Thursday, August 15, 2013

Escaping a 'Maze': Culture and Entertainment in The Hague

The culture and entertainment landscape of The Hague got recently richer with a hip new element. A-Maze Escape Events, a local start-up, presents the idea of live room escape games to the audience of The Hague and surroundings.

The concept may sound a bit strange at first, but this is perhaps just natural when introducing an idea into a new environment. However, the game caught on fast and became widely popular in London, Barcelona and Budapest, where it has been set up in the past two years. Their Facebook pages are bustling with images of the happy teams who escaped, and the twitter feeds are full with positive remarks as well. Indeed, the live room escape game offers a fresh experience for the social agenda. It presents a great substitute for, or addition to a group's usual evening routine.

The game premise is simple, yet challenging. The daring team has exactly 60 minutes to escape from a locked room. The road to freedom leads through a series of puzzles, codes and riddles, which the team has to solve before the time is up. A display shows the countdown ticking through the entire game. With every passing second the pressure and adrenaline rise. When the team cracks the final code and pushes the door open with just seconds to spare, five smiling and excited press through the door.

A-Maze has currently two escape opportunities on offer with plans to expand the selection. The teams can turn into a group of spies and infiltrate a secret KGB hideout, or try to unravel a modern urban mystery.

All in all, the live room escape game is a creative, interactive and exciting activity full of problem-solving challenges. It is a fun event for groups of friends, but also great for team-buildings, as excellent teamwork, good communication, coordination and creative thinking are necessary to master the game and complete the mission in time. There is no outside involvement, nor tricky instructors to influence the game. Deciding on how best to approach the project as well as assigning the roles and responsibilities of the individual members is entirely up to the team.

The games are designed for groups of 2-6 people. Based on past experience the most ideal team size is 5. There is no need to worry for the anxious types either as no scare-tactics are used during the game.


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