Guests at the Game Show Battle Rooms inevitably ask the staff the same question.
“People come in all the time and they say, ‘When is it going to air? I can’t wait to be on (TV),’” says Jennifer Jewett, who runs the Chandler location.
Sorry, you won’t be on TV.
But it’s easy to see why some patrons might believe that. Game Show Battle Rooms tries to recreate the TV game show experience, with sound, lights, professional emcees and hosts.
The company started seven years ago in Minnesota. The company has other locations in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Dallas, Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio. It also offers a virtual game room for people who live outside those cities. It opened its first Arizona location in West Chandler on October 14.
Here’s how it works.
Groups of 18 or fewer can book a time in one of the two battle rooms. It costs about $35 for the 90-minute show. After a brief introduction they enter one of the battle rooms and are split into two teams where they will compete in three games. Points are given for winning each round. At the end of the three games, one team gets to pose with the championship trophy.
The games are different depending which room you book. You probably have not heard of the games, but if you’ve seen TV game shows they should recognizable as distant cousins. Because of licensing rules, no one at Game Show Battle Rooms will say the names of the more famous games.
Survey Battles sure looks a lot like “Family Feud.” That’s the one game that is played in both rooms. The other games are What’s the Cost? (think “Price is Right”), Spin & Solve (“Wheel of Fortune”), Match Up and Time Rush.
Match Up is a word play game where you fill in the blank of a sentence and hope your teammates come up with the same word. Time Rush challenges the teams in a series of skill competitions, such as stacking three cups after pulling away two cards that separated them in less than a minute.
While the games are fun, Jewett says the key to the experience is the interaction between contestants and hosts. She should know; she’s been on three actual TV game shows.
“The interaction between the host and the contestant is so important because you create a connection that has a lifetime memory with laughs and a relationship that people love,” she says. “So that’s what we do here is we create a bond between the host and our customers, our guests.”
Jewett says they hired some stand-up comedians and actors to play the role of hosts and emcees. Liz Frisius is one of them.
“We’ll talk with the audience, we get their take, their feel, bring the energy up and realize that life’s not about tragedy,” Frisius says. “Life is about connecting and enjoying yourself and finding the beauty in the moment and finding the hilarity in the moment.”
Jewett says the most popular of their games is Survey Battles. To get the answers for their questions they ask online and ask groups as they compete.
In addition to being a recreation activity for friends and/or family, Jewett says they also do team-building events for companies. She says they can handle large groups of up to 32 per room if they book in advance.
Just don’t expect the competition to be broadcast on TV.
Game Show Battle Rooms
6909 W. Ray Road, Chandler