More wow-inducing than the average rollercoaster. Way less messy than mud runs. The “room escape” genre of entertainment that’s hugely popular in Europe is beginning to take hold in the United States.
Adventure Rooms, located at 119 Grove St., in Montclair, opened late last year offering three mazes designed to challenge, inspire and entertain visitors. Here’s how it works: Each maze is comprised of three rooms. You and your partner or team have 60 minutes to solve your way through the maze and escape. In each room you will find multiple puzzles – could be figuring out the combination to a lock or using clues to decipher a code.
While no prior knowledge is necessary, teamwork is essential.
“Without communication and team building, you aren’t going to get out,” site manager Caroline Campelo explained during a recent visit.
Adventure Rooms are all the rage in Europe with more than 20 locations and growing. The Montclair location and another in Middletown, Conn. are the first to open in the United States, according to Josh Becker, associate game specialist. Locations in Chicago and Northampton, Mass. among others are in the works as the company seeks to aggressively expand this side of the Atlantic.
Many corporations are seeking places like Adventure Rooms in order to better understand their employees, Becker said. One business, for example, had 15 job openings and 100 applicants. They came to Adventure Rooms to discover what could not be seen on a resume: personality types.
In addition to what can be learned from observation, a survey can be administered to participants in order to determine which of the four main personality types they fall into: leader, supporter, networker or thinker. Most people have a primary and a secondary personality type.
When you are unsatisfied or want something, Becker explained, you tend to behave in your secondary personality type. In other words, people are happier and more satisfied in the workplace when the job requires their primary personality.
“It’s not that one personality is better than the other,” Becker said. “It’s whether it’s a good fit. Corporations come in to learn how to become an amazing team.”
The good news is that all personality types are useful for successfully maneuvering through the mazes at Adventure Rooms. While a leader may start delegating to the supporter, the thinker may be off in a corner analyzing a clue.
In addition to business groups, Adventure Rooms is well-suited for dates, birthday parties, scouts and camps or just a night out with friends. The mazes are appropriate for children ages 12+ when not accompanied by adults. But a child as young as 9 could do just fine so long as there are grown-ups on the team. Admission is $30 per person, with discounts given to larger groups.
Adventure Rooms is open 7 days a week. Corporate bookings are available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. For more information, visit www.myadventurerooms.com.