An escape room game – Troom Oman, (meaning 'Can You?' in English) - basically locks a small group of people in a room where they are required to look for clues, crack codes and match objects across a set of linear stages to find the key to the room.
The game, which opened in November this year, is the brainchild of Sami al Sabahi, a mechanical engineer by profession. He first tried a version of the game in Dubai before deciding to set up one in Oman. The escape room aims to develop skills in problem-solving and help one improvise. It sharpens memory and reasoning and also helps understand the importance of teamwork and communication, said Sabahi.
"This game is totally different from others. It's a brain game which combines entertainment with thinking,” he said. Though the concept is similar to that of other escape room games in the west, the design of Troom Oman is unique, said Sabahi. The three rooms in the game are called: Civilization, Horror House and Crime Scene.
The place to start, Sabahi recommends, is Civilization. With old artefacts, piles of sand and music in the background, it makes you feel like Indiana Jones, he said, adding, “But once the mind games begin, you get the feeling it's a film Christopher Nolan must have directed.” Time management is important.
“You have one hour to find the key, but you don't know how many tasks you'll have to go through. If you end up spending more than five minutes at each stage, it will be difficult to complete,” Sabahi added. CCTV monitoring gives gaming staff the chance to monitor participants' progress and offer hints through telephone.
“Almost everyone needs hints,” said Sabahi. Sabahi said he plans to periodically change the themes and puzzles in the rooms so that there will always be something new for people. He said Troom gets around three to four groups on weekdays and up to eight on weekends. “People usually come back for more.” The game room is open on all days from 3pm to 11pm at RO9 per person per hour.