NOTE: Lockdown’s former branches have closed. Their current branch is located at Orchard Gateway.
One of the pioneers in Singapore’s escape room scene, Lockdown.sg was once a hard company to make generalisations about, with your experience there depending very much on picking the right room for your team, or having the appropriate expectations.
One thing that hasn’t changed is Lockdown’s affordability, Their current rooms, even in the prime location of Orchard, are cheaper than average at $22 (off-peak) or $25 (peak) per person. The relatively low price doesn’t mean low quality — their rooms all boast use of technology and fun surprises in store.
With their new outlet, however, it’s become easy to generalise about other aspects too. In short: if you enjoy rigorous logic-based puzzles and don’t prioritise immersion, Lockdown is RECOMMENDED. If you dislike logic-based puzzles and/or the idea of interacting with the room partly via a tablet, then it’s NOT RECOMMENDED.
The Orchard Gateway outlet takes a unique approach to escape rooms by making a handheld tablet a key part of the experience. At various points in a room, you’ll have to scan a QR code to receive part of a puzzle; the rest of the puzzle, and the method by which the solution is ‘submitted’, is part of the physical room. Clues are also obtained via the tablet.
It’s admittedly immersion-breaking to have to scan QR codes and consult the tablet screen (though that’s probably most true for the magic-themed room). However, this does allow Lockdown to swap out the tablet-based puzzles when necessary — for example, if school groups come to visit.
What’s good is that the final puzzle-solving step always involves room interaction instead of digital submission, bringing teams back into the physical setting. There are also fun physical flourishes and hands-on interaction, so the rooms aren’t constrained by that digital aspect.
If you’ve read till the end of this review and are still unsure about whether to visit, then you’re probably not too put off by the idea of tablets or logic. In that case, Lockdown’s fair and rigorous puzzles, decent decor efforts, and occasional cute surprises all make their rooms solidly WORTH A TRY.
(Lockdown also offers two Steam-bought VR-only escape rooms, which are decent experiences but don’t exhaust the possibilities offered by VR.)
Staff: Friendly and attentive.
Hints: Self-service hints, via a tablet. Each puzzle has three hints: a vague one, a clearer one, and then the answer itself.
Will your group be combined with strangers? No.
Rooms tried: 3 out of 3 current regular rooms; 2 out of 2 VR rooms; 8 out of 8 previous rooms (+ one excellent murder mystery)
Recommended team size: 2 to 5 people (although there is a 3-person minimum for booking)
Specific room reviews
Former not-an-escape-room: CSI: A Good Night To Die