|Room(s) visited||Joker’s Asylum , Kingdom of Cats, Dark Altar, The Mysterious Study|
|Decor||Acceptable to Good.|
|Puzzle Design||Good to Great, depending on the room.|
|Overall||Omescape is my second favourite overall facility. It’s pricey, but most
of their rooms are fun, which makes it considerably better than the
facilities in the area that are pricey and not fun. My game of choice is
Joker’s Asylum, but I think most players would enjoy Kingdom of Cats
7501 Woodbine Ave, Unit 7
Markham, ON L3R 2W1
Cross Street: Woodbine Ave. and Esna Park Dr.
Group Size: Joker’s Asylum (5-10) , The Kingdom of Cats (3-8) , Dark Altar (4-8), Mysterious Study (3-7)
Game Time: 60 minutes
Price: $29.95/person weekends ($3 weekday discount, $5 discount with a Facebook like and check-in)
Phone Number: 905-695-9556
The latest room so far at Omescape is the Mysterious Study. It’s the first room at Omescape I haven’t really enjoyed. That isn’t to say it’s necessarily bad (it’s okay, acceptable even), but it doesn’t make my recommended list. The game certainly has the production value and polished look of Omescape’s other rooms. The decor is certainly on par with the previous rooms. However, I think the puzzles and overall design is lacking. From it’s 3 Omega symbols worth of difficulty, one can surmise that the intention was to create an easier game for beginners. That’s my guess, anyways. I think what they ended up with was something less cohesive and less put-together. There are definitely some interesting ‘tricks’ in the room, though. I don’t want to get into spoilers, but the Mysterious Study is missing an element that is present in all of the other Omescape rooms that I think has (inadvertently?) aided in their design. Omescape is a franchise and its quite possible that the staff aren’t really making any design choices whatsoever, and are just making games exactly as they were given to them. The final product feels like a more polished version of a room you could find at a lesser neighbouring escape facility. I’ve been enjoying each room less than the one before it, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the Penitentiary breaks the pattern.
The third room I did at Omescape was the Dark Altar. The story behind the room is that your team of players is investigating a crazy archaeologist who has gathered some relics in order to conduct a ritual to achieve godhood. The decor does match that of a museum, but not quite to the level of Escape Game’s Voleur de Diamant. Things felt a little cramped at the number I had brought to the game. I think the game is best enjoyed at it’s minimum of 4 or 5 players. I commend the overall design of actually sticking to the minimum player count of 4 faithfully in its puzzles. I’ve been to other facilities that have rooms that are more or less minimum 2, and then they throw in one puzzle to bump up the minimum player count (presumably to get more business in one go)
The Kingdom of Cats is the second room I played at Omescape. It’s one I’ve heard consistently good feedback about, and is one of my go-to recommendations for people if they are in the area. The story is that you have fallen down a hole, and subsequently into the magical world of the kingdom of cats. You’re trapped here, and you have to complete their tests of cat-ness. The theming is fantastic. I don’t have any particular love for cats in real life, but the theme was very cute and adorable. It has a very Alice-in-Wonderland-esque feel to the game. The tests given by the Cats are actually themed accordingly as well – you have to prove your worthiness with tests of Agility (no serious physical activity actually required), Intelligence, and other cat-qualities. The decor is a little random (as you would expect a game about a mystical world of cats would be), and the room’s filled with cute stuffed animal cats. The puzzles are designed well, and they have a few very unique elements. I’ve said it in another post, but I think it’s a shame that the room has a minimum of 3 because I think it would be a great room to introduce a date to your secret escape room obsession.
Joker’s Asylum was my introduction to Omescape. It’s actually my favourite room at Omescape, but not one that I would recommend to everyone. I would rate it as a harder. It has a split-team setup, and is also a little unique in that the split will likely not be even between the two starting points. Beyond any potential communication troubles, Joker’s Asylum is also difficult in that it doesn’t have many ‘small victories’. However, this does make your successes that much more exciting! Once again, the decor was mostly random (as much as you would expect from a place called Joker’s asylum), but it doesn’t take you out of it. There was a wide range of puzzles and nothing I would classify as unfair. This room gets a strong recommendation from me if your team is looking for a challenge.