Month: February 2015

Room review: LOST SG: Exodus

Their description: Enslaved and oppressed with forced labor, life as an Israelite in Egypt was tough and difficult. Often beaten up and yelled at, it was not long before the Israelites lost all hope and fell into despair.On a scorching afternoon, a mysterious stranger came to town. An Israelite by birth, he demanded the Pharaoh to release his people from slavery. That moment changed the fate of the Israelites.

It took long before the Pharaoh relented. And on that fateful night, they followed him as the new leader and made their way out of Egypt; hearts filled with hope and joy. Regretting his decision shortly, the Pharaoh made his chariot ready and took an army with him to give chase.

THE FIGHT FOR FREEDOM HAS BEEN LONG AND HARD, CAN THEY ESCAPE THE CLUTCHES OF THE PHARAOH?


I don’t know about you, but that struck me as a rather bizarre room theme to have! LOST SG generally appears to pay a lot of attention to room storylines, what with their introduction videos and the use of real-life details. This room, however, is a perplexing mix of Egyptian tomb-raiding and a ~spiritual journey~, with a rather surreal endgame.

But erratic theme attempts aside, Exodus is a fun, adventuresome sort of room, full of exciting hands-on triggers and hidden mechanisms. You’ll have to do various interesting things in the process of puzzle-solving.

The puzzles themselves are largely serviceable and logical, with one or two nice twists. The exception is a bizarrely straightforward-yet-over-clued puzzle in the middle that could easily be over-thought.

Unfortunately, with great use of technology comes great risk of malfunction, and this happened fairly early on in Exodus. I know of at least two other teams that faced the same issue. If you think you’ve got the right answer but nothing’s happening, it’s worth calling for help.

RECOMMENDED for beginners or players who like fun, hands-on aspects. Those who care more about puzzles will be unimpressed.

Puzzle difficulty: 2.5/5
Puzzle logic: 4/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 3/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3.5/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 4/5
Storyline integration: 2/5

Their suggested number of players: 4 to 10
My suggested number of players: 4 to 6. You really don’t need anywhere near as many as 10.

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Room review: LOST SG: Alcatraz

Their description: Alcatraz Island prison housed the most dangerous felons in America during its operation from 1934 to 1963. Surrounded by hazardous currents of the San Francisco Bay, no inmate was thought to have ever successfully escaped the maximum-security facility. One fine morning, wardens discovered the disappearance of 3 inmates. Did the inmates make it out of Alcatraz Island braving the unforgiving currents or did they perish into the dark waters of San Francisco Bay?

Relive and uncover the last moments of the inmates and take on the journey to escape from Alcatraz using your analytical thinking, logical reasoning and observational skills.

WILL YOU SUCCEED OR WILL YOU SUCCUMB TO THE HANDS OF FATE?


Alcatraz makes decent use of the “split players up at the start” format, requiring teamwork that’s a little more nuanced than just passing items around. The puzzles themselves aren’t particularly exciting or innovative, but there are several fun hands-on elements, and interesting trigger mechanisms that liven up some simple puzzles.

The room is full of real-life details of the actual Alcatraz escape, and some puzzles do attempt to fit the premise of escaping from a prison, but I wouldn’t expect too much narrative immersion here.

Be warned that an early puzzle is very poorly phrased in English, although the accompanying Chinese text is perfectly serviceable. If you’re stuck on a puzzle that you think might be that one (and you can’t read Chinese), look out for an apparently odd use of an English word and consider what the writer might have been trying to convey.

That aside, it’s a fairly fun room with sound puzzle logic, and WORTH A TRY for both experts and beginners.

Puzzle difficulty: 3/5
Puzzle logic: 4/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 3/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 4/5
Storyline integration: 2/5

Their suggested number of players: 4 to 12
My suggested number of players: 5 to 7. You’ll be split into three groups at the beginning, so take that into account.