Month: April 2015

Room review: LOST SG: Aokigahara

Their description: After walking in rounds around the forest, it was clear that we had lost our way. With no functioning equipments to guide us out, fear was slowly consuming us from within. While we are paranormal researchers by profession, the fact remains that we are lost inside Japan’s Suicide Forest.

Historically linked with demons and supernatural beings, Aokigahara is not a place to spend a night in. As the sun sets, the forest is getting dark. The macabre side of Aokigahara slowly sets in as I feel someone whispering behind my ears, leaving me unsettled.


First, to get it out of the way: Aokigahara is billed as a scary room, but it was manageable even for a coward like me. The atmosphere is suitably eerie, but you won’t have to spend the whole time quaking in fear.

Anyway. I found Aokigahara to be an uneasy combination of exciting trigger mechanisms and room reactions on the one hand, and middling puzzles on the other.

Players who dislike boring code-locks and love dramatic flourishes will probably enjoy this room, which contains a range of ways to unlock the next stage — and fun results once you do so.

However, the puzzles themselves are less exciting. Expect quite a bit of the usual searching and matching. There are enough twists to make this room deserve its higher difficulty rating, but apart from one particular eureka moment, a lot of the puzzle-solving seemed to hinge more on execution. (The execution aspect, rather than puzzle difficulty per se, is also why going in a larger group could be helpful.)

Nonetheless, this is still a solid escape room that’s WORTH A TRY. Note that one brief stretch could be tricky for less mobile players.

Puzzle difficulty: 3.5/5
Puzzle logic: 4/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 2/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3.5/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 3.5/5
Storyline integration: 3/5

Their suggested number of players: 4 to 10
My suggested number of players: 4 to 6

Room review: Freeing SG: Spaceship: Galactic Survival

This review is left here merely as a record.

Their description: Year 2325 A.D., humans have lived on Planet T908 for more than a century. Living in this unpredictable galaxy, the planet that everyone has depended on is now facing a serious meteorite shower attack. Survival of our kind is at stake. We must escape and seek refuge on another planet, if not, humans shall no longer exists.

You and your friends are rushing against time in search of a functional space shuttle. You found an abandoned shuttle. There is no more time, you have to get it in the air and escape this doomed planet!

Spaceship: Galactic Survival is just a really fun, immersive experience. We were impressed the moment we stepped into the room, which has been faithfully done up to look like the control room of a spaceship: captain’s chair, video screens, locked escape capsule door, the works.

It’s not just cosmetic, either. You’ll have to power-up the spaceship, pay attention to video screens, and do other fun hands-on things in order to escape. (At the start, the immersion is taken so far that some teams might be impatient. Relax and watch your craft hurtle through space. It takes a while, but you have adequate time to escape.)

The puzzles themselves are not too complex, but they are largely logical, manage to avoid that old escape room staple of mere matching, and are conveyed in a wide range of multimedia forms.

The endgame is also a nice narrative touch. My only complaint would be that a staff member entered the room to tell us how to proceed; this could have been included in the initial briefing instead, so as not to break immersion.

Don’t try Spaceship: Galactic Survival if you only care about puzzle complexity. But if you’re willing to have some fun, this room is definitely RECOMMENDED.

Puzzle difficulty: 2.5/5
Puzzle logic: 3.5/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 5/5

Atmosphere and setting: 5/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 4.5/5
Storyline integration: 4.5/5

Their suggested number of players: Up to 8
My suggested number of players: 3 to 5