Freeing SG – Twilight

This room is a classic freeing room with several technological flairs, as well as relatively simple and fewer puzzles, therefore making it a good pick for beginners.

The puzzles here are pretty easy, to the extent you may escape within less than half an hour if you’re experienced. I have a minor gripe with a mid game puzzle, but I guess it was still reasonable to figure it out on a whole. Nevertheless, there are a couple of interesting ones that feel pretty realistic, and are well-woven into the storyline more literally than I expected, which is nice.

Technology here is typical of what you can expect of freeing: A couple of cool mechanisms that spice up regular code locks. Though not as extensive as in some of their other rooms like the enchanted wardrobe and poseidon, I would say the mechanisms here are well utilised to add to the thrill factor of escaping.

This room is creepy but not overly so, and would be good for 2 players due to its scale and linearity.

Difficulty: 2/10

Logic: 7/10

Technology: 7/10

Atmosphere: 6/10

Overall enjoyment: 7/10

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Living Legends SG – Jeremiah’s Manor

From the get-go, I got the feeling that this room would be something special. The effective introduction got us into the right frame of mind, and the hint system is in theme with the room, something which I haven’t really seen elsewhere in Singapore. There is a nice little twist that the staff introduced to us before the start of the game, and was essential to progress in the room.

Technology is top notch, and used to great effect. The room is a little reminiscent of the apartment, with several well-timed triggers throughout the game. More importantly, everything is there for a purpose and the tech is seamlessly integrated into the storyline. More and more things that originally seemed decorative became involved in the adventure as we moved along, and we really felt like investigators in a mystery. Technology is also used to develop the paranormal aspect of the story, which led to a stunning moment in the game. The best part is that everything worked, which isn’t even close to a certainty in most high tech rooms around here.

The puzzles are logical and flow along with the storyline. Everything you do has a purpose in advancing the storyline, to quite an extent you don’t get elsewhere. Instead of being almost purely executional like most other high tech creepy rooms, the puzzles presented here are varied and pose a decent intellectual challenge.

To add on, this room has multiple endings, depending on the actions you take throughout the game! This is the first time I’ve seen such a thing in an escape room, which added to the wow factor. It doesn’t seem like an obvious choice would be made during the game, but it exists, and to varying degrees as well. The room isn’t replayable, unfortunately. Also, the owners have introduced a nightmare mode (extra special effects) and easy mode (for beginners), which is also something new and very thoughtful of the owners. Our team played the nightmare mode, which is really atmospheric and impressive, but overall not too scary. This room has a generous 90 minute time limit, and appropriately features enough content.

The staff are extremely friendly and are willing to discuss your experience after the game, which is always nice. This room is good for 4-5 players, and is really spacious. You could even accommodate up to 8 if you like (the puzzles aren’t entirely linear, which is a good thing).

To sum it up, this is one of the best escape rooms I’ve ever played. Nearly nothing comes close, especially in terms of immersion and overall cohesiveness. It is a must play! I’m looking forward to their upcoming two rooms.

Difficulty: 6/10

Atmosphere: 10/10

Technology: 10/10

Logic: 9/10

Overall enjoyment: 10/10

Roomraider SG – The Crypt

Roomraider closed down its first outlet a couple of months ago before I had the chance to try a second room there, which is kinda sad. Nevertheless, as the escape room scene evolves and other companies like the escape artist and escape hunt come up with new rooms which are pretty well done, I was excited to try one of the new roomraider rooms.

The crypt was an Egyptian tomb raiding game, and I wanted to experience another room of this sort after having played Lost SG’s Exodus last year. However, even after lowering my expectations, I didn’t have a good impression the moment I stepped into the room. The room was half-decorated, with wallpaper covering only half the walls. To add to that, there were several electrical contraptions such as radios, chargers and number pads that made me wonder if I was actually in an ancient tomb.

There are very few ‘puzzles’ in this room, and some of them require unfair intuitive leaps to solve. Often you might find yourself at a loss of what to do next thanks to the numerous unfair red herrings around. Honestly without these red herrings you would be able to escape within 15 minutes. I kept telling myself that the room would get better as we progressed along but it was quite the opposite. There weren’t any satisfying moments that arose from solving clever puzzles.

There is little tech employed, mostly in the form number pads. The fact that there were wires and cables and the like lying around only served to lower immersion levels. The room is so bare yet it is rather searchy, which isn’t a good place to be in. There is no physicality involved in this room as well.

I feel that this room is bad, and if you really want to try it you can fit up to 3 people inside. But don’t. There are many other better rooms out there which deserve your attention. This room feels like something so half-baked (yes I have a big gripe about the wall papers) and so raw and… I don’t know what else to say. Maybe I’m being extremely harsh in this review, but it is really what it is.

Difficulty: 6/10

Atmosphere: 2/10

Technology: 2/10

Logic: 1.5/10

Overall enjoyment: 0/10

Captivate Escape Rooms – Cirque

I’ve always enjoyed captivate rooms due to their creative and original puzzles, and I came back to play their newest room with that expectation. To keep a long story short: this room didn’t disappoint, and delivered on other fronts as well.

Quite surprisingly for captivate, there is a little technology incorporated into this room. Sometimes it is just used to provide an alternative to the regular locks that you commonly find in captivate rooms, and at other times it is part of a creative puzzle. This adds some variation to the room.

The puzzles in this room are rigorous and logically strong. There are also a great variety of them, and of varying difficulty levels as well. As you might come to expect of captivate, they have interesting props that feature hands-on problem solving at more than one point, and this added to the fun factor of the room. Atypically for a captivate room, this room feels tougher than usual, with several cool moments of realisation to be made, which is always nice. Also unusually for captivate, this room actually engages the storyline midway through, which makes the entire experience feel more cohesive and well-rounded.

Amongst captivate’s collection, this room is a nice, tough one. It may seem rather bare at times, but you’ll be surprised that good searchers would be important at points. Also note that this room isn’t completely linear, so do be organised when sorting out clues. There is a reasonable amount of space, and therefore I would recommend 3-5 players.

On a side note, I attempted this room with the author of escapingsg.wordpress.com. Do check out her review here!

Difficulty: 8/10

Atmosphere: 7.5/10

Technology: 5/10

Logic: 9/10

Overall enjoyment: 8.5/10

Xcape – Vampire Diaries

This room feels like a buck in the trend of high-tech Xcape rooms, with numerous code locks around. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the surprise factor is still kept up by other factors (more on that below).

The puzzles are fairly logical in nature, and are unlikely to pose challenges to any experiences players as the formats aren’t anything particularly special or new. Still, the number of steps needed to escape this room is on the high end, such that experienced players won’t escape too quickly. This also means that beginners might find it tough to progress far enough for this room to make it worth playing. Some puzzles may feel tedious, especially when it is difficult to input the answer even when you know you’ve got it right.

Technology is used sparingly, and doesn’t really add much to the overall experience when it is employed. However, there are two stunning moments in this room due to its physical layout, and I think that this room is worth playing just to experience them. The seemingly disconnected storyline did become more relevant as the room approached the critical moment, and you have to play it to experience it.

This room is good for 4-5 players, to help with the more tedious puzzles as well as some searching on the way. Do ask for hints when you are stuck as there is quite a lot to be done, or else you will never get to experience the room’s highlights before time runs out. Beginners might feel more frustrated than anything, as progress will likely be slow, so I wouldn’t recommend this room to them. Other than that, this is a pretty good room as a whole.

Difficulty: 8/10

Atmosphere: 7/10

Technology: 4/10

Logic: 7.5/10

Overall enjoyment: 8/10

Freeing SG – Poseidon

This is a very adventurous room, on multiple fronts, with dramatic flourishes and other special effects going on. I won’t say that it’s difficult by any measure, but it certainly contains more to do than the average freeing room, which is definitely a good thing. The atmosphere is well done up, especially in the first half of the room, and makes the setting feel rather realistic.

The puzzles are nothing really special, and are quite reliant on matching. However, the formats they take on are creative and rather novel at times, so I’ll give the room credit for that. There is also an obvious effort made to make the puzzles storyline-relevant, though I felt that this only partially succeeded.

This room shines on the tech front, with multiple cool moments that will impress even seasoned players. The start of the room is also particularly inspired and relates well to the entire theme and backstory. If anything, you have to play this room just for its beginning, and that’s not saying the rest of the room has nothing to offer. Technology-infused surprises continue to present themselves right till the very end, and a dramatic moment near the conclusion is just the cherry on top. Unfortunately, the use of technology often lends itself to failure, which happened more than once to my team. That made things feel more frustrating than it should have, and did affect the overall enjoyment score below. If your team is lucky enough to not face these problems, then your experience would be a great one.

Do note that this room as well as the enchanted wardrobe room at the very same plaza sing outlet are similar in nature, especially in the ending, so it would be my advice to not play these two rooms back to back or within a short span of time. In either case, the second of these two rooms might feel less impressive than the first. Regardless, I still recommend both rooms due to their obvious strengths. 2 players are enough, and the room would be crowded with any more than 4.

Difficulty: 5/10

Atmosphere: 8.5/10

Technology: 9.5/10

Logic: 6/10

Overall enjoyment: 5.5/10 (due to tech failure)

Freeing SG – Back to the Future

For starters, I would say that this is a rather atypical freeing sg room, and for the right reasons. It has several cool moments and fun hands on tasks in addition to logical puzzles, and wraps everything up nicely with a rather cohesive storyline that I liked. Most other freeing rooms have storylines or descriptors that are essentially there for display; this room actually makes creative use of the story to provide a well-rounded experience.

The puzzles are logical and there is a decent mix of them. Most importantly, they are well integrated into the setting and largely connected to the story. There is quite a hefty chunk of reading to be done, but you shouldn’t skip over it as it would be crucial towards developing the storyline and your overall experience in the room. However, there is an annoying flaw with one of the props. That actually resulted in us completely skipping a lock and that did absolutely nothing to hamper our progress (more on that later). Other than that, there were a decent number of puzzles to engage your team for the most part of the hour (unlike a number of their newer rooms) so that was certainly appreciated. Do note that people who can read Chinese, or at least recognise Chinese characters might have an easier time.

As this room is set in the Singapore of the old days, there isn’t much in the way of technology or automation, but freeing does what it does well to include many fun hands on puzzle solving aspects. The physical tasks as well as the nature of the room setup might (and I believe have already) unintentionally encourage teams to be more creative than they should to achieve certain desired outcomes. This might not necessarily be bad (since it’s sort of part of the escape process) but as mentioned above we completely skipped over a locked box due to this. The ending is also really cool.

Yes, this is a room that I enjoyed as it was creative, logical and cohesive, in addition to the couple of cool surprises which you must experience, especially if you’re a seasoned escape room player. It is good for 2-3 players and is on the tougher end of freeing’s rooms.

On a side note, I attempted this room with the author of the blog escapingsg.wordpress.com and had a great time! Do check out her review here.

Difficulty: 7/10

Atmosphere: 8.5/10

Technology: 6.5/10

Logic: 8.5/10

Overall enjoyment: 8.5/10

Breakout Games – The Forgotten Treasure

Breakout’s newest room is special in the sense that there are two unique versions of it that are playable in the same game space, and if you complete one under half an hour you get to play the second completely free of charge! The corollary is that there are a couple of red herrings around, but this room is simple so it shouldn’t affect your gameplay by much.

Just like all other breakout rooms, the puzzles are original, creative and very satisfying to solve. Despite this room being really easy for experienced teams such that the 30 minute target is highly realistic and achievable, it still boasts a couple of cool moments of realisation, which is what I like most about their rooms in general. Both versions of this room are about equal in difficulty level, although I prefer the ‘lights’ version to the ‘letters’ version, as the company names them. You should play both, though.

There is barely any use of technology, which is classic breakout style, but this fits the storyline and setting well, and doesn’t make the room any less enjoyable. Surprisingly, there is some physicality involved, which is out of the blue for breakout’s rooms but nevertheless makes a nice change.

When I played this room one part wasn’t set up properly, and on top of that there was a spoilt lock. Kudos to the staff, who handled the situation professionally. I guess this room is rather new and might have some ‘teething’ issues which I can forgive easily. Hopefully it won’t happen to other teams.

This is an easy room yet has a decent number of puzzles to solve. I would say 2-3 people is best as the space isn’t very big. It is one of the most logical rooms out there for beginners, and experienced teams will also enjoy themselves.

Difficulty: 2/10

Atmosphere: 7/10

Technology: 1.5/10

Logic: 9.5/10

Overall enjoyment: 8.5/10

Freeing SG – Old Changi Hospital

In this room, you are tasked to explore the abandoned hospital in search of evidence of the creation of super-soldiers, and escape the place before time runs out. Just like the other rooms at this plaza singapura outlet, this room is rather creative in its own right.

The setting is appropriately creepy and well done up, and technology is used sparingly, and I would say, to good effect. This is in line with the fact that this room is supposed to be antique and run down. The best and most dramatic part of the room came a little too early on, but is still a great surprise that alone makes this room good. This is my favourite part of escape rooms in general, and they still managed to catch me off guard here! A keen sense of observation will point to something perculiar and this is very well in the theme of exploring an unknown place.

The puzzles are logical and decent, but nothing outstanding. A few of them might feel unconnected to the plot, but at least there isn’t much guesswork or ambiguity here. Again, there are only a few things to solve, so experienced teams might finish the room very quickly once they get past the beginning. On that note, my advise is to NOT ask for a hint early on if you happen to be stuck – there isn’t really anything time-consuming later on and the biggest satisfaction is to get past the early game without help.

A decent room with a couple of minor scares/surprises along the way, and good for three people. I just wished that they had a few more puzzles towards the end.

Difficulty: 5/10

Atmosphere: 8.5/10

Technology: 7/10

Logic: 8.5/10

Overall enjoyment: 7/10

Xcape – Annabelle

After playing the morgue and having a great time, I had to play Annabelle. I thought Annabelle was scarier than the morgue despite having not watched the latest movie (heard it’s terrifying though). It was an extremely well crafted game, and all the technology worked, delivering surprises and jump scares out of nowhere to further engage you with the story.

Expecting a more execution based game like the morgue and the apartment (seems to be a trend in scary rooms where each action you take is apprehensive and waiting for the next trigger to occur), I was pleasantly surprised to find a fair number of creative and logical puzzles to be solved in Annabelle. There was a decent variety of them, and I particularly enjoyed the puzzles where you had to interpret cryptic instructions. There were, of course, the more execution based tasks, but those are normally followed up with a well timed jump scare that can throw you off despite you being mentally prepared for what might come.

Here comes the tech. When everything worked, it made for a seamless experience that was scary and thrilling. The supernatural aspect of this room is highlighted pretty well, and one absolute stunner near the endgame made me go wow even after playing 50 escape rooms, which is rare. The physical aspects of the room are also great, with multiple secret compartments that need to be revealed throughout the game. This is what I personally enjoy in an escape room, discovering hidden spaces when you seem to have met a dead end.

Yes, this room is scary, and there are multiple high impact points throughout the game to keep you on your toes. However, it also contains a fair number of interesting puzzles and fun physical aspects. Having at least one person who is physically able and one brave person would help immensely. One of the best escape rooms I’ve played so far.

Difficulty: 7/10 (varies based on how brave your group is)

Atmosphere: 9.5/10

Technology: 10/10

Logic: 8/10

Overall enjoyment: 9.5/10