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Wandering around the world you can find the very best experiences ever, especially if it’s about escape games. Today we’re introducing you the first Escape Igloo near Ljubjana, Slovenia.
Kranjska Gora is one of the most visited ski resort of the region and the first escape room which is built of snow has opened its door to the wide public this winter.
We asked Nataša Potočnik, the executive creative director and co-founder of the Escape Igloo about their special idea and their future plans.
escape-rooms.com: Where did the idea of an Escape Igloo come from?
Nataša: We wanted to show that we know how to think out of the box room and we wanted to create some thing entirely new. We like to dream up different scenarios for escape rooms and this one seemed like one that fit our surroundings in a unique way. We knew of the Eskimo Village near Kranjska Gora and we thought, why not turn that into an Escape Igloo? We also like a challenge!
We're pretty pleased, because we later received an award for innovation in tourism, the Snovalec 2015 Award.
e-r: What’s the difference between Escape Igloo and other escape room (obviously besides it’s been carved into a pile of snow)?
N: One major difference is that we have to keep in mind the limitations imposed by the snow: we have to insulate all the electrical cables, computers, etc. from snow and water. Everyday a certain amount of time goes to maintaining the igloo. If the weather conditions are not cooperating, say if it is raining or there is too much sun, we have extra work to do.
As for the players, because of the cold, we've seen that 45 minutes is the ideal time frame for the game, as opposed to 60 minutes.
Being in an igloo is like being in a fairytale. It's so magical and in itself is something that people don't get to experience everyday. So just the structure itself makes it special. It lures people in.
In terms of escape rooms, it is special because it offers a new dramaturgy that helps players to use their imaginations that much more. Your role is that of a researcher who has to restore the Earth's equilibrium and fix the compass needle by finding the four missing elements. But players can invent all sorts of stories in their minds about how they've come to be in the igloo. In the game design, we trying to give lots of variety of puzzles but we've also equipped the room with furniture, props and gadgets that really make it feel authentic, things you might really find or use in an igloo. Interacting with the setting is thus also special.
Many people are used to being out in the cold winter conditions, maybe for sports – downhill skiing, alpine skiing, sledding, ice skating etc. But there are not many activities that people can do in the winter where they are still part of the winter atmosphere but spending their time in a different way. We also wanted to offer visitors to the ski resort a different way to spend their time together, not just skiing, not just drinking, but communicating, solving puzzles and having fun together!
e-r: Is it seasonal or will you make it available off-season?
N: Playing the game in a real igloo is seasonal, we are entirely limited to winter temperatures. As soon as the temperatures warm up, our igloo starts to melt down. :(
That said, we installed an indoor “replica” of last year's igloo in the basement at the location of two of our other rooms. There's no “real” snow there but it is cold(er) and players also enjoy it. This year's real igloo is version 2, with an entirely new game play although the mission to save the world is still the same.
Escape Igloo is trademarked and we are open to franchise possibilities. The game can be set up either outdoors or indoors.
Pack your luggage and take your slides, the Escape Igloo wait for you until the middle of March. Once you’ve been there just give us a feedback on Facebook or Twitter how was saving the world in frost.