8th November 2017
Brighton escape rooms and games have been romping to create several offspring in the city over the last year it seems. When we launched our first Brighton escape room there was just one other in the city. Now? By our count there are at least 4 Brighton escape rooms or games with another due to be launched at our new Brighton location for Lady Chastity, The World’s End on London Road. Not only that, like the Hollywood marker for escape rooms, rumour has it The Crystal Maze are planning to make their Brighton debut very soon – exciting stuff indeed.
We take a look at why the growing number of escape games in Brighton is good news for the city and escape room fans alike.
Any new business is good news for job seekers, but escape rooms are particular great for creative job hunters. Our Brighton game alone has led to the gainful employment of actors, designers, marketers and puzzle designers. Over 10 of which were involved in the creation of our first Brighton escape room at The Black Lion and 6 continue to work with us on an ongoing basis in the city. More Brighton escape rooms or games means more opportunities for actors and creative candidates. One of our game hosts Gemma Tubbs is a trained actor who firmly believes that immersive gaming is a great route for regular income, she said:
“Being an escape game host gives me a permanent and reliable income and a chance to use my acting skills on a daily basis. It’s such a rapidly expanding industry now, there are a lot of actors specialising in this type of experience.”
Another regular game host who makes the rounds across our venues in Brighton and London, Simon (Slyme Slymey), explains:
“It’s a fantastic route into a performance role that combines theatrics with the psychology of immersion. It’s great for developing improv skills as you learn to actively work on suspending the disbelief of every set of gamers in your charge…and they are all different! The role suits the more experimental and savvy sort of actor with excellent judgement and timing… hopefully, these are the sorts who are very employable anyway. It has led to me organising and being head hunted for (sexual) immersive parties, for which I thank Handmade Mysteries for from the bottom of my actor’s libido.”
Here’s the thing, you can’t really play the same game twice, but once you get the escape room buzz you just want to experience another one and another. That’s why the escape room industry is a little different to most. There’s no need to fear ‘competitors’ because the more escape rooms there are the better it is for us and other escape room creators. Until, like that movie you’ve watched 10 times, you think time has passed enough to return and do it all over again. The more Brighton escape rooms games around the greater the awareness. As more and more Brightonians or visitors begin to see the city as a great place to experience escape games, the greater success small businesses like us will have drumming up more business.
Handmade Mysteries (HMM) escape rooms are also a good ‘product’ with no raw materials, packaging or transportation pollution. Game creator Ben Tucker explains:
“All of our games are created using recycled furniture for the authentic look and feel of a real environment of a twisted past. A setting that provides actors with an opportunity to play and develop characters and hone their craft.”
While escape rooms may be a relatively new concept to some, there are now traveling groups on the hunt for the best escape rooms across the world. Some travel internationally, some locally, but either way an increasing number of escape rooms in Brighton puts our city on the escape room map. Bearing in mind that there are currently over 800 escape rooms in the UK and only 4 of those in our city, the scope for attracting further immersive gaming locations is huge.
Already we now have escape rooms that rival some of the best in major cities like London and Manchester, which encourages more visitors to our city and also increases our reputation for being a forward thinking and growing hub for creatives. We predict that by 2019 the number of immersive gaming spots and Brighton escape rooms games would have doubled at the very least.
Brighton is a fantastic city, but a lot of our time is spent sitting on our butts having a pint or enjoying a meal. Playing an escape game with friends or family will give you some welcome physical exercise. Unlike the determined treadmill induced grimace, you won’t even have to think about it and will even have a laugh in the process – sounds good to us.
Beyond the physical benefits, there’s also the emotional advantage of an immersive gaming experience. Too many of us have become reliant on things. Hoarding clutter and measuring our progress in life on how many items we have or likes we have on Facebook. Of course, the clue is in the name, but the more Brighton escape rooms and games there are the more we are encouraged to ‘escape’ the fast paced distracted world we have all become accustomed too. Encouraging people of all ages to put down their phones and actually experience something together. Creating new memories and using our brains to solve clues and achieve a greater sense of achievement.
Knowing likeminded people is always great, but what we have learned is just how valuable it can be as a smaller business to make friends with fellow escape room creators. As the number of immersive gaming locations and Brighton escape rooms games increase, so does the escape industry network.
For example, we often conflab with the creators of Bewilderbox at The Hobgoblin, which is especially beneficial with a new game opening at World’s End just down the road from them. Sharing learnings and encouraging players to experience our mate’s games adds to the whole camaraderie of the escape room industry.
As mentioned earlier, what’s great about the immersive gaming industry is that you don’t need to ‘worry’ about the competition, because players will always want another experience. Every new immersive game or Brighton escape room increases the awareness of escape rooms and expands the opportunity for the industry to explode in our city.
If you’ve been reading this thinking ‘what the hell is an escape room?’ then you’re in for an eye-opening treat. Do yourself a favour and don’t overthink it though or Google it, just book your first one and enjoy the head spin. You won’t be disappointed. Word of warning though, like Pringles, once you pop your escape room cherry, you won’t want to stop.