From Eliot Ness to T.I.T.U.S., the Molchan family business has grown immensely. Since opening Perplexity Games
back in 2016, the business (currently ranked as TripAdvisor's top escape room in Cleveland) has grown from 3,000 square feet to 4,500 square feet. The number of game offerings has also increased, with the addition of "Clockwork Caper" and "T.I.T.U.S." in addition to the original "Eliot Ness Investigation."
While the words "escape room" may sound scary or intimidating to some, co-owner Diana Molchan maintains that the concept is fun and inviting to all ages. (In fact, one recent family that visited ranged in age from a high school freshman to an 80-year-old.) Groups range from two to 90 people, and by finding clues and solving problems, teams can work together to escape the room. Says Molchan, "The games are like board games come to life."
Molchan adds that the rooms are designed to toss players into the time and space of the game. Whether it's electrical engineering to create the right lighting or interior design to visually morph the space, the Molchan family has done everything possible to ensure their customers are transported to another world while playing their games.
Another area of expansion for Perplexity Games
has been its corporate business—hosting team-building and holiday events for clients including Progressive Insurance, Sherwin-Williams
, KeyBank, and the Cleveland Clinic. "Groups can come have an off-site meeting in the morning and play games in the afternoon," says Molchan, adding that Perplexity Games can assist with catering and refreshments.
Since the highest capacity of any game is 30 people, Molchan works with other Ohio City businesses to split large groups up when necessary. Thanks to an informal partnership with Market Garden Brewery, groups can alternate between taking a private tour of the brewery's production facility and playing an escape room game at Perplexity Games.
In the spring, Molchan plans to introduce a "Harry Potter-style" game that will increase the escape room's capacity to 40 people. In the meantime, she's working on growing the customer base for Perplexity Games, which she says is unusually enthusiastic.
"It's completely amazing to me how people have embraced it," says Molchan. "It appeals to a wide variety of people—because it's not physically taxing, it's something they can all do together on the same level."