NOTE: This review has been edited to reflect changes in Freeing’s branches and policies.
Freeing SG’s rooms are great if you’re looking for fun experiences rather than intellectual stimulation. Even after the games changed from 45- to 60-minute ones, they don’t necessarily contain that many puzzles — but they’re certainly not boring. (The main exception is the excellent Back to the Future room, which provides both a fun experience and real challenges.)
The rooms generally make an effort with setting and storyline, and are filled with exciting mechanisms, special effects, or multimedia aspects, all of which are closely tied to the room theme.
The puzzles themselves are fairly logical, and often go beyond that tired old escape room staple of mere matching. And even if the puzzles are seldom novel in structure, there’s a whole range of methods in which they are conveyed and solved, making for a fun experience nevertheless.
edit, June 2015: Sadly it appears that the Freeing Cathay rooms have gotten a bit tired and worn out from overuse. I still think some rooms are worth a visit, but do adjust your expectations. [13 August 2018 – Freeing’s Cathay branch is now closed.]
edit, July 2017: Freeing have opened a second outlet in Plaza Singapura, with more rooms still being added. Given their maintenance track record in the Cathay, I’d say it’s worth checking out the Plaza Sing rooms ASAP, so you can appreciate all their dramatic frills and flourishes while they still work.
RECOMMENDED if you care about setting and fun mechanisms. Still WORTH A VISIT otherwise.
Staff: Staff are friendly and responsive.
Hints: One (?) hint, via doorbell. Staff used to tell you the answer rather than give you hints, but are now more circumspect. You also get a walkthrough if you fail, which is nice. (June 2017: It seems that you can unofficially get unlimited hints at the Freeing Plaza Singapura branch.)
Will your group be combined with strangers? No.
Rooms tried: 7 out of 7 at Plaza Singapura
Recommended team size: 3 to 5
Specific room reviews
Mission Incredible (Bugis+)
Painter’s Murder (Bugis+)
Rise to the Challenge: Biohazard (pop-up)
Alice in Wonderland (Cathay)
Funeral: The Mourning Widow (Cathay)
Secrets of the Past: From Russia with Love (Cathay)
Ninja: The Secret Disciplines of the Shinobi (Cathay)
Spaceship: Galactic Survival (Cathay)
War: The Battle for Freedom (Cathay)