Omescape Sunnyvale – Robotopia [Review]

Alpha Droid Awesome Unit

Location: Sunnyvale, CA

Date Played: May 18, 2023

Team Size: 4-6; we recommend 4

Duration: 120 minutes

Price: $65-75 per player depending on the number of players

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: At least one player must climb and crawl

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Robotopia is Omescape Sunnyvale’s newest experience, and clocking in at 2 hours, it’s their longest yet. Continuing in the trajectory of Omescape’s last few releases, Robotopia is jam-packed with deeply satisfying puzzles, delightful set elements, and a healthy dose of whimsy.

Some of you may be wondering whether Robotopia has any relation to Omescape Markham’s Robotcalypse. Short answer: Robotopia is a completely different game end to end, and on the whole it’s a substantially stronger and more polished offering than Toronto’s Robotcalypse. Only one puzzle is the same between the two games, and the stories and sets are completely different.

The creators at Omescape Sunnyvale have continued to level-up their skills while trying out new build techniques, innovative gameplay mechanics, and fantastically wacky stories. Robotopia had a clear narrative framing, but for much of the game, the gameplay didn’t really provide intermediate plot points per se, instead focusing on developing the institutions and inhabitants of the robot lab we were visiting. I wouldn’t say Robotopia was primarily a comedy game, but humor was absolutely a strong undercurrent. Omescape struck a nice balance of quirky and silly, though certain moments could have gone from really great to amazing had they leaned even harder into the weird bits.

A strange device with a large sign that reads, "Brain-O-Matic." The device is mounted to the wall beside a large metal door with robot parts painted on it and the words, "Awesome Institute."

Omescape Sunnyvale continues to be an escape room destination worth traveling to, and Robotopia is undoubtedly a feature-length premium experience that will delight experienced and newer players alike. If you’re choosing from amongst Omescape Sunnyvale’s signature experiences — Robotopia, Undercooked, Midnight in Hong Kong, and Chaos in the Galleria — you truly can’t go wrong. Every member of my team had a completely different stack ranking of these top 4 games, and it largely just comes down to thematic preference. If you have the time and the team, I strongly recommend playing them all.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Delightful puzzles
  • Adorable robots
  • One of the longest escape room experiences in the Bay Area

Story

We entered the secret facility of Dr. Sarah Cube, who decades ago had created the world’s first sentient artificial intelligence. Unsure of exactly what we’d encounter inside, we were tasked to recover a module containing Dr. Sarah’s research and return it to the government for the benefit of all humankind.

Closeup of a cute looking robot with big eyes and a wrench in its mouth.

Setting

Robotopia was set in an expansive and detailed retro-futuristic world. In a style that has come to be characteristic of many of Omescape Sunnyvale’s experiences, various whimsical wooden props and set pieces filled the environment. A generally rusty, scrapyard aesthetic was accented by bright colors, neon lights, and interesting interfaces.

A large room filled with technology from various decades. The wall is labeled, "Junk Town" using letters from farious discarded signs.

Gameplay

Omescape Sunnyvale’s Robotopia was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around solving puzzles, making connections, communicating, and interacting (or not interacting, perhaps) with an actor.

Analysis

➕ Robotopia‘s puzzle and interaction design was abundantly creative and delightful. We encountered fun twists on common puzzle mechanics, thoughtfully presented effects, and some clever puzzle mechanics we hadn’t previously encountered in an escape room.

➕ The set progressively transformed in cool ways. Multiple distinct spaces all fit into the world, and their uses and reuses made the environment feel even more expansive than it actually was. With a variety of colors, textures, and lighting, this scenery was beautiful and intricate.

➕ Robotopia was filled with thrilling IRL video game moments. A repeated magical mechanic established a depth to how the game world operated. An actor served as a puzzle, activating the layout of the space while also subtly calibrating to our gameplay style, thereby keeping this interaction more fun than annoying.

➖ We were unable to fully see one element of a creative interaction, a problem that could have been easily fixed with a hair tie.

➕ A relaxing puzzle rubbed us just the right way. I regret not taking the time myself to experience this interaction even after it had been completed.

➕ The characters we encountered throughout Robotopia felt dynamic even though most were physically static. They set a clear tone and humor for the game.

➕ A unique and visually alluring input mechanism grabbed our attention.

➕/➖ Overall, the audio in Robotopia was very well produced and added an extra sprinkling of character and humor throughout the game. In a few moments, there were unexpectedly long pauses between audio cues or between puzzle inputs and their corresponding audio cues. Additionally, one particular bit of audio feedback didn’t feel like it matched the tone of the corresponding puzzle.

➖ Certain high-energy moments relied on us closing doors behind us. Repeatedly these door closes didn’t register correctly on the first try, though our gamemaster was highly attentive in prompting us to try closing the door again.

➕/❓ The finale presented us with a choice. Both options yielded fun outcomes, though one was slightly less fun (or just more expected) than the other and felt like a minor missed opportunity to subvert expectations and push the game’s humor even further.

❓ There was no in-game clock. Generally, I prefer this approach in escape rooms. It allowed our team to stay fully immersed in the game rather than focus on how much time we had left. Furthermore, we learned that certain puzzles can be dynamically adapted — either in length or difficulty — as teams progress through the game. That said, your mileage may vary.

👻/ ➖ We encountered a number of elements that remained from puzzles that were no longer in the game. The vast majority of these managed not to feel like ghost puzzles. Likely, only experienced players will notice subtly structured information and patterns that never get used, and their thematic presence added to the environment more than it detracted from the gameplay in any perceptible form. However, we could still feel the strong presence of certain puzzles that used to exist amongst other elements, including one that seemed easily removable and another that was more structural around the space.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.

Book your 2 hours with Omescape Sunnyvale’s Robotopia, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Omescape comped our tickets for this game.

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