- How escape rooms work?
- Why are escape rooms popular?
- Why are escape rooms good for team building?
- How much does escape rooms cost per person?
- Are escape rooms safe?
- Are escape rooms hard?
- Xcape Singapore – Real Escape Rooms
- LOST SG Escape Room
- Lockdown Escape
- Virtual Room Singapore – Virtual Reality Escape Room
- Amazing Chambers Singapura
- The Escape Hunt
You wake up beside a fresh corpse in a strange toilet. You are chained to a pipe. A stranger is with you, also alive and similarly chained, next to the same corpse. Both of you received the special instructions – you are to escape; he is to kill you.
This was the start of it all and fans of the movie franchise SAW would’ve already guessed it in a heartbeat. The entire movie is horrifying – and in my opinion, grotesque – but it is about one simple concept: you are locked in a room, now escape.
Mimicking the chill of this concept and expanding the thrill of it, we get the Escape Room games.
How escape rooms work?
There is no real Jigsaw Killer on your back – probably an imaginary one.
But you and your friends are really ‘locked’ in a room, and given the context of your captive, you all have to find a way out of the room through sniffing out clues, playing games and solving puzzles and riddles. Sometimes, you may have to go through a series of rooms before the final ‘escape’.
Escape rooms generally involve two modes of ‘escaping’:
- Scavenger Hunt
You find objects and clues to ‘escape’.
- Puzzle Solving
You solve puzzles and riddles to obtain objects that help you ‘escape’.
There are three ways to organised the games in escape rooms:
- Linear (Beginner Level)
The puzzles are solved in a sequence for the final ‘escape’. So when you have solved puzzle 1 using the clues from room 1, you proceed to room 2 for puzzle 2, and so on.
- Non-Linear (Intermediate Level)
There is less guidance here hence trickier and more brain teasing. In this system, you have to solve two or more puzzles in one room to ‘escape’. The loophole is that these puzzles are usually not related.
- Mix (Advanced Level)
The most complex out of the three because the puzzles are organised in both linear and nonlinear. This means there will be two or more puzzles in one room, and you have to solve them and then figure out their relationship and sequence to solve the overarching puzzle and ‘escape’.
The complexity of an escape room game can be further increased in the presence of obstacles – or hiccups – that may or may not be relevant to your ‘escape’. An Escape Room game that uses this tactic is termed ‘Red Herring’. Since the obstacles can be meaningless distractions, luring players off-track or wasting their time, Red Herring is considered the toughest to tackle.
‘The Great Escape’ is a Korean variety show that demonstrates the most complex of an escape room game – it is definitely a Red Herring, using a mixed system of a scavenger hunt and puzzle-solving.
Why are escape rooms popular?
Everyone loves a good mystery. Naturally, you want to know what’s at the end of the tunnel when you’re in it. Escape Room games poke at the human curiosity with their puzzles, riddles and hunts. The satisfaction received from solving each puzzle and ‘escaping’ imprisonment is immense and sometimes addictive.
We are also enchanted with the idea of ‘winning the bad guys’ – so much that we want to do it ourselves, and escape rooms offer this opportunity. Being ‘locked’ in a room brings out the ‘bad guy’ in the back of our minds as no right person would remove the freedom of another. Hence you want to ‘escape’ to ‘win the bad guys’.
Being trapped in the mundaneness of modern reality, we secretly wish to live the life of Harry Potter or Tony Stark. We know we can’t do it on our own, so we turn to the alternate pseudo-reality of escape rooms. Being immersed in a suspense thriller or a Jumanji-like hunt, takes us momentarily away from normality into a world of unpredictability, which shakes us with excitement.
Why are escape rooms good for team building?
Another popular reason for the escape rooms’ fame is their magic in facilitating teamwork. Hence many organisations use escape rooms as a mean of team building.
With everyone trapped in the same situation, having an unforeseen number of objects to hunt and puzzles to solve, naturally there is only one clear objective. Even the smartest alec in the team knows that it is impossible to ‘escape’ alone. So as the clock ticks away, individuals are pressured to work together.
Escape rooms also make the unwilling, the uninterested and the passive participate. Because there is no telling where the clues are, how the puzzles are solved and what objects to find – anything can be a hint which anyone can see or use to solve a puzzle. You may be alone in one corner, sulking or pretending to be invisible, but when you spot a locket or realise the pattern of a riddle, you’d instinctively alert the others. And you’re in it!
The fun and thrilling atmosphere of escape rooms also don’t discriminate strengths and weaknesses. Everyone adds value to the team – whether you are the CEO or an intern – which is the essence of teamwork. And each time someone finds a clue or an object, or solves a puzzle, everyone rejoices because the ‘escape’ is near, and this boosts the team’s morale.
How much does escape rooms cost per person?
The price per person for escape rooms in Singapore depending on the complexity of the games and the props used – the more complicated and intricate the game, the more realistic the props, the more a person needs to pay. The prices are also steeper during times of high human traffic. So they can be as low as $6 to as high as $49 per person.
Are escape rooms safe?
Has someone died from escape rooms? There was one case in Poland due to poor safety measures.
Hence in Singapore, escape rooms are carried out in the strictest and most proper safety measures, so they are safe for all ages. Since escape rooms are still operating in the universe of boring gravity and strict human-governing laws, there is still a limit to how real they can get.
Firstly, there is a moderator (the Game Master) with you all the way behind the scenes – so you’re not exactly alone. When you’re stuck, a voice – the Game Master’s – will blare out from somewhere, giving you the proper advice. The doors will also unlock automatically should an emergency arise – so you’re not entirely trapped.
Despite not being able to use your phone in the room – as they would be surrendered, silenced or switched off before you enter it -, you can still request to use it in case of an emergency, but you will have to take the call outside the escape room.
Other safety measures include: props meant to be ignored would usually come with warnings; ‘escape’ objects like keys would work smoothly so accident-inducing brute strength is reduced; players are advised to enter in comfortable attire, preferably no skirts and heels, and with a clear mind and good health – otherwise, they are refused entry to prevent more accidents; players of 14 years old or below must be accompanied with an adult of at least 18 years old.
With such meticulous guidelines, as long as you adhere to them, you will ‘escape’ as you have first been ‘locked’.
Are escape rooms hard?
Eventually, you have to ‘escape’ – they can’t lock you in forever. So, as mentioned, when you’re stuck, the Game Master would intervene and advise accordingly. But it’s still your decision to heed the advice or not.
Most escape room games have a time limit – either it’s known to you or only to the Game Master, so you still enjoy them in the fullest capacity.
But are the puzzles truly hard to solve, the objects hard to find? They will be, to a certain degree, and more so because you can’t use your phone in the room. But that’s where the fun lies! You wouldn’t want to pay for a game with lame easy puzzles and hunts, No?
Xcape Singapore – Real Escape Rooms
Located at Bugis Village, this pioneer of escape rooms in Singapore has been the local’s hot favourite, and offers 52 of the largest escape rooms of 10 themes, such as Azkaban, Busan Express and Kungfu Panda, with realistic ‘Hollywood style’ props.
Their escape rooms allow groups of 4 to 8, and come in 4 genres of theme – horror, thriller, fantasy and romance – clearly explained in their individual ranking for relevant factors (i.e. thrill, fear, physical, magical) and fun element. Depending on the difficulty level, each theme has a time limit of 60 or 75 minutes.
Based on their customer’s reviews, Xcape delivers as promised. The props are updated, using the latest available technology; the setting of the escape rooms is as realistic as a ‘Hollywood stage’. Coupled with believable plots that work seamlessly with the puzzles and effective Game Masters, every escape room here ensures a value-for-money experience for the players.
|Address||161 Rochor Rd, Bugis Village, Singapore 188436|
LOST SG Escape Room
Hidden in Peace Centre at Sophia Road, this place features 5 exceptional escape room games – each has its players going through a few rooms to make the final ‘escape’. These escape room games exist in various difficulty levels, from beginner to advanced, and in different themes such as Prison Break, The Suicide Forest and Treasure Hunting. Each theme has a time limit of 60 minutes.
The entire place can take 56 players at any moment with each escape room having a maximum capacity of 12. The puzzles are organised in a mixed system, and uniquely teasing. The escape rooms are set realistically with a combination of updated props and technology and real sounds.
From the reviews, their puzzles received the most compliments – they are unpredictable and mind-boggling but logical and thoroughly enjoyable. The best thing is all ages of players can enjoy the game. The Game Masters also provide effective interventions to facilitate a satisfying overall experience. Overall, a fantastic place for those who prefer a little more brain-teasing in their escape room experience.
|Address||1 Sophia Rd, #03-01/02/03, Singapore 228149|
Tucked away in Orchard Gateway, this place is the first in Singapore to offer virtual escape room games, on top of the usual brick and mortar ones. These virtual escape rooms can house a maximum of 500 players, with settings in the local context like Haw Par Villa, National Gallery, Night Safari and other familiar local sites.
Inspired by the time of a pandemic, their virtual escape rooms are created to be equally useful for team building and can now cater for large organisations and universities. As such, the company is currently conducting briefings with detailed demonstrations to help players familiarise with the video conferencing platforms and online collaborative tools.
The themes of their escape room games are also built in the local contexts – such as True Lies and Code of Silence.
|Address||277 Orchard Rd, #02-02, Singapore 238858|
Virtual Room Singapore – Virtual Reality Escape Room
Nestled at basement 3 of Lucky Chinatown at New Bridge Road, this place offers escape room games in virtual reality. You get ‘a full 3D cinematic experience’ throughout your ‘escape’. Due to the high tech gadgets, the price per pax is the highest in this list. There are 22 escape rooms; each one can hold a maximum of 4 players.
The pluses – the super realistic escape room setup which you are completely immersed in sight and hearing, and the equally realistic effects which impossible and extravagant to build in real life, such as moving furniture and shaking grounds. This means even the very young ones get the full experience of the thrill at a ‘safe’ distance. The minuses are then the inability to ‘touch’ what is seen and the breaking up of groups larger than 4.
Each escape room game takes 40 to 50 minutes, but you will be given a full hour. The spread of themes is narrow but still exciting in their capacity – the award-winning ‘Are We Dead?’ and ‘Time Travel Chapter II’.
Even in virtual reality, you can collaborate with your teammates, and a Game Master journeys with you in the background. The puzzles are less of a highlight and received mixed responses – the seasoned players would find them too easy. But, aside from the close to soundproof rooms and non-wireless headsets, this place is still enchanting for a family outing.
|Address||211 New Bridge Rd, Level B3 Lucky Chinatown, Singapore 059432|
Amazing Chambers Singapura
This place offers 7 themes of escape room games based on 800 years of local history. The anticipated ones are Princess Radin Mas Ayu, Sang Nila Utama Lost Crown and The Curse: The legend of Tanggang.
Held in a historical building, the 22 rooms with over 100 props and gadgets, updated technology and sound effects, and the unique unfolding of plots already give you a near realistic experience of the past. Each room can host 10 players, but special arrangements can be made for even larger groups with prior notice.
Each game has a time limit of 60 minutes. Despite its realistic setting and witty storytelling, the puzzles are not as brain-teasing, and they do not work seamlessly with the plot. The Game Masters are like museum tour guides, and the room is not exclusive to you and your teammates. Despite the room’s capacity, groups of 2 to 4 are recommended. Overall, this escape room game seemed more suitable for the less experienced or school events.
Situated at Sultan Gate, away from the bustling malls, this place is nice to offer a cafe for players to chill after a good game, so it is still an enjoyable visit on a boring afternoon.
|Address||73 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198497|
The Escape Hunt
Hidden in Concorde Hotel & Shopping Mall at Orchard Road, this Bangkok brand of escape room games offers escape rooms for 2 to 4 players. Larger groups maximum 12 can then be paired or split to play against each other. At any time, they can accommodate 36 players who can be as young as 7 years old.
The place has 6 rooms and 3 themes – Mystery of the 27 Club, The Whitechapel and The Secret Assignment. Each escape room is realistically set up with objects and clues, using updated technology. Every game is worth 60 to 90 minutes with puzzles that are solid and seamless with the plots and guided by clues that sometimes feel like spoilers. But we are still saved by the engaging storytelling.
The puzzles are challenging and have caused players to sit out. But you can use a doorbell to call for help, and your stipulated Game Master would drop in organically to advise appropriately. This is very disruptive for me because the physical presence of a guide would deter me from immersing into the escape room reality. But, the exclusive use of a room mellowed the frustration.
Though this place offers tea and biscuits for players to chill after a good game, it wasn’t implemented properly and the good customer service was inconsistent.
If you’re up for it, this place is still overall worthy for group competitions in the arena of escape room games.
|Address||100 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238840|