The Lock & Key Awards are a new set of awards specifically for the UK escape room industry.
The Locks celebrate the best creations and providers in the country. The Keys are a more light-hearted set of awards for enthusiasts.
Voting for the awards will open in January 2024, and the winners will be announced at the NERD meetup on March 12th 2024 in Manchester.
You can now submit entries for the Key Awards! The three categories are:
Click through to submit an entry for any or all of the awards!
🔒 Lock Awards
This year there will be five Lock Awards:
- 🆕 Best New Company
- 🏆 Best Overall Company
- 👹 Best Horror Escape Room
- 🆕 Best New Escape Room
- 🏆 Best Overall Escape Room
For each award, a shortlist will be announced in January 2024 when voting opens.
The shortlist for each category will be selected as the highest ranked eligible rooms / companies, using the ranking system on Escape the Review, as of midnight on 31st December 2023.
There will be 5 candidates in each shortlist, except for Best Overall Escape Room, for which there will be 20.
- The rooms must be in the UK and must have been open in 2023. (For company awards, companies must operate one or more such rooms.)
- VR games, play from home games, city trails and games that use a substantially different format to ‘normal’ escape rooms are not eligible.
🔑 Key Awards
This year there will be three Key Awards:
- 📸 Best Team Photo
- 🎤 Best Escape Room Anecdote
- ⏩ Fastest Escapers
Any escape room players are welcome to submit entries for any or all of these categories.
For each Lock Award category, you can vote in the category if you’ve played two or more of the shortlisted rooms. (For the company awards, the requirement is to have played at least one room at two or more of the shortlisted companies, of the rooms they’ve operated in 2023.)
When voting, for each category you’ll see a list of the shortlisted candidates and can select your favourite from the ones you’ve played.
The winner within a category is not the room / company that receives the most votes, because that would be biased against lesser known rooms. Instead it will be based on how many times a voter selected the room over the alternatives. For example, say room A gets 100 votes and room B gets 80 votes, but most of the people who’ve played both rooms voted for room B, that will rank room B ahead of room A.
Team Photo and Anecdote Awards
- You can submit entries any time from now until the end of December 2023, here: Best Photo and Best Anecdote
- You can submit up to two photos and up to two stories per user account.
- The photo should be taken at an escape venue, not just a picture of your group taken on an unrelated occasion! Costumes and creativity are encouraged. 😉
- Anecdotes can be any amusing, interesting, weird or wonderful thing that you experienced in connection with an escape room.
Fastest Escapers Award
- You can submit entries any time from now until the end of December 2023, here: Fastest Escapers
- An entry consists of three photos for three different escape rooms, each showing your escape time; entries will be ranked by the average of their three times.
- The rooms must be in the UK, with a time limit of at least 60 minutes, and you must have played them no earlier than 1st January 2023.
- For rooms with a limit longer than 60 minutes, the escape time will be scaled (60 minutes to escape a 90 minute room being considered equivalent to taking 40 minutes to escape a 60 minute room).
It would of course be possible to cheat at this, for example by playing a room more than once, by hammering the hint button, or finding a way to skip a large section of a room. We reserve the right to disqualify entries where there’s reasonable doubt whether the time was achieved fairly, but primarily we rely on an honour system – this is about good-natured rivalry and a bit of fun.
This is not a competition and there is no monetary prize!
By submitting an entry for the Key Awards you grant unrestricted permission for us to display it and reproduce it as part of the voting system, on the Lock & Key website, and on related social media.
The organisers reserve the right to discount entries or votes that appear to be in bad faith or intended to unfairly manipulate the results.