Have we missed your favourite VR escape room on this list?

Let us know in the comments below!

Escape Room Community Comes Together for a Christmas Charity Auction – Priceless Prizes Such as the Lance of Longinus, Anna Morana Puppet and VIP Tickets

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In the true spirit of Christmas, the UK (and beyond!) escape room industry has come together for a charity fundraiser to raise money for one of our own. As the owner and creator of MARVO Mysteries in Bournemouth, Stephen Hawker is a widely loved member of the community and super enthusiast in his own right.

Steve is currently undergoing treatment for brain cancer, and the community is raising money so that Steve and his partner Lizzie can make amazing memories together for the future.

Steve became unwell earlier this year with headaches, after a lot of back and forth with doctors saying it’s just migraines caused by stress, we were forced to go private and in August he had an MRI scan which showed a primary brain tumour. Everything moved very fast and he had lots of cognitive tests done (like name 10 animals, he could name 2.) He then had a 5 hour awake brain surgery to remove majority of the tumour, and they also had to take some of his brain that now affects his speech, eyesight and memories. I’m sorry to have to tell you that after the biopsy we now know it is a Grade 4 glioblastoma. He has just finished 6 weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment, and whilst we remain positive time could be limited.

We are looking forward to making some happy memories, with Steve’s birthday coming up, Christmas, AND we are getting married in January in Scotland (it only took him 13 years!) After that the dream is to take a trip to Disneyland and Universal Studios in Florida, Steve spends countless hours mesmerized by Disney and filmmakers and how we can incorporate that into our escape rooms.

Lizzie, Steve’s Partner

The charity fundraiser is in support of Steve’s battle with cancer and will end on December 23rd.

“Steve has given so many hours, months and years of his life to make amazing experiences for tens of thousands of people: now is the time that we, his peers, friends and fellow enthusiasts, can give back in the way that matters most.”

Here at The Escape Roomer, many of our writers have had the pleasure of playing MARVO Mysteries games, and they continue to be some of the most innovative and brilliant. We fully support Steve and Lizzie, and hope that by sharing the story it’ll reach more escape room enthusiasts around the world.

64 Escape Room Prizes to be Won

In this escape room charity auction, there are 64 fantastic escape room themed items to be won. Alongside countless vouchers and VIP tickets are several priceless, one of a kind items from some of the world’s favourite escape rooms. All items are available to buy or bid on. If you can’t bid, you can also make an outright donation to the cause.

Here are just a few of those incredible prizes:

The Room, Berlin – Anna Morana Puppet

An original prop of puppet / ghostly opera diva Anna Morana from The Room Berlin, recently voted by the TERPECA awards as the best escape room company in the world. This is a priceless object for any Escape Room fanatic or fan, a hand made puppet that’s a part of Escape Room history. 

Framed Corrupt Congressman Photo, Crime Runners, Vienna

Ever wanted a piece of one of the world’s most famous escape rooms? Well, now’s your chance – Crime Runners Vienna have kindly donated us a photograph of their (in)famous Corrupt Congressman. Rumours are that he seals each photograph wit a kiss, something that you’ll have to test yourself when this is pride of place on your mantlepiece. 

The Lance of Longinus – formerly of Time Run, London

Own a piece of Escape Room History with The Lance Of Longinus from formerly globally renowned Escape Room Company, Time Run. The Lance Of Longinus featured in the titular game, played by 100s of thousands of customers across the UK and beyond. Time Run received multiple national and international awards before the venue was demolished in 2018. 

Since passing into memory, Time Run has become a veritable fragment of Escape Room history. This is your chance to own a truly limited edition item – the only true fragment of Time Run that remains and will ever be in public hands. 

Tarot Deck From The Man From Beyond – Strange Bird Immersive

A chance to own an iconic prop from the multiple TERPECA award winning company, Strange Bird Immersive. Strange Bird Immersive is frequently rated as one of the most innovative escape room companies in the world: they create lavishly detailed experiences, where every single detail is a part of the constituent experiential whole. This prop was used in their globally renowned experience: The Man From Beyond

A Personalised Video Message from a Bewilder Box Character

Bewilder Box will be donating personal recorded messages from D.A.V.E. for… well whatever you want them for. Birthdays, death threats, congratulations, proposals, it’s all fair game. These will be offered on a ‘pay what you like’ basis and we’ll make as many as we have requests for, so whatever amount you have to donate (big or small).

Alien Atlantian Spear – from The Escapement

An ultimate Sci Fi weapon. Made from fused turbine jet engine parts; main body is a carbine steel injector rod and with titanium blade, seamlessly welded – one of five created, each unique and unrepeatable. Able to survive in temperatures above 1700°C and designed as a hybrid of Stargate meets `StarWars. Intended as a display weapon. ‘Display’ because there’s no other spear that could duel with this. 

Fibre glass shark head previously used in our first escape game. Generally in good condition with the exception of minor paint faint at the nose, some paint marks at the sides and some chips/cracks at the bottom of the mouth.

As well as these pieces of escape room history, you can take home vouchers for many immersive experiences around the UK. To take part in the auction, head here:

Where to find the best escape room Black Friday deals in the UK! 💸

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Last year we created this handy list to all the Black Friday deals popping up across the UK. This year we’re doing something a little different. Rather than feature our master list of offers, we wanted to use this space to support some of our friends in the escape room industry and showcase some of our favourite Black Friday guides.

These hard working escape room enthusiasts have scoured the web and their local sites for some very exciting deals. Here’s where to get them, and scroll to the bottom to read some of our favourites!

As always, we encourage buyers to practice conscious consumerism and support small and local businesses on Black Friday more than ever.


Escape the Review Discount Guide – Brand new to the site is a big shiny red button showcasing all of the current live offers. ETR covers all the escape room sites in the UK and is a super comprehensive list that honestly we’re a little addicted to. I expect this to be the most up to date in real time of what Black Friday (and beyond) deals you can expect.

Exit Games Scotland – Living in Scotland? You’ve got to be following this page. They’ve been resharing and boosting all the black friday deals north of the border.

Society of Curiosities Black Friday Guide – Society of Curiosities is a US based escape game in a box company, but they’re also avid players and enthusiasts themselves. That’s why I was extra excited to see they’d put out a guide, featuring some of the lesser known at-home puzzle games. Definitely worth checking if you’d like to play something at home this winter!


Just a Few of Our Favourite Black Friday Deals

Escapologic (Leicester & Nottingham)

Recently we visited as a team to play Operation Magnus and Reactorvate – both fantastic rooms! So we’re extra excited that they’ve got 20% off for this Black Friday. To redeem, simply make a booking this Friday and the code will be automatically applied at checkout.

Escape the Past Edinburgh

One of the first discounts in this list that I redeemed… And may have done so twice… Is Escape the Past’s 20% of gift vouchers. Essentially, this equates to at least one free player when you do book. Being so close to Christmas, it also makes a lovely gift. Did we mention they’ve one of our favourite rooms in Edinburgh?!

Read our review for The Anatomist here.

Curious Correspondence Club

As we inch closer into the holiday season, take a moment to treat yourself, too. To help facilitate this, we are launching a “Gift One, Get One” offer. With every First Chapter or Starter Kit ordered, we’ll give you the same product to enjoy for yourself – on us. How?! Well, it’s super easy. Just add two to your cart, and the discount will be automatically applied upon checkout.

Read our reviews of The Custodian’s Keys and The Warehouse on the Wharf.

Key Enigma

Key Enigma is offering 35% off their entire site which, considering how much fun you get out of their games is a big deal! Use promo code BLACKFRIDAY on checkout to apply the discount.

Read our review of Hack Forward here.

The Keeper & The Fungus Among Us

If you only play one live avatar escape room again, make sure it’s Headlock Escape Rooms’ The Keeper and the Fungus Among Us! We LOVED it. Headlock Escape Rooms is offering a sale this week for The Keeper and the Fungus Among Us! 20% off using the code BLACKFRIDAY1 when you check out.

Read our review of The Keeper & The Fungus Among Us here.

As well as, of course, countless mystery and puzzle games over on Steam.

Top Christmas Gift Ideas for Escape Room Enthusiasts

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Hey, what would you like for Christmas?” my friends, partner and family asks me.
“Oh I dunno, just escape room stuff!” I reply.

So how on earth do you shop for that escape room fan in your life? Here’s my definitive guide to what’s new on the UK (and further afield!) market this year, everything and anything Christmas themed, and the down low on what your escape room playing friend really wants in their stocking*

*Santa if you’re reading this, you know what to do.

Escape Room Gifts

My first category is “Escape Room Gifts”, this covers just about anything that isn’t an actual, playable escape room! Advent Calendars, stocking fillers and more!

Escape Room Advent Calendar | £15 – £20

For the second year running, the Kickstarter smash hit is BACK with 2 Advent Calendar themes to choose from. Not a single number to be found, the correct door to open next is carefully hidden behind a clue in the previous door. Get it right and you’re in for a very satisfying Christmas morning!

www.escapeadventcalendar.com

Flatpak 2021 Calendar | Under £10

If you’re unfamiliar with Flatpak, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m just linking the hardware department of a Scandinavian furniture shop. The brilliant team behind Escapages have put together a puzzle calendar for 2021. Each month opens to a double-page, full colour glossy A4 landscape spread with product pictures and month to view calendar page. There 48 puzzles with hints included, find out what we thought when we ‘played’ it here.

www.flatpak2020.com

P.S. The Escape Roomer readers can enjoy 10% with promocode ROOMER10OFF

Family Fun Box | £30 +

In response to the UK’s lockdown likely carrying on all the way through to Christmas, Escape Game has come up with a fabulous idea for the whole family to unwrap. Their ‘Festive Family Fun Box’ contains a box locked with a 6 digit padlock, a Christmas card packed with clues to unlock, and once in, a play at home game, a limited edition bauble, and a jigsaw! There’s also a mystery discount for a live game – a nice touch! It gives you something to look forward to in the new year.

www.escape.game

Escape Game Achievements – A2 Scratch Off Poster | £10 – £15

Okay, I have seen SO MUCH buzz about this on various escape room forums about the A2 Scratch Off Poster. That’s why I’m so excited to put this on my list this year! Where the video game world meets the escape room world, this poster gives you a series of unlockable achievements… For the real world! The perfect gift for escape room veterans and ‘just getting started’ players alike!

www.thepanicroomonline.net

Don’t Get Locked Gin! | £30 +

So this one is a little close to my heart *swigs another cocktail*. The fabulous folks at Don’t Get Locked In has been distilled at a local distillery and is the perfect accompaniment to their Gin & Panic distillery escape room. Supporting a local distillery, an escape room AND fuelling your friend’s gin habit? Yes please. Jokes aside, this is a LOVELY little gift and you can pick up a bottle here. PLUS if you purchase before the 18th of December, you’ll get a £10 voucher towards you next escape room with Don’t Get Locked In!

www.dontgetlockedin.com

Wine Stopper Lock Puzzle | £30 +

Genius? Or fiendishly cruel? You decide. If a fancy bottle of wine is your go-to Christmas gift, why not take the experience up a notch buy encasing it in a wooden puzzle. Kubiya games also have a selection of mini games, boxes, and even one of these for beer bottles!

www.kubiyagames.com

Scream Pretty Padlock Necklace | £30 +

This entry is inspired by an item of jewellery I own myself – its a little gold padlock necklace. A declaration of love, or a declaration of “I really enjoy escape rooms” it serves both purposes well. I’ve listed Scream Pretty, but plenty of local shops and Etsy sellers make similar, custom pieces.

www.screampretty.com

Lock & Key Chocolate | £10 – £15

It’s not Christmas until you eat a large quantity of chocolate and pass out on the sofa in front of Home Alone 2. Give the gift of chocolate this year – there’s no puzzle in this delicious box, so your lucky recipient can tuck in immediately. The Chocolate Workshop also do a range of other chocolate sculptures. I bought my mum a pair of chocolate scissors one year. Why not?

www.thechocolateworkshop.co.uk

Puzzles by Post

2020 has been a next level apocalyptic year – but even if you can’t travel to see your friends right now, you can still send them a letter! I’m super excited to be including this category in my gift list – it’s puzzles by post!

The concept is simple – your friend receives a mysterious envelope filled with puzzles to solve. When they do, they’ll get a code to log into a secret portal and find the message you’ve left for them! Write, record or snap something fun for your recipient to find. It’s something a little different for Christmas Day! Here are a few companies that do this really, really well:

Puzzle Post | £10 – £15

Puzzle Post are a UK based company that ships worldwide. We’ve played both their titles: The Missed Flight and their game specifically for kids, The Secret Service and loved them!

www.puzzlepost.uk

Post-a-Puzzle | £10 – £15

From the makers of Escape Rooms Cardiff here in the UK comes their very own Post-a-Puzzle service. This one is bright, fun and exciting – we played it last week!

www.post-a-puzzle.com

Mystery Mail | Under £10

Mystery Mail is about as mysterious as it gets! With this, your recipient will receive a large envelope and very slick graphics. We’ve played School of Witchcraft and Catch Me if You Can and loved both! Rumour has it there’s a Christmas edition launching very soon!

www.mystery-mail.co.uk

Escape Mail | Under £10

This one’s a little different – there’s no message waiting for your friend at the end. But, as the whole game fits inside one very intriguing looking envelope, it deserves a place on this list. Mobile Escape are a Canadian based company with a seasonal puzzle game. You can sign your friend up for a subscription, or buy a one off (I’d recommend starting with episode 1!). We played Episode 1 and Episode 2 and cannot wait to play more.

www.mobileescape.ca

Books

I bet you didn’t expect to see this category here but yes! There are many escape room books out there. Here are a list of some (hopefully!) surprising books you may wish to consider for the escape room fan out there.

Journal 29 | £10 – £15

A classic! Ask any escape room fan out there, it deserves all the praise in the world too. Journal29 has over 63 riddles and puzzles contained within it’s pages, and each one is solved by inputting the answer into their website. You can write, draw, search, fold pages, combine different methods and try to get those riddles right. But did you know they also have a brand new book The Cypher Files out too? That’s Christmas morning sorted!

www.journal29.com

Sherlock Holmes Escape Room Puzzles | £10 – £15

This one gets a huge mention on this list because (at the time of writing) it’s just come out! I enjoyed playing James Hamer-Morton’s first book (The Escape Room Puzzle Book) so much, and the timing of the Sherlock Holmes Museum endorsed “sequel” could not come at a perfect time for Christmas. It’s a guaranteed big hit and with those warm, Victorian vibes, I personally cannot wait to crack this one open on Christmas Day.

www.waterstones.com

Codex Seraphinianus | £30 +

Photo (c) Mark Riechters @ TTBook

Often called “the world’s strangest book”, this is an Encyclopedia of an imaginary world written in an imaginary language. True, there are no puzzles to be solved. But it’s gorgeous, mysterious and excites all my “I must try and decipher this” senses. Whilst you’re at it, you might want to purchase a copy of the Voynich Manuscript too.

www.365games.co.uk

Party Games

What even is Christmas if not a time for getting together with your loved ones and playing silly games? Whether you’re a fan of board games or videogames, giving one as a gift is something you can enjoy too! Whenever I’m showing up at my parent’s house for Christmas, I’m bringing a game for us to play.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes | £10 – £15

All you need to play this one is a printer and a console (yes, your mobile phone counts!). In Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, one players is the ‘bomb disposal’ person, and the rest of the players have an elaborate defusal manual. Print ahead and pack this one in your overnight bag for Christmas, it’s an absolute crowd pleaser!

www.keeptalkinggame.com

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective | £30 +

Okay, yes. I did just write a review and said “don’t play this drunk”, but I’m suggesting this one as a gift, not necessarily a party game over the mulled wine. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective games easily give the player over 20 hours of play time, and they’re packed with puzzles and cerebral challenges that even the great Sherlock himself would be challenged by. It’s a great gift for the price!

www.board-game.co.uk

Decrypto | £15 – £20

This is it! This is the ultimate escape room style board game and I will die on this hill if anyone disagrees! Two teams go head to head to decipher the other team’s code. Fastest wins. It’s really that simple, but oh so much fun. If your escape room friend doesn’t already own this game, immediately buy it for them. They need it. In fact, I’ve just put 3 in my shopping basket now.

www.sciencemuseum.org.uk

Mysterium | £30 +

I’ve never seen a board game get such glowing reviews from escape room fans, so you bet it’s on this year’s gift list! One player plays the role of the ghost, the others take the role of mediums, as you work together to reconstruct a murder. It’s exciting, engaging, and whats more a great game to play after Christmas dinner with those escape room fans in your life!

Just for Fun

Still stuck? How about this:

A Rubix Cube | £10 – £15

If you’ve read this far and haven’t already rushed off to buy your Christmas gifts – I can’t help you! But hey, this last item on the list might actually be the perfect stocking filler? And why not? It’s a classic since the 1970s. Why improve on perfection?

www.rubiks.com

Vouchers

If you’re still in doubt – why not buy a voucher for their local escape room? The escape room industry has suffered A LOT in 2020, so supporting them with vouchers is more important than ever! Plus, your friend will enjoy having something to look forward to in 2021.

I haven’t got a list for this particular category, as it will completely depend on where your gift recipient lives in the world. But likely has it they’ve got their eyes on their next escape room just as soon as lockdown eases. Why not ask them where they’re headed and pick up a voucher for an experience?

Trust me on this one! It’s a win-win gift.

Did I miss something? Send me an email at mairi@theescaperoomer.com or @ me on Twitter and Instagram with your top gifts and I’ll add them in!

Please note, I get absolutely no financial gain from any of the links in this post! Just my opinion! No ulterior motive! 🙂

Christmas Comes Early – The Puzzle Bundle UK is Here for 7 Days!

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It’s an exciting day for puzzle enthusiasts across the country!

The long awaited Puzzle Bundle UK is now available for sale at eight online puzzle stores. In this special Christmas exclusive, eight British puzzle game creators have come together to create a unique puzzle bundle hamper… Just in time for Christmas!

Included within the bundle are a range of puzzles lasting between 30 minutes to well over an hour each. All the puzzles are self contained, and the best part? There’s a mix of completely original puzzles to the bundle and some well-loved favourites at a discounted rate too!

The bundle comes priced at £60 GBP with UK shipping included, or £65 with international shipping. You an find it on any of the providers websites and channels for the same price.

Image (c) Puzzle Bundle UK

Limited to 100 Puzzle Bundles, for 7 Days Only!

Whether buying a treat for yourself to play over the festive season, or picking up 8 fantastic presents for the puzzle enthusiast in your life – you’d better hurry! To begin with, there will only be 100 Puzzle Bundles up for sale and, once the 7 day sale period ends, the bundle won’t be on sale again.

You an find it on any of the providers websites and channels below for the same price. The bundle altogether costs £60 including postage within the UK, and £65 outside the UK.

What is included in your Puzzle Bundle UK?

Show me the Puzzles!

The Puzzle Bundle UK contains a mix of completely unique puzzles and a few existing puzzle games you may recognise from your favourite British creators!

Image (c) Puzzle Bundle

Enigmailed: Season’s Eatings

A delicious chocolate bar with themed puzzle wrapper.

So far, we’ve absolutely loved Enigmailed’s Chocolateral series! It’s a monthly subscription of tasty chocolate wrapped up in an enigma you must solve before you can tuck in! You can read our full review of the Chocolateral bars so far to find out what to expect.

Lock Paper Escape: Wizard Escape

Grab your wand and discover if you have what it takes to join the secret wizarding society.

Lock Paper Escape is the home of exciting treasure hunts and purveyors of brilliant printable experiences aimed at a family audience! (And also one of the nicest people you’ll meet!)

Morgan’s Escapes: Mystery Times

Unlock the secrets of William Kidd’s lost treasure.

Based in Chester, England, Morgan’s Escapes creates classic escape games, special gift wrap to lock away presents, and murder mysteries too!

Photo (c) Puzzle Bundle UK

Code Bakers: Fudge Fiasco

Decipher the puzzles and discover what flavour fudge you’ve been sent to enjoy!

We’re drooling just thinking about this one already! Code Bakers are creators of delicious cakes that you’ll have to solve puzzles to unlock and eat. Earlier this year we played Code Bake – their original experience and we loved it. Here’s what to expect.

Don’t Eat Puzzles: Griddle

Combine the ingredients in the correct order to work out what’s cooking.

The creator of Don’t Eat Puzzles is an engineer with a laser cutter and a big imagination! If you enjoy tactile, wooden puzzles that make fantastic keepsakes – look no further than Don’t Eat Puzzles.

The White Tent Company: The Snowflake Snatcher Advent Mystery

Jack Frosts magical snowflake staff has been stolen. Without it there will be no snow this winter. Uncover a clue a day to crack the case before Christmas is cancelled!⁣

Wales-based The White Tent Company is a company specialising in live, immersive murder mysteries. They also have a range of at-home mysteries for armchair detectives to solve from the comfort of their own home.

Photo (c) Puzzle Bundle UK

Within the Story: The Vanishing Bride

Lady Calliope is missing; a killer has confessed, but something stranger is afoot. Solve the clues, discover the hidden endings, and find the vanishing bride!⁣

Within the Story are best known for creating Lost in the Machine – an escape room in a box with a delightful memento you can keep once you’ve completed the game.

Curious Cats UK: At the Movies

Journey through puzzles, clues and riddles to test your movie knowledge and lateral thinking.

If you like murder mysteries and deduction escape room games in a box… Then you’ll love Curious Cats UK! They have three games available, and we’re super excited about At the Movies!

The Puzzle Bundle UK can be purchased at any of the links in this article! But hurry – there’s a limited quantity and it’ll only be available until the end of the week.