Room review: Encounter: The Apartment

Their description: Millions of people around the world went missing without a trace every year.

Could they ever be found or return?

Suspense surrounding this apartment of a missing family has brought you and your friends to embark on a mission to find out the truth. You found a way into their locked apartment and now you are standing right in front of the gate, what will you do?

Are you ready to put your courage to the test?


 

Among the many escape rooms in Singapore, Encounter’s The Apartment stands apart. It describes itself as a “suspense game”, and that’s a good way of looking at it. It’s not just a room of puzzles to solve; it’s an immersive experience. It reminds me of interactive theatre, with the apartment itself being ‘alive’.

The friendly staff told us to set aside our preconceptions about escape rooms, and they were right. Many other escape rooms have puzzles that are only thinly connected to the plot, but this has a different approach. To get the most out of this room, you have to engage with it and get wrapped up in the storyline. In fact, the experience is a very curated, deliberately crafted one — you don’t solve the room on your own terms, but on its terms. (This could be annoying to some players, but it’s fully intended and not the product of bad game design or anything like that.)

The extremely detailed, realistic setting really helps with suspension of disbelief, and the tasks you have to do are also integrated seamlessly into the plot.

The puzzles themselves are not that hard, and most are not too complex. I wouldn’t go to this room in search of a merely intellectual thrill. But there are many other thrills and surprises in store which make up for this.

As the official description suggests, it’s not a room for the faint-hearted. But it doesn’t rely on cheap scares or artificial hindrances such as darkness. I’m a coward, but I was there with some brave team-mates, and I had a great time.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for everyone. It helps to have some brave people in the group, though.

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

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

Their suggested number of players: 4 to 8
My suggested number of players: 4 to 6

 

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