For international visitors: Please note that this blog (and its recs!) are intended for a Singapore-based audience. I wouldn’t recommend Singapore as a destination for escape room tourism; it has few must-plays on an international scale. (None of my personal top 10 still-operating rooms are in Singapore.)


Please use the Contact form if you have specific questions about which rooms to try, how scary/difficult a particular room is, etc.

I’ve also noticed people searching for walkthroughs. I won’t give spoilers for rooms. However, if you failed to escape from a room, don’t want to try again, and the escape room company didn’t tell you the answers, drop me a line and we can chat about it.

Overall review: The Escape Artist (Harbourfront Centre)

The Escape Artist closed its Sentosa Gateway branch only to open a new one in the same neighbourhood, this time inside Harbourfront Centre.

The outlet is a shared space with VR game provider V-Room (you might recognise them from Lockdown’s Orchard Central outlet). This might be confusing to passersby; we overheard a few saying “Wah, got escape rooms… Oh, it’s VR?” Hopefully this isn’t too much of an obstacle for getting casual shoppers to try out escape rooms, because the rooms here are well worth playing.

Granted, compared to the expansive and physically adventurous rooms of Sentosa Gateway, these new rooms are less exciting. But Unknown Signal and Night Before The Storm still provide a decent sense of adventure, particularly the former.

Gatecrash was admittedly a bit of a disappointment, because it felt like such an old-school room — but for beginners, it could be a good place to start. With all three rooms having reliably logical puzzles, The Escape Artist’s new outlet is RECOMMENDED as a solid addition to the local scene.

Staff: Friendly and welcoming, taking the time to explain each room’s premise.

Hints: Available via intercom phone.

Will your group be combined with strangers? No

Rooms tried: 3 out of 3

Recommended team size: 2 to 5 people


Specific room reviews
Gatecrash
Unknown Signal
Night Before The Storm


The Escape Artist (Harbourfront Centre)
http://theescapeartist.sg/

The Escape Artist – Night Before The Storm

Note: The Escape Artist is running a contest (till Dec 31) in which the fastest team to complete this room wins a G-Shock and a Baby-G.

Their description: A reconnaissance squad has failed to return. Selected as part of a team of elite ninjas to track their whereabouts, you reached the last known location and realized that it was a trap.

You must now quickly investigate the motive and escape before it’s too late. Hayaku!


Fans of a certain ninja anime can play this for the theme alone. For everyone else, there’s still enough to like about the experience.

Rated as the most difficult room of the outlet, Night Before The Storm lives up to this for largely the right reasons (it depends on how you feel about a certain puzzle genre; I dislike it, but others might enjoy/not mind the rigour). There was one puzzle in particular that I appreciated for its layered nature, and another for its subtlety. One midgame puzzle suffers from some ambiguity, but otherwise the solving process is logical and well-clued.

Apart from a bit of action at the start, this is pretty sedate for a ninja-themed room, but that also means you don’t need to worry about physical requirements. There’s a sustained narrative and clear effort put into the setting, with a couple of cool setpieces. Overall, Night Before The Storm is RECOMMENDED as a challenging but fair room with some cool aspects.

Puzzle difficulty: 4/5
Puzzle logic: 3.5/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 3/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3.5/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 3/5
Storyline integration: 3/5

Their suggested number of players: n/a
My suggested number of players: 3 to 5

The Escape Artist – Unknown Signal

Their description: Dispatched to investigate a report of screams, you arrived outside a cabin in the woods and noticed that this was the scene of the infamous serial murder that remained unsolved a year ago.

Your communication device soon began to crackle with weird sounds before you realised that an unknown contact is sending something that you might actually want to see. A plea for help from the past…


Unknown Signal is a much more polished experience than Gatecrash, with solid production values. Despite The Escape Artist’s 3-ghost ‘fear factor’ rating, it isn’t scary, just atmospheric.

The room starts strong, with an evocative beginning and clever touches. The communication device mentioned in the official description plays an interesting role, maintaining a sense of interaction as the team progresses. I also appreciated various multimedia elements in the puzzle-solving.

The puzzles themselves were logical and satisfying, with various degrees of integration into the setting. There were a couple of tech hiccups, so consider calling if you think you’ve got things right but aren’t getting your desired result.

Perhaps my main complaint has to do with the endgame, which feels ambiguous (and it seems we weren’t the only team to think so). The Escape Artist may or may not be changing this; if you’ve played Unknown Signal recently and would like to share your views, do get in touch!

Unknown Signal is RECOMMENDED as a solid all-rounder. Though it has a physicality rating of 3, you only need one team member without mobility issues; the other members just need to be able to climb stairs.

Puzzle difficulty: 3/5
Puzzle logic: 3.5/5 (4.5 if not for the endgame)
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 3.5/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3.5/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 3.5/5
Storyline integration: 3/5

Their suggested number of players: n/a
My suggested number of players: 3 to 5

The Escape Artist – Gatecrash

Their description: After a few hours of partying and drinking, you and your friends were going to your car when a police officer appeared and detained all of you for drink driving.

Worried and scared, you followed and were brought to a dodgy detention centre to spend the night. As the jail cell is locked, little did you know that your night is about to get a whole lot darker…


This split-start room felt rather old-school. It’s a good beginner-friendly entry into the world of escape rooms, but veterans might feel as if they’ve time-travelled back to the start of the industry.

That’s not to say that it’s a bad room. The puzzles are logical and fair, apart from a midgame one that might feel unsatisfying. While the setting is minimalist, there are a couple of fun touches (though one of them runs the risk of becoming frustrating). And the narrative is cute, if flimsy.

This outlet is located in a mall, increasing the chance of casual walk-ins; perhaps an entry-level room such as Gatecrash helps to introduce escape rooms to new players. As a smooth-sailing experience with some fun moments, it’s WORTH A TRY, especially for beginners or teams of two. But I’d prioritise the other two rooms in this outlet instead.

Puzzle difficulty: 2.5/5
Puzzle logic: 4/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 2/5

Atmosphere and setting: 2/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 2.5/5
Storyline integration: 2.5/5

Their suggested number of players: n/a
My suggested number of players: 2 to 4

Xcape – Home Sweet Home

Their description: This house has been vacant for 2 years. The previous owners were a well-liked family. The father was a rich yet humble man, the mother was gentle and elegant, and the eldest son was charming and smart. However, the youngest son was always a bit of a loner with a weird personality. One night, following screams coming from within the house, the whole family vanished into thin air. No one in town ever saw them again…


Despite the horror movie-esque premise, Xcape gives this room a “thrill factor” rating of three out of five skulls, and that’s about right — it’s less scary than most of their other rooms, which allows cowards like me to play and enjoy it.

The game starts with a cute in-character intro — though early distractions mean that it might take a while for teams to get going. Once you start making progress, however, the rest of the experience unfolds quite readily, with some cool surprises and creative ideas in the mix.

While physically less ambitious than the average Xcape room, Home Sweet Home still provides some thrills and surprises, with a sustained narrative thread that leads up to a dramatic finale.

The solving process isn’t completely smooth: apart from the aforementioned potential red herrings at the start, there are one or two points where it’s easy to overthink and thus get frustrated. But those are minor hiccups in an otherwise RECOMMENDED room.

Puzzle difficulty: 3/5
Puzzle logic: 4/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 3.5/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3.5/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 3.5/5
Storyline integration: 3.5/5

Their suggested number of players: 4 to 5
My suggested number of players: 3 to 5; possible but tougher with 2

Xcape – Vincenzo

Their description: 20 years ago, there was a huge scandal at the famous Cecil Hotel owned by the Victor mafia family. The hotel’s female singer “Black Rose” was found dead in Room 33 of the hotel. After some investigation, the case was classified as a suicide. The Victor family’s reputation was severely tarnished due to the incident, and eventually the Cassano family took over the hotel. Black Rose’s husband insists that his wife was murdered. Not being able to cope with his wife’s death, he soon killed himself inside his own home. The case became known as the “Black Rose Tragedy”. 20 years have passed, and once again there has been a peculiar suicide case at Cecil Hotel. This time the deceased is the 3rd most powerful man in the Cassano family – Paul Cassano. His case seems eerily similar to what happened to Black Rose. Did he really kill himself, or is this some kind of conspiracy? You are a lawyer working for the Cassano mafia family. You do not believe Paul Cassano would ever kill himself, therefore you have come to the scene of the crime to investigate. The truth lies in the details.


The 75-minute Vincenzo experience isn’t an escape room; Xcape describes it as a “non-classic murder mystery game”. You play not as suspects, but purely as investigators (technically one investigator, haha). I’d compare it to the old CSI experience by Lockdown, or the Bar Murder room by LOST in JB.

For me, this unique structure alone would be enough to make the game worth checking out. Happily, the experience also proved enjoyable, all the way from the in-character beginning to the comprehensive narrative ending.

The gameplay is quite well designed in controlling the order in which you uncover evidence — and thus the order in which you might form and/or confirm theories. There’s a good mix of searching, figuring out codes from in-narrative info, and piecing together the facts of the case.

The case itself is solid; not necessarily that difficult, but complex enough to feel satisfying, with some clever details. There’s a repeated mechanic which isn’t really diegetic, but becomes ‘invisible’ enough that it doesn’t affect immersion (at least for me).

Perhaps my only complaints are 1) a checkpoint midway through which feels a little forced, 2) a couple of points at which immersion was lessened, 3) one or two more tenuous inferences. But these are minor rather than game-marring flaws. Overall, I’d say this is RECOMMENDED for anyone who appreciates a murder mystery and is willing to forgive some immersion-breaking aspects.

Case difficulty: 3.5/5
Case logic: 4/5
Multimedia aspect of investigation: 3.5/5

Atmosphere and setting: 4/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 4/5
Storyline integration: 4.5/5

Their suggested number of players: 4 to 6
My suggested number of players: 3 to 5

Captivate – Mythical Beasts

Their description: A wizard has an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in Singapore, he misplaced his magical case, and his mythical beasts escaped. Can you find the creatures before they cause havoc?


The cute entryway to the room sets the tone: this is a magical adventure with a very obvious source of inspiration. The room does indeed have moments of magic, enabled by varying degrees of tech (though a couple of clever low-tech surprises were actually my favourites).

There’s a range of puzzles, most (though not all) of which are integrated cleverly into the setting — which is admittedly on the sparse side. There are a few small annoyances, such as red herrings and one puzzle that feels imprecise. But the overall experience is still more satisfying than frustrating.

In terms of scale and atmosphere, the room wasn’t as exciting as I’d hoped, but there’s certainly enough content to entertain. Overall, this is a fun experience that’s WORTH A TRY — especially for fans of the aforementioned source of inspiration — but do manage your expectations.

Puzzle difficulty: 3.5/5
Puzzle logic: 3.5/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 4/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3.5/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 3.5/5
Storyline integration: 2.5/5

Their suggested number of players: 2 to 8
My suggested number of players: 2 to 4

Trapped – Revenge of Dracula

Their description: It is the medieval times and you have heard that Count Dracula is seeking new blood in your town. He has settled at an abandoned castle near your village.

The only chance is to catch Dracula by surprise and kill that blood sucking demon once and for all. But hurry, you only have an hour before he wakes up again to wreak havoc on the poor towns people.


Revenge of Dracula begins with an interesting narrative hook, so it’s a bit of a shame that the story seems to trail off afterwards. We also found an early puzzle somewhat disappointing, though others might not have an issue.

In any case, the room’s strength arguably lies less in its puzzles and more in its various fun flourishes, which make up for relatively sparse decor. (Watch out for the potential of technical malfunctions, though, and don’t be afraid to call and clarify.)

While appropriately ominous where needed, the room isn’t too scary, so don’t be put off by that. While I’ve played other vampire games which I enjoyed more, Trapped’s entry in the genre is still WORTH A TRY.

Puzzle difficulty: 3/5
Puzzle logic: 3/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 3/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3.5/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 3.5/5
Storyline integration: 2.5/5

Their suggested number of players: 2 to 5
My suggested number of players: 2 to 3

Trapped – A Quiet Place

Their description: The world has been taken over by extra-terrestrial life who seek to kill any human being they find. Your group has managed to survive as you have identified these aliens are blind but sensitive to the slightest pin drop sound. You have managed to survive for 55 days and your supplies are depleting fast. There is an hour window between 2pm to 3pm where the aliens are usually “asleep”. You have to try to find a way to get more supplies from the nearest bunker, home or grocery store. But hurry and do it quietly.


I have to admit that I procrastinated on this batch of reviews, so my memory of this room isn’t the sharpest. I recall it as a decent experience overall, if not spectacular.

While one or two puzzles felt unsatisfying, most were fine; I liked the wide variety of ahas required. There was one puzzle-conveying mechanism that I particularly appreciated for how it contributed to immersion. The room decor is a bit sparse, but there are some effective atmospheric touches further on. The room isn’t particularly scary, so my fellow cowards shouldn’t worry. And despite the flavourtext, there is no requirement to be extremely quiet, so no worries there either.

Of the five rooms at Trapped’s Cathay outlet, I’d rank this second (with Jigsaw being tops). Solidly WORTH A TRY.

Puzzle difficulty: 3.5/5
Puzzle logic: 3.5/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 3/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3.5/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 3.5/5
Storyline integration: 2/5

Their suggested number of players: 2 to 5
My suggested number of players: 2 to 4

New physical-set murder mysteries!

Very exciting news — there are two new physical-set, costume-involving murder mysteries at LOADING, with bilingual Chinese/English scripts!

As far as I know, these LOADING games are Singapore’s only physical-set (实景) murder mystery offerings that are accessible to non-Chinese speakers since the closure of Xcape’s Shanghai 1943 game. Definitely looking forward to checking them out. Maybe in December..?