Note: Bugis Village (which houses Xcape’s entire empire of rooms) is slated for redevelopment, with existing tenants able to stay until March 2021. It’s not clear how or when this might affect Xcape — I’d suggest playing their rooms ASAP!
Xcape Singapore’s rooms are big on special effects, hidden doorways and other exciting physical elements. They can be quite entertaining as a result, but you’ve got to bear with the risk of being combined with another group (though this doesn’t apply during the Covid-19 pandemic).
Puzzles vary significantly across rooms. Some are not that inventive or enjoyable, may involve tedious matching, and can be downright unsatisfying or anticlimactic. Still, better rooms have good multimedia puzzles, which help to make up for it.
In any case, one doesn’t come to Xcape for the puzzles per se. Instead, Xcape is notable for:
- Scale and a sense of adventure. Xcape’s rooms are usually physically complex, with Tomb Raider in particular featuring the most extensive network of rooms I’ve seen here. Shutter Island has a four-way split start, making it good for larger teams.
- Tasks and hands-on problem-solving, which make a nice change from regular puzzles.
- Technological frills and thrills, particularly in its Xcape Funtasy and Xcape Haunted series (as well as Busan Express in Season 3). These later rooms are great at providing a full ~experience, not simply an escape room.
That’s not to say that Xcape is all style and no substance. In fact, the later rooms which focus more on tasks also tend to have fairer puzzles.
Xcape has several different outlets along the same stretch of Bugis Village, but now also has a main ground floor outlet where all teams are meant to report.
The remaining two Season 2 rooms are WORTH A VISIT for their physical complexity and challenging nature, though be warned that the challenges might not always be satisfying.
In contrast, if you’re looking for pure fun rather than a challenge, then their two Xcape Funtasy rooms are RECOMMENDED. And if you’re looking for a thrilling time alongside fair puzzles, the Xcape Haunted rooms are RECOMMENDED too (as is Busan Express, my personal favourite out of their Season 3 rooms — even though I’m not a fan of horror!).
Then there is the stellar Xcape RPG, Shanghai 1943 — not an escape room, but a fun and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED murder mystery roleplaying game that offers a solid plot, complex character roles and a set full of evidence to be discovered.
Staff: Customer service has improved a lot since Xcape’s early days. Staff are friendly and quick to respond to calls for help — as well as proactive when technology malfunctions.
Hints: When I played Season 2 in 2014 and 2015, the policy was for two hints only. You have to find hint cards in the room, and can then use them to get hints via intercom phone or waving at the CCTV (or possibly doorbell in some cases, I’m not sure). At Xcape Funtasy in 2016, you were allowed to simply ask for hints, with a limit of two hints every half-hour. The Xcape Haunted rooms didn’t have a hint limit.
Will your group be combined with strangers? Yes.
Rooms tried: 9 out of 9 current rooms (+ one excellent murder mystery RPG); various former rooms
Recommended team size: 5 to 7 for Season 2. Ideal team sizes for Xcape Funtasy, Xcape Haunted, and Season 3 rooms vary significantly; check the individual reviews.
Specific room reviews
Not an escape room, but highly recommended