Published on May 8th, 2017 | by Dean Love


Time Runs Out

There is one news story dominating the barely existant UK escape room scene this week, as Time Run plans to shut its doors for good.

Time Run is known mainly as the most popular answer to the question “what escape game should I play in London?” and enthusiasts across the captical are now aghast at the fact that they’ll have to now stop and think before giving an answer. More seriously, it is genuinely one of (or two of) the best games out there – the moment of walking through that first time portal and the smoke clearing to reveal somethat that looked more like a movie set, rather than the redecorated bedrooms we’d been playing in up to that point, may have been the moment when I truly went from having an interest in escape games to being a genuine fan.

I can’t recommend highly enough going to play both of their games if you can – I’ve yet to play a game that comes even close in terms of set design and immersion.

Some digging has turned up the fact that the landlord of the premsises essentially wants to convert it to a block of flats. Which seems unwise given a) it’s located on a live time portal, and b) there are many good things to say about Time Run but the one negative is that I don’t think I’d want to live in its neighbourhood…

A similar fate befell Enter The Oubliette in London, and it raises some interesting issues around the complexity of game builds and the fickle London property market. A few people who haven’t played Time Run have asked the seemingly legitimate question: why not just move the games elsewhere? For most escape rooms, that’s a feasible option. But for Time Run the builds were so complex that to do so would likely take months. Sure, you can move all the props, but what of the walls and ceiling decoration? They won’t necessarily fit the dimensions of a new room. And you’ll need different size dividing walls for the new spaces and all sorts. It could be done, but it’d be a mammoth task.

Instead of even attempting it, the Time Run crew are moving on to something new. What that is, is not yet clear. They’re cheekily updating the “we’re closing” page quite regularly. At first there was no mention of anything new, then we were told “To those who have already undertaken both missions, fear not… we have some exciting plans in the pipeline for an entirely new concept which we will share with you later this year – so keep your eyes peeled!” and now it says “We will be back later this year, at an all-new venue with an amazing new game.”

To me the question is if this will be a new Time Run game, set in the now establised Time Run universe, or something else entirely. I guess only time will tell. Sorry.

About the Author

Dean is a professional writer who has worked for The Mail On Sunday, The Digital Fix, MicroMart and others.

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