Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I Escaped Room Ω

I'm not a gamer. I don't own a Playstation or XBox. I have no interest in most computer games. When I play games on my tablet they tend to be advanced solitaire card games or Rummycube with people online. The other kind I will play is adventure/puzzle games.

Twenty years ago we all had big ol desktop computers and having 1 gig of memory was a big deal. That's when Myst came out and was a big hit. It was a puzzle game that was famous for fabulous graphics and complicated puzzles.The puzzles were often quite complicated and ranged from visual to auditory, mathematical, logical, etc. I managed to get through it with the help of some hints along the way.

On today's tablets you can play similar games such as The Room, The Room 2, and Machinarium. But did you know that you can play LIVE versions of these kind of games?

That's right. The new fun thing to do is puzzle rooms. And there is one nearby in Richmond. The company is called Omescape and they currently offer three games. This weekend my friends and I tried one out.

other successful teams
Omescape has three games: Room Ω, The Penitentiary, and Forgotten Treasure. Since this was our first time, we chose the easiest, Room Ω. Each game takes an hour, have different difficulty levels, and allow different numbers to participate. We tried to assemble a mixed bag of participants since different people are better at math or codes or analyzing.

Room Ω allowed 8 people to play. The premise of the game is that Professor Stanley was working on a theory for time travel and mysteriously disappeared from his office.  Now your team must examine everything in the office and escape the room before time runs out or you can disappear in time as well.

After signing releases we had to turn over our phones. No cheating! Then we were put inside "the office" and given a few instructions. After a quick video, the timer started counting down.

The room is never locked since that's against fire codes for safety. You know the entrance is not the exit and you need to find the real one. You are also allowed one hint during the hour.

I don't want to spoil anything for those that might be interested, but Room Ω has about a 40% success rate. On the walls are photos of winning teams for each game. I think the shortest time we saw was about 25 minutes. We think it might have been a team that had some players that had played and failed before. Anyway, we were successful at 46 minutes! And those minutes go by fast. 

Ladies Who Lunch succeed in 46 minutes!
Everyone agreed it was great fun and we were almost going to do The Penitentiary immediately, but decided to go to lunch instead. We are already planning our next two return trips to finish the other two games. 

All games are $28 and take 60 minutes to solve (or not). The minimum age is 13, although younger are allowed with parents.

UPDATE:  We escaped The Penitentiary, a room with only a 14% pass rate!  Now onto pirates!  Aaargh!

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