“I had clues surrounding me, yet I was clueless,” said Ralph Boustani, an escaper.
BEIRUT: Escape Games Beirut is an interactive-live-brainteaser adventure brought to Lebanon in a new smart and fun way. Teamwork, motivation, and creativity are the three factors that make this experience exhilarating and challenging.
A team of three to five people is formed and will face a daring puzzle. In a room full of clues, they will attempt to bust through the oblivion that they are trapped in, and expand their curiosity to solve the mystery at hand.
Chantal Laffe, Nadine Saade, and Nadine Aouad are the three friends who turned their passion for “escape rooms,” into their business.
It all started with a common interest, scouts. As the ladies found the same urge in cracking codes and solving enigmas, they decided to implement this approach in the country.
“Traveling around Europe and playing escape room games made us want to open our own game room in Lebanon, two years ago,” said Laffe.
Their passion to make team building a fun activity became their number one priority.
“Companies have been coming to us in order for their employees to have a strong concept of team building; we’ve worked with pharmaceutical companies, banks, technology and IT sectors, among others,” Laffe told Annahar.
For a new concept that has taken over the world, bringing it to Lebanon was a must for the founders. “Escape rooms rallied up people (locally) three or four years ago and we consider Lebanon to be up-to-date regarding this global activity that has taken the world by storm,” noted Laffe.
Located East of Beirut in Antelias, six rooms of different levels are available: bomb squad, crazy chef, the hangover, mad scientist, disappeared and medieval quest.
60 minutes are pegged on the clock; stuck between sarcasm and seriousness, unaware of what might happen, the game begins.
Taking into consideration all the surrounding factors at hand, no experience in gaming, nor physical ability is needed, in order to put yourself to the test and face these riddles.
Even the smallest details matter.
Looking for them is sometimes tough, however, participants get up to five hints. One of the owners is always monitoring the players via video camera and communicates with them through a screen.
“When the clock started ticking, a feeling of adrenaline mixed with confusion rushed over me,” said player Christopher Baboch.
Once feedback from customers is given, the owners discuss how to elevate and improve the level in order to make it more enjoyable. “Planning the enigmas is quite a long process, a lot of research, discussion and trials happen in order to make sure the levels are fun and exciting,” Laffe said.
The rooms are quite spacious and objects placed randomly help you come up with different steps in order to get to the end game safely before time’s up. The time limit of one hour might seem like it’s not enough, or on the contrary, it might be too much. Nonetheless, it’s plenty of time to get to know your teammates and learn how to cope under pressure.
“The moment you get out you feel happy and excited and want to go back in for more,” escaper Ralph Boustani told Annahar.