Room review: Xcape: Resident Evil

Their description: The Government had developed biological weapons in the 80s under the project code “X” and built the X-Lab. In 1987, the X-Lab was closed and all the personnel working on the X project mysteriously disappeared. Thereafter all relevant information on the X project was filed and classified as Top National Secret. There are three passcodes required to open up the files, each passcode held by the President, Vice-President and the Minister of National Defence respectively. In order to counter the Company, Mr. President decided to reactivate Project X and specially task Hachi’s team to penetrate the X-lab. Will the Project X work? Why had Project X been terminated in 1987?

Reading that description makes me wonder if Xcape’s Resident Evil room was originally quite different, because I certainly didn’t notice any of that plot-related stuff in the room itself. Fortunately, even without much of a driving narrative, Resident Evil is a room with enough going on to keep you occupied.

First of all, you can usually expect a decent setting and atmosphere with Xcape’s rooms, and Resident Evil is no exception: not mindblowing, but it certainly gets the job done. (If you’re worried about it being scary, based on their promotional video, don’t be; it’s slightly creepy at worst.)

Where most of Xcape’s rooms really shine, in my view, is in their physical aspects. I appreciate rooms that involve hands-on problem-solving, and Resident Evil has some great examples of that, including perhaps one of my favourite observation-based, hands-on ‘aha’ moments in any escape room in Singapore. There’s also a segment which requires pure execution — or, as they helpfully but spoiler-ifically state in their own room description, “shooting skills”. This may not be what everyone wants as part of their escape room experience, but it at least makes a refreshing change from merely intellectual challenges.

It’s on the intellectual front that this room fails to deliver, and I think some of my comrades were sorely disappointed by this. You should avoid overthinking any of the puzzles; many might stump you precisely because of how straightforward they are. There are also one or two red herrings which I found unfair.

That having been said, I still found Resident Evil to be a decent adventure that wasn’t at all generic or boring. RECOMMENDED unless you place a lot of weight on intellectual puzzles.

It’s also a tricky room to evaluate based on my current rubric. The actual puzzles have easy answers, but the room as a whole is fairly demanding. When I started this blog, I deliberately decided to rate rooms based on ‘puzzle difficulty’ rather than ‘overall room difficulty’ (which would include other things such as logistical challenges, sheer volume of puzzles, etc.). But Resident Evil leans so strongly on aspects other than traditional puzzles that I feel I should make an exception here.

As for the traditional puzzles, they have technically logical answers but are too ambiguous to be considered well-crafted, in that there are too many possibilities in solving them.

Basically, don’t take the following numerical scores too seriously.

Puzzle Room difficulty: 4/5
Puzzle logic: 3/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 2/5

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

Their suggested number of players: 6 to 9
My suggested number of players: 4 to 7. You’ll be split into two groups at the start, but the split-start doesn’t last very long.


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