Friday, April 4, 2014

The Escape Artist Review

There's so much I wanna blog about but I can't find the time to do so. I am working about 3-4 days at Lockdown SG and my other days are also filled with activities, hence the lack of updates. Finally managed to find time to write up on the recent visit to The Escape Artist (T.E.A for short). That's one down and few more posts to go:]

The interest in room escape games began when I started working at Lockdown. I like the find-your-way-out-through-wits and searching for items concepts, makes me feel as though as I am in a movie. I know it is a weird reason but due to my limited vocabulary, I can't seems to find a better explanation for it. hahahas! But it is fun, you should go try it sometimes with your friends:)

A lil' about T.E.A:

TheEscapeArtist or T.E.A in short, is founded by 3 friends who share a love for deciphering clues and codes to solve challenging puzzles. A combination of these clues and puzzles embedded in a locked up scenario similar to that in movies or video games give birth to the real life escape game. The origins of such reality escape games actually began in Japan and have now gained fans across many different countries such as US, China & HK before coming to Singapore. 

Motivated by the lack of alternative entertainment and a stressful environment in Singapore, T.E.A is created to give players the chance to relieve stress by escaping from reality and immersing themselves in this refreshingly new-age entertainment experience.

The room that I played was Injustice at Princep Street.
Framed and sentenced to death for a crime you didn't commit. 
This is your last window of opportunity before your meeting with the hangman. Will you surrender to fate, or take destiny into your own hands? 

 You decide.

Lighting: 4/5
Physicality: 3/5
Difficulty: 2/5
Fear Factor: 1/5
Recommended group size: Suitable for 6-10 players 
Remarks: Jail Breaker Fans, Dress/Skirt not recommended

My verdict? I won't go back for a few reasons.

1) Price. They charge $22 per pax for off peak hours and $28 for peak hours. For a 50 minutes game, I think they are slightly overpriced. There are other places with advanced technologies and a longer duration for a cheaper rate. 

But the good thing is that they won't combine you with strangers. Once you booked the slot, the whole room belongs to you and your friends for 50mins. Some places (e.g. FreeingSG) will combine the people into a room if the maximum capacity is not hit. 
E.g. If you book for 4 online and on that day, it happens that there are 4 walk ins who want to play the same room with the same time slot as your booking, they will put the 2 groups together.

2) Tools. The idea is there, many cool ways of deciphering the codes and what nots but what is so turned off about the whole game is that, the rooms are full of 4 digits number locks. So technically, my friends and I kept seeing the same number locks over and over again-which made the whole experience mundane. I was totally out of the mood halfway through the game despite being excited in the beginning. It would have been better if they have more variation for locks. 

3) Clues hinting. I would have to say T.E.A's service is not bad, cheery game masters etc. But what pissed off my friends was that, they gave us the wrong hints 2 out of the 3 times we called. We wanted the hint for drawer A but they asked us about the small safe box,which we had already opened. 2nd time was we wanted the hint to open the small brown box but they gave us the answer for drawer A, which we had also opened. In the end, we spent 1 minute explaining our situation, they spent 1 minutes giving us the wrong answers and we spent another 1 minute explaining our situations again. You may think it is only 3 minutes but mark my words, every minute is precious in room escape games.

Apparently it seemed like they didn't understand what we were asking for. But hey, you do have the cctvs around to see what are we doing right? Besides, I wasn't the first one to encounter this. One of my work colleagues, who frequent such places to play, encountered twice among his visits to T.E.A. 

My friend was a bit pissed so she just asked them for the answers since we were running out of time and that they didn't understand the hints given. When the time was up, the game master came up and it was obvious that she was upset based on her facial expressions. But nonetheless, it was my friend's fault on our part because her tone wasn't nice.

It was a first for all of them, except me (FreeingSG was my first experience), and they didn't quite enjoy it. I haven't try the rest of the rooms but I doubt I will though. There are no scary props in the room though the fear factor is 1/5. The rating probably comes from the dimmed environment for the first room because it is in a cell which makes sense because you can't expect a prison cell to be brightly lighted right?

And no, we failed to break out on time:(

For first timers, I won't recommend T.E.A. Breakout, Lockdown or Phantom Joker are better options in terms of pricing, tools and duration.

Operating Hours 
Mon-Thurs: 12pm-11pm
Fri-Sun: 12pm-12am
Peak: Weekdays after 6pm, Weekends & Public Holidays
Off-Peak: Weekdays before 6pm

Bukit Timah: 
Peak Rates: $18/pax a session
Off-peak Rates: $15/pax a session

Prinsep Street: 
Peak Rates: $28/pax a session
Off-peak Rates: $22/pax a session

Their website: The Escape Artist

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