As we are nearly a year old we thought it was an appropriate time to look back on the first year of Escape. It all started in early 2014 when a friend of Escape founder Daniel Hill visited a live escape game in Central Europe. On return to Scotland he found there was nowhere nearby offering a similar experience so he and Danny set about changing that!
Fast forward to May 2014 and Escape Edinburgh opened its doors as Scotland’s first live escape game on the top floor of Citibase on St Colme Street. Initially offering The Classic Live Escape Game, this was quickly supplemented by Prison Breakout which took place in the now legendary Dark Room.
A Growing Reputation
Daniel and his brother Stuart manned Escape themselves for the first couple of months with most bookings initially coming through voucher sites. By late July, with a burgeoning reputation about to result in Escape hitting the No 1 spot on TripAdvisor, it was time to start taking on more staff. Scott joined the team, quickly followed by Matt and Liam just in time for things to get even busier with the Edinburgh Festival.
It was in August when things started to get really exciting. We stopped offering Prison Breakout and launched another new game, The Da Vinci Room, where the team does not just need to escape, but must also find and steal the Holy Grail! For those who never got the chance to play Prison Breakout, keep your eyes peeled as it may just make a return in the future…
Escape Glasgow Launches
There was an even bigger development soon after when Escape Glasgow was launched with its very own Glasgow Classic Game. Escape Glasgow soon emulated its sister-site in the east by hitting No 1 on TripAdvisor, a position it still holds at the time of writing. Opening more sites needed more staff and we have seen another Liam join the team followed by Olivia, Sean and Nick later in the year.
Unbelievably, September was even busier than August as tourists looked for something different to do, more locals started to hear about us, and businesses took up our corporate packages. The next big change was a move for Escape Edinburgh…but not too far. In mid-October, in response to feedback and our own concerns, we moved downstairs to our current home in the basement of Citibase. We now have our own entrance and don’t need to rely on the lift any longer!
New Beginnings South of the Border
By November it was time for a third site to open. For a while in September it looked like it could be ‘abroad’ but by the time Escape Newcastle started in November, Tyneside was still in the same country! Starting with one room and another take on The Classic Escape Game, a second Classic room was added soon after and it surely won’t be long before Escape conquers TripAdvisor in Newcastle as well!
December saw the much-anticipated launch of the first themed game at Escape Glasgow. Contagion is set in a science lab and your team must find a vaccine before escaping from the room. If you were one of the many lucky people to receive an Escape Gift Card for Christmas then it is valid for this and all of our other games at all sites.
Crossing the Irish Sea
In 2015 so far we have launched our new game, The Darker Side of Edinburgh, giving us three games to choose from at our original site and also opened our first site outside the UK, in Dublin, with two games initially. More staff have joined the team - John and Graeme - and there will surely be more to come before long.
So what will the rest of 2015 have in store for Escape? It’s hard to know exactly how far we can go but look out for a first themed game for Newcastle and even more sites. Thanks to everyone who has paid us a visit already. Please do spread the word and we hope to see you back to take on a new challenge soon!