Guest article from Alan Stringer, team culture and Zermatt inside
We have been welcoming guests to the Zermatt escape rooms for two years now. It has been a great success and always a lot of fun!
For those of you who are not familiar with the escape rooms, let me explain: We have three rooms with all different themes.
Once you are in one room you have lots of puzzles to solve. Within one hour you have to solve the puzzles and get out of the room. The key of the game is teamwork and clear thinking. The puzzles are all different and our objective is to make you think and work together.
We often hear screams of laughter and cheering, that’s when we know a puzzle has been solved. All three games are great fun and the smiles on the faces of the teams when they get out are very rewarding.
The three chambers
The three escape rooms all have different themes, although the aim is always the same: to get out.
At the moment we have a murder mystery (the poker room), another room called prison break and the third, missile silo.
In the prison break we handcuff you and throw you into a prison cell as you are suspected of robbing one of Zermatt’s banks. You have one hour to escape, before the police returns.
The children really like this game and get very excited when we lock them behind bars. Their noise and laughter is very infectious.
Save the world in the missile silo room
You have one hour to save the world in the missile silo room. A rogue state (no names) has produced a nuclear weapon and they have stored it in their missile silo.
Your team has found the location and has been sent in to disarm the missile which has been set to launch in one hour. The future of the world is in your hands!
The murder in the poker room
In the poker room you become a detective. When you and your team visits the Zermatt poker rooms for a friendly poker game, you find a dead body (we have already removed the corpse, so nothing scary). The butler has been murdered and the murderers have locked you into the room and have gone to inform the police that you have committed the crime. You have 60 minutes to uncover the real murderers, to find the murder weapon and get out.
There can play up to eight people, although we often just get 2 people playing. Often a bigger group spreads out into the escape rooms and then swap. It can get quite competitive with the teams trying to beat each others time. We particularly enjoy having families visit us. The children love showing their parents how good they are at solving the puzzles.
The age is no problem. We suggest that from the age of seven anyone can play the games. Often companies and hotels send their staff for team building. Saturday afternoon is normally taken over by hen and stag parties. We always advice the parties to play the games before the drinking starts, as you need a clear head. Over and over we have very funny situations with brides and grooms, which are helped or should i say hindered, by their so called friends!
The transformation of escape rooms
Of course you can only play a room once, it is very easy the second time, so we change the escape rooms at least once if not twice a year. One of the reasons that we have to change the rooms on a regular basis is pressure from the local zermatters and groups that come up from the valley, specifically to play the games.
Zermatt is a tourist town with an always changing population, but the locals are a big and important part of our business. We are always being asked: “When are the new games coming?” Changing the rooms is quite a challenge, not only do we have to create new and interesting puzzles, but we also have to rebuild the rooms to fit in with the theme of the new game. It is quite a challenge but one that we really enjoy!
Something for every season and weather
No one enjoys bad weather, when in summer you cannot go walking or biking, or in winter when you cannot go skiing. But the escape rooms do offer a very enjoyable option. Come rain or shine it is a great way to spend an hour.