ESCAPE ROOMS GENEVA
by Vivian Holding
Imagine being locked up in a room with a group of friends or family and having only 60 minutes to solve a series of clues which will allow you to escape before some dreadful fate befalls you. It’s like being inside a murder mystery or thriller and it’s great fun!
What is an Escape Room?
The game is a physical version of the video game ‘Escape the Room’ and is set in a variety of fictional locations – perfect entertainment for birthday parties, team building exercises and any other group-based entertainment.
Where did the Idea Begin?
The earliest room was created in 2006, when Escape Rooms became popular in the United States, Japan, Taiwan, Canada, Israel and mainland China. By 2015, there were over 2,800 escape room venues worldwide.
What’s on Offer in Geneva?
Geneva now has six different Escape Rooms to choose from, each with their own themes, age suitability and difficulty level. Games are available in French and English, so be sure to specify which language you’d like when booking.
We tried out Trip Trap Escape with a group of friends. While waiting for everyone to arrive we made good use of the bar facilities in an attempt to calm our nerves, as for most of us it was the first time and we’re not generally used to being locked up voluntarily in the pursuit of fun!
The Brotherhood of the Stone is Trip Trap’s beginner level room and takes up to five players. The venue has two identically laid out rooms so is ideal for larger groups, as you can compete in tandem to see who solves the mystery first.
We were given a briefing: the setting, the characters and the task at hand and then …. the competition was on!
Team work is key, as there are clues, puzzles and objects to be explored. Everyone needs to participate, calling out any details of things they find, however small or insignificant they may appear. If, at any point in the game you are wholly flummoxed, a message appears on the screen in the room, to guide you in the right direction (cameras in the room allow the organisers to keep an eye on your progress and to assist if necessary).
As complete beginners, it came as no surprise that we were in need of a little help. Although hugely frustrated as neither team finished within the allotted time, we felt much better after learning how close to finishing we actually were – not bad for first timers!
Undeterred, we’re now confident enough to tackle one of the other escape rooms in the city – and fortunately we’re really spoilt for choice:
3 games to choose from, varying in level
TRIP TRAP ESCAPE
(triptrapescape.ch) 6 chemin de la Gravière, 1227 Les Acacias, Geneva
The Brotherhood of the Stone
Difficulty level – beginner. For groups of 2-5 or a larger group of 6-10 split into 2 teams.
For over 700 years, a mysterious brotherhood has weighed in on Geneva’s destiny. You believe to have unveiled the identity of one of its members, but will you uncover his secrets in time?
Jack Rackham’s Treasure
Difficulty level – medium. For groups of 2-6.
The British naval guns are pointed at your vessel. You have 60 minutes to find the key of Rackham’s treasure chest and exit the cabin before you are all sent to the bottom of the ocean.
Marie Laveau’s Mansion
Difficulty level – hard. For groups of 3-6.
At first glance, Marie Laveau is a friendly and caring woman. What is unknown to you is her reputation of being the greatest voodoo priestess in New Orleans. Maybe accepting the dinner invitation at her house was not such a good idea (please note: this puzzle is freely inspired by voodoo rituals and could potentially hurt the feelings or beliefs of some customers. For this reason, we do not recommend Marie Laveau’s Mansion to anyone under the age of 16 years or faint-hearted audiences). You have been warned!
Cost 150chf per room (not per person). Cash only, no cards accepted.
High Quality/Detailed Games
THE MIND ESCAPE
(themindescape.com) 15 rue Butini, 1202 Genève (Pâquis/Parc Mon Repos)
The largest escape room facilities in Switzerland. They focus on high quality and detailed games. Themes are created by top designers from around the world and have been built by theatre set experts. Their games are suitable for ages 12 plus, children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult.
The Ancient Pyramids
For groups of 2-6.
In 1966, a small team of explorers entered the Great Pyramid complex in Giza, Egypt in the hope of discovering a legendary sarcophagus. None have returned and their bodies were never found. Does the curse of the Pharaohs really exist? Two decades later, you and your team decided to enter the same complex and uncover the secrets of the King’s tomb. However, mysterious forces have led you astray and you can’t find a way out. Will you be trapped here forever or will you triumph over the curse and make your way to safety?
For groups of 2-6.
Geneva is not the safe place it used to be. A number of youngsters have gone missing recently and one girl’s body has just been found and identified on Butini Street. Searches began immediately after the kidnapping, but no reliable leads were generated. Will you go after the killer? Can you help the authorities trace him?
For groups of 2-5.
Do you have what it takes to rob a bank and get away with it? An outlaw partner has already a plan and has hacked the security cameras, providing you with a small window of opportunity.
Cost (depending on numbers) from 45chf per person (for groups of 2), dropping to 30chf per person (for groups of 6).
Not for the Squeamish!
(geneve.parapark.ch) 105 boulevard de la Cluse, 1205 Genève (Plainpalais/HUG)
Studio No.113 – The Big City Schizo
Difficulty level – beginners. For groups of 2-5.
All of us know a bad neighbour story. This one is extraordinarily poisoned. The neighbours are inflicting psychological warfare against each other. But what could be the origin of such a messed up relationship? If you dare, get locked in the ominous studio of a sick mind and find out what happened! But get ready to cope with the infuriating sounds of steps and creaking doors and the unremitting ticking of the clock ……..
Experiment No.5 – It’s a Dog’s Life
Difficulty level – beginners. For groups of 2-5.
A mysterious animal experiment conducted by Soviet scientists has gone horribly wrong. Their task was to use specific parts of dogs to create a bloodthirsty, yet frantically loyal robot army. However, somewhere in the process, all the scientists have disappeared and the lab was left abandoned to rot. Get locked in the lab and find out whether anything has been left there that’s still alive!
Cost 100chf per room (not per person). Recommended for 14 years plus.
Difficulty level – easy/beginners. For groups of 2-5. For ages 9 plus (accompanied).
Follow Alice down the rabbit hole into Wonderland to find the rabbit before the Queen of Hearts cuts off your heads! The newest of all the escape rooms in Geneva – specifically suited for families – a real fantasy adventure for both kids and adults.
Difficulty level – medium/intermediate. For groups of 2-5.
An alarm has sounded at the UN – radiation levels are rising in an abandoned bunker in Eastern Europe. Will you save the world with your emergency response team?
Difficulty level – hard/advanced. For groups of 2-5. Age 18+.
For true thrill seekers. Come and test your courage and determination to escape the den of a ruthless serial killer.
Cost 100-120chf per room (not per person).
Solve the Mysteries of Time
TIMESCAPE – ESCAPE ROOM
(timescape.ch) 12 rue de Montbrillant, 1201 Genève
The Lotus Trap
Difficulty level – four are available from beginner to hardcore. For groups of 2-7 players.
Set in Shanghai in 1927, an evil secret society has taken over a legendary crystal lotus that gives eternal life. Your mission is to take the lotus back from their evil hands without getting caught!
The Secret of the Three Pharaohs
Difficulty level – 3 levels (beginner/normal/expert). For groups of 2-5 players.
The question is, will you be able to please the Egyptian Gods? You will be sent back to the beginning of the 20th century to try to reclaim the work of Hermann Toothroot, an archaeologist who disappeared just as he was about to discover the secret of a Pharaoh’s tomb. Follow his tracks to find him and unveil the secret of the three Kings.
Cost per person 25chf (6 players plus) to 50chf (2 players). Free for children (from second child onwards) accompanied by adults.
Perfect for Beginners/Visitors to the city
(secretchamber.ch) 11 place du Bourg-du-Four (entrance at 23 rue Chausse-Coq) Genève
A mysterious scientist lives in the XVIII century house at the Bourg-de-Four Square, right in the centre of Geneva. It is rumoured that he possesses an exceptional relic – a precious stone that disappeared from the famous collection of the Duke of Brunswick in 1873. Your team is asked to collect evidence and reveal the truth. You have only 60 minutes for your mission and need to escape before the scientist arrives.
This escape room, would be an ideal way to start your escape room addiction. Situated in the centre of the Old Town, with Genevan historical references it is also perfect for entertaining your visiting guests. The room takes up to 7 players maximum.
Cost per person from 20chf per person (based on 7 players) to 40chf per person (based on 2 players). 105chf for a family of two adults and three children (aged from 8-14).