Real Escape Game by SCRAP
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 – The Dormitory
Encounter – The Community Centre

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

ThinkOut x Lockdown – Journey to the End and Back
Lockdown – Whisper of the Guardians
Lockdown – Artefact Tempus
Lockdown – Code of Silence
Lockdown – Oddballs Odyssey
Lockdown – True Lies: Secrets of the Gallery
Lockdown – Virtual Agents

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
Nomis Piy – Finding Christmas

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
The Escape Artist – Operation Rescue Mid-Autumn
The Escape Artist – The Mooncake Heist
The Escape Artist – Santa vs Caishen

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
MCCY x Kult – Collab & Conquer
TOYBOX – Cluedo Tudor Mansion
Xcape – Learning Neighbourhood escape room

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

Other events with escape or mystery elements
The Inside Job

Lockdown – Virtual Agents

After holding several sessions on June 6 and 13, Lockdown is now making this game available daily! You can book it here.

When: 6 Jun 2020
Team: Six people (usual team size is five)
Venue: Online

This was the first online offering by a local escape room company, and I was curious to see what form it would take. Although you start off in a Zoom call, there’s not much video interaction after your facilitator (dressed in a labcoat and ‘mask’, and with a virtual background of a laboratory, which was cute) gets your group ready to play. Instead, most of the game takes place on a virtual whiteboard tool. This makes it very easy to collaborate in solving, and is particularly handy for certain puzzles.

The puzzles themselves are well suited to collaboration, with a good mix of styles and almost flawless logic. There’s also a cool aspect of the experience (possibly the highlight, for me) that I can’t talk about without spoiling it; I’ll just say that I wish even more had been done with it! The endgame is cute and memorable.

What I miss, I suppose, is the need to draw links between a ‘physical’ or external environment, and the puzzle components. While harder to implement in an online game, it wouldn’t have been impossible, given a digital definition of ‘external’. Nevertheless, this puzzle-focused experience is a worthy challenge for escape room enthusiasts (though perhaps less so if you have puzzle hunt experience).

Result: Successfully accessed the server, with time to spare.

Lockdown – Virtual Agents

The Escape Artist – Santa vs Caishen

When: 12 Jan 2020
Team: Five people
Venue: Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre

After last year’s mini mooncake heist, it was great to see the comeback of full-fledged escape events at the SCCC, with the awesomely-themed Santa vs Caishen game. There was a cute intro scene — especially effective given that there were families with young children taking part — before teams dispersed, with each team having been assigned to one of four possible starting puzzle areas.

The use of parallel tracks was great for crowd control, but we also appreciated that it wasn’t strictly enforced, with teams free to split up if desired. Sadly, the coolest station (involving Augmented Reality) was also the most tedious, and soon lost its shine — something to calibrate in later games, maybe? Another puzzle stage allowed for teamwork and had a cute twist. There were two multi-puzzle stages with a good range of puzzle styles and difficulty, with one multi-layered puzzle being particularly clever.

Interestingly, there was no finale scene and no need for teams to regroup at the end. Although that could make the ending potentially a little anticlimactic, I think it was a good way to let teams enjoy the experience at their own pace — particularly important given the wide range of participants.

Result: Pledged our points to Caishen, who ended up being the victor on both days.

The Escape Artist – Santa vs Caishen

Lockdown – True Lies: Secrets of the Gallery

When: 11 Jan 2020
Team: Five people
Venue: National Gallery

Held as part of the Light to Night Festival, this event aptly used coloured lights as a unifying puzzle element, from the early stages through to the endgame — a nice physical aspect that elevated the game beyond being paper-based. The need for puzzle-motivated map-reading added an interesting dimension to the experience, though the map itself could have been a little clearer…

The puzzles were a bit of a mixed bag, though I appreciated that most of them required some engagement with gallery exhibits. Indeed, the main reason that my team wasn’t fond of the metapuzzle was that — unlike the game up till then — it had no relation to the venue.

Still, even if the puzzle-based lead-up to the endgame was questionable, the physical lead-up was certainly impressive, making use of an architectural feature of the building that isn’t ordinarily open to the public. The little reward waiting at the end was pleasantly thematic, too, providing a solid conclusion to a somewhat hazy game narrative.

Result: Got to the treasure, and got to see parts of the National Gallery which we hadn’t seen before, which was cool!

Lockdown – True Lies: Secrets of the Gallery

Xcape – Learning Neighbourhood escape room

When: 16 Nov 2019
Team: Seven people (including three strangers)
Venue: Lifelong Learning Institute

Singapore’s escape event scene seems increasingly dominated by partnerships between escape room companies and clients with cultural or social aims — a phenomenon that might be unique to this market, and which I suppose makes sense in the broader national context.

Xcape’s 20-minute game during the Learning Neighbourhood event brings together strangers (in the spirit of teamwork, I suppose!) for three puzzles and a final task, with a light overarching theme of cybersecurity.

Despite its small scale, the game did manage to use quite a bit of tech, particularly in the third puzzle. Unfortunately, the gadget involved was a bit fiddly, compromising an otherwise clever puzzle. The final task might have felt dramatic to some, but was mainly frustrating for us, haha.

For a short, free game, one can’t really complain. It’ll be interesting to see if escape rooms become a staple in such multi-activity event — Beyond The Label Fest, for instance, also had one (which I sadly didn’t get the chance to play).

Result: Time penalties taken for hints meant that we didn’t technically make it out in time.

Xcape – Learning Neighbourhood escape room
[Facebook post]

Lockdown – Oddballs Odyssey

When: 16 Nov 2019
Team: Five people
Venue: Night Safari

The ThinkOut/Lockdown team seem to be building a strong niche in site-specific mass escape events that engage closely with the locations. After an earlier event at River Safari (which I was sadly unable to attend), they’ve now held one at the Night Safari too.

Night Safari’s own linear layout helped to eliminate unnecessary detours or doubling-back, which I appreciated. Although it did lead to a bit of bunching, this was generally not a problem at most stops.

Perhaps due to the relatively large amount of walking, there weren’t many puzzles. Still, the puzzles that we did have were a good mix, with some nice reveals and tasks, including an interactive game (the only point at which there was some bunching). The endgame was cute and rigorous — a good combination.

Apart from all that, it was just really nice visiting the Night Safari, for probably the first time since I was in school. If not for this event, I might never gotten around to visiting again — but I’m glad I did (and even learned some animal facts, too). The relaxed timing of the event allowed participants to enjoy the Night Safari setting and exhibits, too. Here’s hoping that such tie-ups with tourist destinations can continue.

Result: Found Neha. Enjoyed visiting her animal friends along the way, too.

Lockdown – Oddballs Odyssey

The Escape Artist – The Mooncake Heist

When: 14 Sep 2019
Team: Four people
Venue: Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre

I’m always glad to see sustained collaborations between escape game companies and clients — in this case, the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, which has hosted TEA events during various festivals. The Mooncake Heist was a huge change from last year’s expansive and varied event, though: just 30 minutes long, and costing just $5.

It also felt less like a traditional escape game event, and more like a family-friendly adventure. While perhaps disappointing for serious fans, I think these mini, puzzle-light events still have an important role in the ecosystem, by attracting casual players who might not otherwise get a chance to try such games.

I do hope TEA’s future events are more like their previous puzzle-filled offerings. But I think there’s a place in the Singapore scene for tidbits like this one, too.

Result: Pulled off the heist (on ‘hard mode’, which TEA kindly allowed us to try).

The Escape Artist – The Mooncake Heist

TOYBOX – Cluedo Tudor Mansion

When: 3 Feb 2019
Team: Three people
Venue: Sentosa

Once again, my interest in escape games and related events led me to participate in a game clearly meant for younger players. TOYBOX Powered by Hasbro, to give the event its full name, contains many diversions based on the multinational toy maker’s products. Among these is Cluedo Tudor Mansion, a 15-minute game with a recommended age of “5 years old and above”.

Despite being significantly older than that, I found the game to be a cute experience, with varied things to do and some surprisingly clever touches given the target audience.

While not worth the trek down south on its own, if you’re going to be in Sentosa anyway (perhaps for the ONE PIECE Puzzle Hunt, located very close by) and don’t mind the $12 price tag, then you might be charmed and/or entertained by this mini mystery. If you have kids and would like to expose them to the world of escape rooms early, this seems the perfect opportunity.

Result: Successfully pinpointed the suspect, weapon, and location of the murder. Just as well, given our age.

TOYBOX Powered by Hasbro


[The game is running until Feb 13!]

When: 3 Feb 2019
Team: Six people
Venue: Sentosa

It’s been a while since we’ve had any events by SCRAP, the Japanese company behind the original Real Escape Game series. This ONE PIECE Puzzle Hunt, based on the long-running shounen manga series, was created in partnership in SCRAP — though you might not notice unless you pay attention to the small print.

In familiar SCRAP fashion, the event consists of simple first-stage puzzles, a more complex and thus satisfying meta, and a clever finale. Though the first-stage puzzles weren’t very exciting, the latter two stages elevated the overall experience for me, making it well worth playing.

One big plus (for my team, anyway) is that the area covered is not too large, and is therefore perfectly walkable despite the blazing sun. There’s a sustained attempt at keeping the route relevant to the narrative, though no real integration of the puzzles with the environment per se. Although an AR app is recommended, it’s completely possible to play the game without using it, which I personally appreciated. There’s no need for each individual player to buy a puzzle kit, either — teams can share as few or as many kits as they want.

My team didn’t contain any serious ONE PIECE fans, but it seems that the game contains some apt references to the series. Your experience won’t suffer if you lack any knowledge of the series. If you are a ONE PIECE fan, then you will probably appreciate the fact that each game kit contains components that are basically ONE PIECE merchandise. Every successful completion also lets you receive another piece of merch, which is nice.

Result: Succeeded after a bit more than an hour, at a fairly leisurely pace.

ONE PIECE Puzzle Hunt

MCCY x Kult – Collab & Conquer

[edit: New slots have opened at Hillion Mall from Feb 4 to 10; you can book a slot here.]

When: 29 Jan 2019
Team: Eight people (two friends, five strangers)
Venue: Plaza Singapura

I’m always glad to see government agencies or other public bodies getting into the escape game scene. We played this free travelling escape room at the first of four stops around the island, though all slots already seem to be booked out, up till its final day of Feb 17.

Perhaps fittingly for MCCY, you’re encouraged to work together with strangers to clear the room. The 30-minute time limit isn’t too generous, given that you’re advised to proceed in a linear manner* and one of the puzzles is a time sink. Still, the room manages to pack a decent amount into its short runtime, with a truly multimedia mix of tasks. Many of the constituent steps aren’t really puzzles per se, although a couple of satisfying puzzles do appear later on.

The main pitfalls for our group were 1) getting bogged down at the start, 2) overthinking early stages, 3) what appeared to be a technical malfunction but might have just been impatience on our part. (Tip: If you follow instructions and nothing seems to happen, just wait.) The game itself is generally fair and perfectly winnable in theory — here’s hoping other groups do better than we did!

*We later realised that it’s possible to ignore this advice and gain a much better chance of winning, though I suppose teams who attempt a non-linear run may end up confused.

Result: Failed (but might have been able to clear it if we’d been more focused).

Collab & Conquer

Nomis Piy – Finding Christmas

When: 15 Dec 2018
Team: Six people
Venue: Enabling Village

Nomis Piy gave us all an early Christmas gift with this event, held within the Enabling Village at Redhill. There were quite a few surprises, starting from the impressively large first round of 25 mini puzzles. We appreciated that there was variation in the difficulty levels and types of aha — not easy to achieve, given the high number. One of my favourites made good use of the decorated setting. The five metapuzzles that followed were solidly rigorous, and led smoothly to a satisfying multi-step endgame.

As always, Nomis Piy makes excellent use of its puzzle materials, with every detail — even those that appear merely decorative — being put to good use. This event’s endgame also felt especially accomplished, tying together many aspects of what had come before.

The Christmas theme was clear, but the game was secular enough that those of us who weren’t religious (including myself) didn’t find it awkward. The introductory and concluding videos were also very sweet.

Result: We were the only team to finish the game within the 60min deadline, but certainly not the only team to enjoy the event.

Nomis Piy – Finding Christmas