Index

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
SCRAP – ONE PIECE Puzzle Hunt

Encounter
Encounter – The Dormitory
Encounter – The Community Centre

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

Lockdown/ThinkOut
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
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

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

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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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
https://toyboxsingapore.com/play

SCRAP – ONE PIECE Puzzle Hunt

[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
https://sg.onepiecepuzzlehunt.com/

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
https://collabandconquer.peatix.com/

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
https://findingchristmas.peatix.com/
http://nomispiy.com/

 

The Escape Artist – Operation Rescue Mid-Autumn

When: 15 Sep 2018
Team: Five people
Venue: Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre

I’d missed The Escape Artist’s previous bilingual event at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, so I was particularly looking forward to this one. The bilingual aspect turned out to be irrelevant, as the puzzles were the same and the answers were still in English, with the only difference being the explanatory text. This does make sense for consistency and ease of implementation, but I did wish there had been some significant bilingual differences (like how SCRAP’s Japanese games sometimes use the Japanese language itself).

One might have expected such a family-friendly mass event to be light on puzzles. Although there were indeed a limited number of puzzles, they included a couple of rigorous and hence satisfying ones (of which my favourite made clever use of a cultural element and also taught us interesting facts about mooncakes). The metapuzzle was admittedly rather unsatisfying, but not to the extent of ruining the experience.

One pleasant (and surprising) consequence of the event’s family-oriented nature was how it allowed us to rediscover the simple childhood joys of arts-and-crafts and cute physical tasks like mini archery. There were also dramatic story-relevant moments that reinforced the overarching narrative and cultural theme — and were just plain cool. The atmospheric setting of the finale helped the event to end on a strong note, too.

Structurally, TEA demonstrated their usual strength of avoiding bottlenecks, with a non-linear main round spread out over several floors and a brief linear endgame. From what I saw, there didn’t seem to be much queueing, even though there were checkpoints which only allowed one team at a time.

Operation Rescue Mid-Autumn underscored how a participant’s experience can be elevated by more than the puzzles themselves, and illustrated how escape events can be a medium for genuine learning. I for one hope that TEA’s collaborations with the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre continue. Though would it be too much to hope for a genuinely bilingual game someday, with two separate language options..?

Result: Rescued Mid-Autumn, and had a lot of fun in the process.


The Escape Artist – Operation Rescue Mid-Autumn
https://rescuemidautumn.peatix.com/
http://www.theescapeartist.sg/

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