Their description: The year is 2217.
These are dangerous times. The Alpha team, responsible for time exploration, has disappeared. A temporal rift has been detected in the past, which may cause humanity’s disappearance from the Earth – forever.
Your mission… Choose your Omega team (two to four people) from your most loyal companions and set off into historical periods of time such as ancient Egypt and the medieval ages to solve the puzzles and challenges – and save the future of the world!
Be careful, you have a limited amount of time! You are humanity’s last hope!
Good luck Omega team!
Virtual Room Singapore offers an experience distinct from escape rooms, but with aspects that escape room fans will recognise and enjoy. While there aren’t “puzzles” of the code-solving variety, there’s certainly an element of puzzling out what you’re meant to do. You’ll have to explore your environment, come to intuitive realisations, communicate with teammates and execute fun tasks.
If it were simply the VR version of a regular escape room, though, it wouldn’t be very interesting. Instead, this game shines most in allowing for experiences that are simply impossible even in the best-designed physical rooms, whether it’s seeing the effects of low gravity on the moon, or taking part in certain exciting sequences — to say more would be to spoil the surprise.
I think the Virtual Room works because it gets both the hardware and software right, resulting in a high level of immersion that helps you quickly forget that you’re in an empty room, and creates a true sense of adventure.
Firstly, the physical equipment doesn’t get in the way. Despite being bulkier than simple VR goggles, the headset is comfortable (I wear glasses and didn’t have any issues) and doesn’t feel cumbersome. The controllers are easy to use — it’s surprising how quickly you start feeling as if your virtual ‘hands’ are your own. (Which is important, because you’ll be using them a lot.)
Then there’s the digital side of things: smooth graphics, multiple (!!) detailed environments, and appropriate sound effects. Interaction with the environment felt natural, and it was easy to pick up and manipulate objects. Haptic feedback from the controllers was used to great effect, adding to the sense of realism.
All this tech is in service of solid gameplay, with a variety of ‘aha’ moments and tasks. An overarching storyline holds everything together, provides an easy-to-follow game structure, and has a fun narrative payoff. There are also cool moments and surprises — these are triggered by players’ own actions, increasing the sense of immersion and engagement.
The room is pricier than most escape rooms, but for good reason. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, both as a unique experience and as a really fun time — just don’t expect a puzzle-heavy, escape-room-style game. They’re apparently introducing a second, tougher game in early 2018, and I’m already looking forward to it.
My usual rubric doesn’t apply, so here’s a modified version:
Game difficulty: 2.5/5
Game logic: 4/5
Gameplay variation: 3.5/5
Atmosphere and setting: 4.5/5
Exciting moments, effective use of VR: 4/5
Storyline integration: 3.5/5
Their suggested number of players: 2 to 4
My suggested number of players: 3 to 4; due to game structure, it’s more fun with at least 3 players.