Omescape is located in Markham, just near the 404 – Steeles exit. Omescape is a franchise from big cities like Beijing and San Francisco. We were invited to check out their facility which we were eager to visit since it was our first franchise review.
As of now Omescape has the most impressive lobby in the Markham/Scarborough area that includes a Presotea tea store (that serves bubble tea and other premium drinks) and a large boardgame area. They offer packages that include drink and boardgame time, but in our first visit we were only interested in their escape room.
On our most recent return to Omescape we were joined by fellow bloggers Will and Jo from EscapeGamesToronto.ca and our friends at EscapeRoomAddicts.com Errol and Manda. It was great to chat it up with fellow enthusiasts, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the room. To catch their reviews check out :
Rooms: 4, but they will have 5 in the near future
Reviewed rooms: Joker’s Asylum, Kingdom Of Cats (KOC), Dark Altar, Mysterious Study
Creativity and Design (aka its Fancy level): – Was it inventive ? Did it fit the theme?
Score : 4.5 of 5.0
The Joker’s Asylum is their first (in Toronto) and its most difficult room. The group is broken up into two teams where one starts in a control room and the other is the rescuing team. The focus of Joker’s Asylum seems to be on communication as both teams have critical information in order to move forward. The control room has various ways to interact with the ‘rescue’ team while having a few puzzles of its own. The ‘rescue’ team also has a number of interactive puzzles and cool components that make the experience rewarding.
We find the overall theme hard to judge, since the story its supposed to be a customized Asylum built for the Joker. At times it feels like a ‘spooky’ mansion or fun house but overall the mood is definitely eerie with the design details. All that aside based on the level of effort, the clean and tidy design (no hanging wires, which we’ve seen enough of) and consistent design throughout the room, it almost gets full stars.
The Kingdom of Cats (KOC) is a unique experience. Just like their previous room, KOC avoids being a typical thematic room and goes for the abstract. There are definitely enough cat reference and other cat ‘materials’ throughout the theme that you know you’re in the cat kingdom (or a really bizarre cat lover’s room). If you love cats like my wife, you’ll love this room; but even if you don’t you’ll still find other reasons to like it.
Dark Altar definitely fits the creepy vibe and puzzles to match the theme. There were a couple “surprise” moments where the combination of the tech and the theme almost had us on edge.
The Mysterious Study was definitely one of our favourites. A well planned and well stocked in terms of set design. There were interesting tidbits here and there and the what i’ll start to call Omescape trademark surprises. They are also one of the only ones that have executed a _____ room very well, so definitely bonus marks for that.
Bells and Whistles: Was it just lockboxes throughout the Room?
Score: 5.0 of 5.0
The Joker’s Asylum doesn’t disappoint with their tech. We didn’t notice any Taobao.com items so to us their usage of puzzles and technology was pretty flawless. The control room has tech that will interact with the ‘rescue team’ and some good concepts that really need to be applied to some other room escapes. My only concern would be the overuse of walkie talkies, but we didn’t experience any technical issues.
KOC continues to represent OMESCAPE tech; its clean, simple and it works. We only had slight difficulty with one particular component, but otherwise the tech is impressive in its simplicity.
Dark Altar was no exception, there were some very interesting pieces and they also used the tech to ‘set the atmosphere’ of the rooms, which is seldom used and hardily executed correctly.
The Mysterious study, kept the tech clean and transparent to the players. The best parts of this room were actually the low-tech pieces, but with Omescape trademark tech.
Intuitive (aka Frustration Level): Was it solvable? or Did you have to be inside the creators mind to solve it?
Score: 5.0 of 5.0
The Joker’s Asylum was very well thought out. There is a very strong communication component that requires technological and non-technological interactions between the two teams to get through the puzzles. The individual puzzles weren’t too difficult and required a good grasp of observational and decoding skills. There are also unlimited hints (and also a hard mode, if you don’t want any) which is great for newbies and experienced players alike.
After the game we spoke with the gamemasters and it seems that some of the puzzles were carry overs from other locations, however they have mentioned that the layouts were unique. We only wish that the control room team had some more interaction with the other team, but it seems that the puzzles and tech have been polished off enough to an enjoyable level.
KOC acts like a guided tour through the room. Both of our groups were stuck on different puzzles, but overall the puzzles were solvable and fun. They really try to explore both logical and sensory-type puzzles, which makes it fun and gets everyone involved.
The Dark Altar definite feels like a haunted house and the puzzles reflect that too. There are dark themes and hexes and other important symbols that are important as you progress through the room. Of all the rooms at Omescape we found this the most difficult, however we’ve been told they have made changes to the room as well.
The Mysterious Study was a big contrast to the Dark Altar. The puzzles were clean and simple, and the overall flow was easy for a new team (our EGT, ERA, EGR – Team Blog) to easily complete the room in 45 minutes. It had a little bit of something for everyone. We didn’t experience any large logical leaps and the puzzle flow was straight forward.
Staff Support/Price : Were they friendly? Were they helpful? What was the Damage?
Score: 4.5 of 5.0
The staff and gamemasters at Omescape were friendly and excited to have us. They were eager to show off the specifics of the room after we finished and just as eager to hear feedback.
The current price structure has many add-ons. Its $26.95/person (Mon-Thurs), 29.95/Person (Weekends) for just the escape room. You can also go with the optional weekend boardgame pass for 8.95 which includes a drink (7.95 on weekdays). Or the complete package, which is the escape room + drink + boardgame pass for 33.95 on the weekends (or 30.95 weeknights). There is also a $5 discount if you check-in on Facebook.
They are also planning on opening a Yogen Fruz in the near future (although with winter coming it might be as appetizing).
The weekend price is the highest in the area, but the quality speaks for itself (and we’re hoping to see the same consistent quality in their future rooms).
Overall: Omescape offers the premium escape room experience that that fuses a boardgame cafe, bubble tea shop and room escape all in one. With polished puzzles and tech, it’s no surprise that they have multiple locations in the world. If you’re bored of lockboxes and soda, give Omescape a try.
For more information check out:
Unit 7, 7501 Woodbine Ave
Markham, ON L3R 2W1