Index

Real Escape Game
REG vol. 1 – Escape from the Mysterious Cathedral
REG vol. 2 – Escape from the Werewolf Village
REG vol. 3 – The Crazy Last Will of Dr Mad
REG vol. 4 – Escape from the Haunted Ship
REG vol. 5 – Escape from the Bank
REG vol. 6 – Escape from the Moon Base
REG vol. 7 – Escape from the Walled City
REG vol. 8 – Last Garden: Save Nature, Save Humanity
REG vol. 9 – Escape from the Conspiracy

Encounter
Encounter – The Dormitory
Encounter – The Community Centre

FindX
FindX – Office Breakout [beta-test]
FindX – Saving Dua Tau

Lockdown
ThinkOut x Lockdown – Journey to the End and Back
Lockdown – Whisper of the Guardians
Lockdown – Artefact Tempus
Lockdown – Code of Silence

Nomis Piy
Nomis Piy – Meltdown – Rescue Mission
Nomis Piy – The Abandoned Chapel
Nomis Piy – Murder on the Blue Atlantis
BreakOut x Nomis Piy – Trapped in My Own Mind [temporary escape room]
Nomis Piy – The Triads
Nomis Piy – Escape from the Forbidden Mansion
Nomis Piy – Enigma – Quest for the Code Book
Nomis Piy – The Extraordinary Tea

The Escape Artist
The Escape Artist – Escape from Reverie
The Escape Artist – The Mystery Mansion
The Escape Artist – Anti-Drug Escape Game
The Escape Artist – The Four Horsemen of Doom
The Escape Artist – Project ILC
The Escape Artist – The Guardians
The Escape Artist – Iridian Legends

Other escape, mystery, or puzzle-style events
I Know Who Killed You This Halloween
Where’s Max?
Changi Revisited – The Hendon Horrors
Freeing SG – Rise to the Challenge: Biohazard
Roomraider – Amazing Race
Premonition: 90 Minutes Before
Stranded on Mars
Xcape – CIA Crisis
Crime City
S-capegoats – NS-cape

Not events, but always-available murder mysteries
Lockdown.sg – CSI: A Good Night to Die
Xcape – Shanghai 1943

Other events with escape or mystery elements
The Inside Job

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The Escape Artist – Iridian Legends

When: 25 Mar 2018
Team: Four people
Venue: *Scape

Another event by The Escape Artist, another interesting structural variation. The Escape Artist’s events are really worth following not just by escape enthusiasts, but potential game organisers. This time, instead of the usual linear structure, there were three gameplay areas that could be tackled in any order. So instead of having all the teams in Area A while Areas B and C wait empty, there were teams in all areas at the same time — allowing more people to take part than would have otherwise been the case.

The puzzles themselves were a mixed bag. One area had fairly context-free individual puzzles but a fun metapuzzle. Another had a well-woven first set of puzzles but a bizarre and disappointing final puzzle that threw off a lot of teams, including mine. The third had tiered difficulty, like the previous year’s event, and a nice mix of puzzles with generally cool ahas. (It probably helped that we ended up choosing the most difficult and therefore most interesting route, though as before, it wasn’t obvious (unless you thought hard about the meta-theme) which choice would result in easier puzzles.)

In a tie-up with AR game company HADO, the final boss fight was completely non-puzzle-related but fairly amusing to watch.

This was the second tie-up between TEA and this particular pro-family organisation, and there were some clever reveals at the end, when they were going through the puzzles and answers — the need for resource management and certain in-game choices, for instance, had thematic significance. Here’s hoping the partnership continues if it allows TEA to continue bringing us such events.

Result: Made it to the showdown with the final boss but didn’t emerge as overall victor.


The Escape Artist – Iridian Legends
http://iridian-legends.peatix.com
http://www.theescapeartist.sg/

Lockdown – Code of Silence

Lockdown is running this again on 23 June! Get tickets here

 
When: 17 Mar 2018
Team: Five people
Venue: Battlebox, Fort Canning Park

I always appreciate site-specific escape games, and it was a plus that this took place in the air-conditioned Battlebox, haha. As usual, Lockdown/ThinkOut did a solid job with the scene-setting and costumed actors. Despite the maze-like nature of the Battlebox, it wasn’t too hard getting around and finding what needed to be found, either.

As for the puzzles themselves, there was generally a good level of integration with the existing exhibits — with the exception of one puzzle that remained unsatisfying even after learning the right answer, and another that was a bit search-y and tedious. One highlight was a puzzle that made direct use of a team member, in a callback to the very beginning of the event.

The final metapuzzle was well-executed and impervious to brute-forcing, which I  appreciate; the finale itself was cute and thematic. A solid event, even if the puzzles weren’t necessarily a highlight.

Result: Succeeded in sending off the code word before time ran out.


Lockdown – Code of Silence
http://170318battlebox.peatix.com
http://lockdown.sg

Nomis Piy – The Extraordinary Tea

Nomis Piy is running this again on 10 March 2018! Get tickets here
 

When: 16 Dec 2017
Team: Three people
Venue: Greenwitch Cafe, Solaris

Singapore’s most reliable escape game provider continues to innovate. Nomis Piy’s latest event had a refreshing new format: small teams (two to four players), a setting in an actual cafe, and puzzles that were delivered to your table by “waiters”, course by course. There was also a generous 90-minute time limit, and the organisers encouraged participants to take their time rather than rushing to finish.

All of this made for a more relaxed experience than usual, particularly as there was no need to leave your seat. The clear game structure gave you a decent idea of how far along you were, and the largely linear progression suited the smaller team sizes.

The puzzles themselves were delectable (sadly not literally), starting with straightforward appetisers and moving on to meatier ones. Nomis Piy’s strength of reusing puzzle components shone brighter than before — this is one of my favourite aspects of their events, and it’s exciting to see the new ways in which it’s done each time.

What I loved about this event, in particular, was how some puzzles made use of the cafe theme in innovative and exciting ways — there were several cool ahas that relied on the physical setting of the game. The endgame was a real treat, with a completely unexpected moment that elicited spontaneous “wows” from us.

On a side note, it was indeed extraordinary to see the difference that higher production values could make: various puzzle pieces were mounted on cork or foam, and although that must have been time-consuming, the pleasingly tactile feel made the puzzles more fun than if we had just been shuffling slips of paper around.

Overall, experienced teams might have found the game simpler than usual. But that didn’t affect my own enjoyment, and probably improved the experience for less experienced teams.

Nomis Piy indicated that there might be a sequel if response was good. This particular event didn’t sell out, which I think is a huge shame — let’s hope that, if a sequel does materialise, more people will partake of it.

Result: Had a good meal. We ate it rather quickly, finishing in under 50 minutes, but were certainly satisfied.


Nomis Piy – The Extraordinary Tea
http://extraordinarytea.peatix.com/
http://nomispiy.com/

Lockdown – Artefact Tempus

When: 11 Aug 2017
Team: just me
Venue: Asian Civilisations Museum

Held at the Asian Civilisations Museum as part of the Civic District Outdoor Festival (though the game took place inside the museum), Artefact Tempus was interesting to me chiefly as an example of how escape events have become mainstream — a trend that should hopefully aid the industry’s survival.

The 40-minute game was compact (some would say too compact) and beginner-friendly — in the case of one puzzle, perhaps too easy, resulting in my overthinking it. Some puzzles made better use of the exhibits than others. I did like the neat metapuzzle, and the use of physical props in the endgame provided a nice concluding flourish.

But ultimately, this was a free event, with added freebies upon completion, and so there really wasn’t anything to complain about.

More than that, I appreciate the very existence of the event. It demonstrates the willingness of large institutions to partner local escape room companies (this wasn’t the first time ACM had done so, either). It could have introduced escape games to several beginners, generating more interest in the genre. It did actually make me more interested in revisiting the ACM in my own time. I’d also love to see more site-specific partnerships between escape companies and venues such as museums, which seem particularly fertile ground for puzzles.

Result: Got to the treasure in under half the allotted time.


Lockdown – Artefact Tempus
[Facebook post]
http://lockdown.sg/

S-capegoats – NS-cape

When: 22 Jul 2017
Team: Four people
Venue: TÜV SÜD PSB building

With the holding of their first (and hopefully not last) escape event, the guys from local escape room review blog S-capegoats proved that they’re impressive not just as players, but also organisers.

The greatest strength of NS-cape, for me, was the rigorous adherence to theme and narrative (perhaps unsurprising given that NS wasn’t all that long ago for the organisers). I haven’t undergone NS myself, but I appreciated how both the overall hunt structure and the individual puzzles were tied closely to the NS experience. This extended to various sub-spaces in the game and the roles of the facilitators, and culminated in an endgame that was clever, fun, and satisfying on several levels.

NS-cape had one of the most layered structures I’ve seen, which broke the game up into manageable stages and constantly provided a sense of progress. It also enabled teams to keep rough track of how far along they were.

As for individual puzzles, there was a pleasantly wide range of formats and ahas, and even some fun hands-on aspects. There were a few bumps along the way, including the repetition of one sub-puzzle mechanism, but the standard was generally high. One memorable puzzle was frustratingly tedious, yet nevertheless so thematically justified that you had to forgive it (and it contained a clever twist, too). Other highlights, for me, included an early puzzle that made clever use of the background setting, a rigorous mid-stage puzzle with several mini ahas, and the excellently hands-on near-final metapuzzle.

Overall, the experience was tough yet rewarding, and worth remembering fondly. Perhaps a bit like NS itself?

Result: Managed to ORD just seconds before time ran out.


S-capegoats – NS-cape
http://s-capegoats-one.peatix.com/
http://s-capegoats.tumblr.com/

The Escape Artist – The Guardians

When: 17 Jun 2017 (event from 12 Jun to 2 Jul)
Team: Five people
Venue: Sentosa

It seems that outdoor escape events — and the specific subgenre of mobile-app-enabled outdoor escape events — might be becoming more of a thing now. The part of me that likes site-specific, real-world-dependent aspects appreciates this; the rest of me wishes Singapore’s weather was less awful.

The Guardians is The Escape Artist’s first foray into this subgenre. It’s notable for its tie-up with the Sentosa cable car line, which results in some great views and also breaks up the pace of the game quite enjoyably.

The cable car rides were also part of the game’s overall neat structure, which we found helpful in roughly indicating how much of the game remained. As for the puzzles, they all made close use of the setting — but were satisfying to different degrees, with some possibly being a bit too search-y.

Unfortunately, given the vast size of Sentosa, the ratio of actual puzzles to distance covered was perhaps a bit low. Teams will enjoy this more if they take their time and treat it as a day out to discover Sentosa, rather than trying to beat the clock.

The mobile app implementation was interesting, featuring videos and a linear storyline. (I guess having a mass event without fixed timings removes the need to avoid crowding, thus allowing for a linear game.) Sadly my team didn’t really watch the videos, since we were aiming for speed and our phones were also dying. I appreciate the idea of narrative/theme-enhancing video content and the effort that probably went into them, but I’m not sure they were appropriate for this game. The app’s location-based updates did add a real sense of progress to our game, though, and the storyline was constantly reinforced.

If your team takes on The Guardians hoping for a puzzle-heavy experience, you’ll probably be disappointed. But if you treat it more as a puzzle-led fun day out, with chances to discover parts of Sentosa you might not have seen otherwise, then you’ll have a better time.

Result: Finished the game in just over 1 hour 40 minutes, enjoying the views but not the weather en route.


The Escape Artist – The Guardians
http://the-guardians.peatix.com/
http://theescapeartist.sg/

Nomis Piy – Enigma – Quest for the Code Book

When: 27 May 2017
Team: Six people
Venue: TÜV SÜD PSB building

The ever-reliable Nomis Piy team shook things up a bit with the format of their latest game. Not only did it take place over two separate locations, it went beyond the usual metapuzzles to have some interesting puzzle-based transitions between stages. These innovations were a welcome twist on the usual formula, and I appreciated having to work out what to do instead of going through the metapuzzle motions.

I appreciated the lack of search-y puzzles this time around — perhaps having fewer first-round puzzles allowed for the difficulty to be raised a little? Some puzzles were a little predictable (possibly because I have high standards for Nomis Piy), but some which stood out included an early one that relied more upon lateral thinking than usual, and a final puzzle that drew upon Nomis Piy’s long-established strength of using details of the setting, and was made rigorous and fair in a clever way.

The actual transition from the first area to the second area added a pleasant bit of excitement while also letting some teams pull ahead, which I liked. The second area also felt a bit more dramatic while conveniently being well-suited to a debrief.

After a somewhat refreshing experience, Nomis Piy surprised us further with the news that their next endeavour would be significantly different — not even a mass escape game? I’m certainly looking forward to whatever that might be.

Result: Got the code book with the third-fastest time and decoded the message. I think it was a good choice to make the latter a sidequest; it was thematically appropriate and even a bit educational, and included a nice non-trivial twist, but ultimately gave less of a thrill than solving the actual final puzzle.


Nomis Piy – Enigma – Quest for the Code Book
http://enigma.peatix.com/
http://nomispiy.com/