Imagine you’re trapped in a dark room on an alien spaceship. As the ship hurtles through the galaxy, a mysterious voice suddenly beams down with terrible news: you have just one hour to escape the holding cell, fuel the ship and navigate it safely back to earth.
This is the premise of Specimen, one of two games at Puzzah’s new location in Broomfield’s Flatiron Mall. Puzzah is an interactive experience that challenges teams of two-to-six guests with a number of puzzles based on a certain theme.
Since Puzzah first opened its doors in downtown Denver, the puzzle business has challenged players with mind-bending mysteries about magicians, composers, high-profile heist, and more. Now set up in a busy mall location, Puzzah has benefited from improved security, convenience and more foot traffic than they could have imagined. But this new address also required Puzzah to rethink the logistics of game play.
“Moving into a mall setting, we knew we would get an even more diverse range of groups, from families, to kids’ birthday parties, to hardcore gamers, so we needed to really make our rooms more adaptable to each group,” said Ryan Pachmayer, co-founder of Puzzah.
To better accommodate that broader pool of ages and abilities, Puzzah crafted individual puzzles that can adapt to a team’s progress. So if a team of children struggled with the first puzzle in a room, the next puzzle might adapt to their skill level by presenting itself in a more simple way.
Puzzah’s games also provide sequential vocal cues that guide teams toward success throughout the mission. This promotes deliberate team collaboration, something that isn’t always present in the disorganized mad dash of other escape room games.
“The actual interaction is what groups value most. You’re working together to beat an exciting mission, rather than passively watching a game or a movie. We don’t pair teams with strangers, it’s always a private booking.”
In addition to improving its software, Puzzah has also made great strides in the physical composition of its games. All puzzles at the Flatiron Mall location are reset-free, meaning that they naturally end in the same position they started in. This eliminates need for cleanup and re-positioning, which saves employees time while allowing Puzzah to maximize its bookings.
“It has taken a lot of planning and technology to achieve reset-free, but it gives users a more consistent experience and allows us to offer more booking slot options to our customers,” Pachmayer explained.
Moving forward, the team plans to expand its one-of-a-kind puzzle room experience in a number of ways. They’ll debut two more games at the Flatiron Mall this year: a bee-themed mission called Hive Mind and a story about superheroes. Puzzah also plans to extend its community involvement initiatives, which have previously included setting up puzzle hunts at the CU Block Party and the Mile-High Sci-Fi Convention.
Businesses will send co-workers to partake in the a bit teamwork away from office, while other guests come simply for a rewarding hour of cerebral synergy. No matter the motivation, the changing puzzle rooms should inspire return visits. After all, everyone loves a good mystery.