Hamburg is to host Germany’s first ever Escape Games Week in October. Then players can rise, among others, to the task of foiling a terrorist attack. The scenario leaves them just one hour to find all the information needed to save the life of the United States president. Their quest requires a combination of logical thinking, being able to organise and proceed methodically. But the wealth of clues can distract a player and may cause them to miss the deadline. The live escape games at TwistedRooms are called “Conspiracy” (Die Verschwörung). Another game called “Asylum” (Die Mutprobe) tasks players to do mental battle with a crazy surgeon and a generation-4-game called “Armageddon” (Der Angriff) is due to launch on October 10th at the highest level of difficulty, a spokesman told Hamburg News Tuesday (September 20th).
Heiko Fuchs is the mastermind behind TwistedRooms – the offline game that opened on Cremon opposite the Speichertadt in early 2016. Fuchs co-operates with other indoor providers in HafenCity such as Hamburg Dungeons, Dialogue in the Dark (Dialog im Dunkeln) and Miniatur Wunderland. Business is booming, said Fuchs. The “Chief Entertainment Officer”, added, “We are often fully booked at the weekends. During the week, capacity utilisation comes to 70 per cent.” Those who cannot find a free space in TwistedRooms are often sent to the rivals, said Fuchs. “Live escape games have turned into a real trend for providers of indoor pastimes. The local providers have to work together and develop new, constantly evolving, and technically ambitious escape rooms.” A good room encourages people to try the next one and live escape games are “so far an underestimated tourist magnet”, said Fuchs.
Germany’s first Escape Game Week
To boost awareness of the trend, Fuchs has created the Escape Game Week – the first of its kind in Germany. From October 3-9, 2016, nine venues across Hamburg with 33 rooms spread over 2,800 square metres will invite players to test their wills and skills. They include Hidden in Hamburg, Adventure Team, Big Break Hamburg and Mystery House in Hamburg-Harburg. Games’ developers in the individual escape rooms have also conjured up a “Weekly Puzzle” for use at home. A different piece of the puzzle can be found on the Facebook page “Escape GameWeek“ every weekday. The Escape Game Week Hamburg community is co-operating with the Facebook group “Neu in Hamburg” which currently has 23,000 members and aims to link up newcomers in Hamburg. Then, teams of two to six players can try to break out of a prison, prevent a nuclear attack or solve a murder.
For the people of Hamburg, tourists and companies
The games are good for team-building measures and even for assessments. Fuchs pointed out: “Live escape games are used during application procedures in the U.S.A. The HR manager watches the applicant’s attempts on camera and can identify the alpha team, rate the capacity to work in a team and the ability to organise and communicate.”
Hamburg has 14 providers at present. “And there is still room for more”, Fuchs believes. Budapest has 80 and games rooms can be found on every corner in Japan where the event first evolved in 2010/2011. Stefan Klein, Manager of gamecity:Hamburg, believes the city is attractive to other providers offering a joint experience. He added: “Solving a tricky game in a team is definitely attractive. And big, spectacular locations with a variety of themed rooms would certainly be great extensions to Hamburg’s existing diverse leisure offers.”