Richmond’s escape room venue offers unique challenges

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By Zach Chouteau

While the ‘Rich Life’ segment usually aims to uncover cool local venues to escape to, we thought we’d shake things up this time by sharing a Richmond spot you can actually escape from.

That’s where OMESCAPE comes into play, a robust ‘escape room’ venue tucked away on Jacuzzi Street (near Central) with three vastly different challenges for groups to try.

While the concept of this escape room game is simple—uncover hidden clues and codes to unlock the door—the challenges are anything but, with subtle mysteries and enigmas aplenty to be solved within each task.

Partners Sarah Zhang and Jody Burford took us on a brief tour of the venue Tuesday, and while we don’t want to give away any secrets—suffice to say the details are impressive. A ‘Penitentiary’ challenge, for example, comes complete with a clue-laden ‘Warden’s Office’ and a ‘laser challenge’ hallway straight out of Mission Impossible, in addition to an authentic-looking prison cell.

‘Forgotten Treasure,’ a pirate-themed challenge, is even more involved, with hidden rooms to unlock, a large ‘word wheel’ to solve and mysterious maps and other puzzles. Both the ‘Penitentiary’ and ‘Forgotten Treasure’ can host groups of up to 10, though Zhang and Burford suggest a party of six is more ideal. ‘Room Omega,’ less frill-laden, works well for even smaller groups. The cost is $28 per participant for any of the three one-hour challenges.

The two proprietors say that OMESCAPE, which launched in 2014, attracts all kinds of groups but is particularly popular for company teambuilding efforts—building cohesiveness, as everyone must work together to help solve the various mysteries. The company has a second venue in San Jose and another facility in the works in New York. Clearly they are doing sometime right, with a five-star rating on Yelp! and a 100% approval standing with their 22 Groupon ratings.

To find out more about planning your own ‘group escape,’ just visit www.omescape.us.

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