The 49th Room

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There is great divide that exits in North America.  The 49th parallel separates continental USA with Canada.  Interestingly to me, though probably not for anyone else, Charles de Gaulle airport lies on this parallel.  I can hear some of you already asking what on earth this has got to do with Escape Rooms?  Well, recently while I was on holiday in Spain, I asked on twitter who wanted to be my 50th Escape Room.  The more astute among you realised that I had only officially placed 48 rooms.  So what happened to the 49th room.

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In January of this year, a friend approached me regarding the possibility of starting an Escape Room.  The idea seemed sound; I had a love of rooms, she has a tremendous passion for training and great mind for business, also her partner is an awesome engineer which make it almost perfect.  After finding a tried and tested game in Berlin, a superb venue in Bletchley Park and making several modification and adding a few wow factors, we established a truly a 5 star game.  Our game, whilst in the traditional Escape Room mould, would favour a meta puzzle narrative through out and offer a much more cerebral game that some others out there.  As a company we would also offer strong training component that would utilise the best aspects of the game in corporate training.  Now, I have yet to find a room that doesn’t suggest itself as a venue for corporate use, but I am fairly confident that we are one of the few that actually offers CPD accredited training that is linked to the groups performance in the room.  The managing partner and senior trainer, Dr Audrey Tang, recently publish a book, Be a Great Manager Now, which references Escape Rooms as a form of immersive training. This has been an incredibly important part of the corporate training we offer.

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So why all the secrecy.  Surely it is something you might have mention before I know some of you will have wondered.  Well to be honest I think I felt a bit awkward.  A room owner reviewing and passing judgement on other peoples games.  Now that might put me in a better position because I know how hard it is get right and have experienced first hand when the lock breaks or the frame smashes.

After my recent trip to Asia I decided I would move further away from a traditional review site and focus on the tourism aspect of Escape Rooms, emphasising the good and maybe perhaps glossing over the bad.  I have found it a little difficult to navigate the divide between  reviewer and owner so I now try and focus on the games you definitely should go to.  I describe myself as an evangelist for escape room and for those of you who can relate to the terminology will appreciate I style myself more as Billy Graham than Ian Paisley.  I like to focus on the positive aspects of a room but if the room is bad enough I will probably say so.  I’m also not hugely good at self promotion but I will give http://www.agreatescaperoom.com/ a plug here and then probably another couple more when we open additional rooms but I shall now be returning back to the main mission of my blog; go on holiday and play escape rooms.  So there you have it.  My Escape Room owners ‘coming out’ if you will.  I have technically played 49th because the 49th is my own.

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