Escape Osaka: Japan's best escape room game
Updated: Sep 26, 2020
I hope you're not claustrophobic... or the type who gets easily frustrated.
A 2018 addition to Osaka's entertainment and tourist attractions is Escape Osaka. It's an escape room game, based near Namba. And it's already topped the 'fun and games' activity section for Osaka on TripAdvisor. So you know I'm here to tell you about something good.
The nature of escape rooms makes them tough to write about in much detail. How do I make this post a decent length without giving too much away?
The Escape Osaka promo vid's thankfully spoiler-free, but has the backstory you need:
So what happens is: you show up, you're shown that video reminder of what you're getting into, and you're given a preview of some puzzle locks. Clever way to pass a little time while they prep the room for your escape attempt.
All of these types of lock are somewhere in the room. You'll be told roughly how to unlock them, but the combinations/keys on the real things won't be readily available. Good luck!
Once you're in the room and the clock starts, shove your thinking cap on.
You've got an hour - judged by a period-appropriate sand timer - to find all the clues, solve all the puzzles, and get the hell outta there.
An escape room's only as good as what's inside. Make it too easy, and it's not enough of a challenge. Make it too hard, and it's no fun for anybody involved.
Escape Osaka hits a nice balance in difficulty level. The puzzles aren't impossible to solve, but you'll still feel that burning satisfaction when you (finally) get something right.
And not everyone makes it out in time! Completing within the hour is a decent accomplishment. Completing with at least 10 minutes left is uncommon. I also know of teams that failed... but came back to try again.
I love puzzles, escape rooms, ARGs, the MIT Mystery Hunt, you name it. So when I found out Escape Osaka was opening, it didn't take me long to book in.
I played this escape room as part of a duo - each timeslot's for up to 6 people, so groups and families can take part together. The minimum players per game's 2. That's couples and BFFs covered as well.
My 'team' escaped... with something like 4 minutes left on the clock. So it wasn't a cakewalk. Hearing that door unlock filled me with a massive sense of relief.
The one thing I'll say is: look at everything very carefully. Lack of proper attention to detail was nearly my downfall. There isn't much time, but take the time to be sure of what you're seeing.
As you only get that hour, it slots nicely into a half-planned day, or morning before departure. With pre-puzzle orientation, and some post-escape explanation (if you want it), you'll be in and out in roughly an hour and a half.
I can recommend Escape Osaka, as someone who managed to escape the room. I had a great time! Definitely one of Osaka's best fun and games.