Room review: The Escape Artist: Pangaea

Their description: “Enter a land unfettered by civilisation! This magical game promises to delight and capture the imagination with a vast landscape, multiple exciting paths and a plethora of incredible challenges. Open the lid and discover the land of Pangaea, a lost realm full of dangers to overcome, treasures to be found and mysteries to solve! Beware however, once you enter, there’s no turning back. Can you survive Pangaea?”

Beset by wonder, you gather around the box and open the lid. As the lid opens, a blinding beam of light emerges from within, and as you all shield your eyes, you feel a current of magical energy suffusing the room.

When next you open your eyes, you find yourselves in a dense jungle! In the distance, the roars and grunts of wild beasts echo through the trees and as you look around, you see disembodied eyes peering at you from the darkness. The sky grows a little dimmer as the sun begins to set, and through the confusion and panic, you realise that all of you are within the game itself, and that you will need to play the game and win before the sun goes down in order to leave. Only one question remains: can YOU survive Pangaea?

To be clear, Pangaea is billed as an “interactive adventure game” and not an escape room. There are some solid escape-room-style puzzles in there, but there’s an equal emphasis on physical (though not taxing) tasks, all within the framing narrative of a magical boardgame.

Located in The Escape Artist’s new Enchanted Manor outlet in Joo Chiat, Pangaea is probably best suited for families, with puzzles that will challenge the adults, and mini-games (the aforementioned physical tasks) that will delight the kids — not to mention cute optional costumes to increase the sense of fun.

Any team that’s happy with physical tasks, though, is still likely to enjoy the experience. The puzzles are up to The Escape Artist’s usual high standard, and several decision points help to raise the stakes and add tension.

While the game revolves around a beautiful setpiece prop and there’s a sustained attempt at themed decor, don’t expect an extremely immersive environment — that isn’t really the point of Pangaea. Think of it more as a gameshow, with a facilitator/host guiding you through the experience.

RECOMMENDED as a fun experience for families, and for escape room fans who adjust their expectations accordingly. If you only enjoy puzzles and not tasks, the game is still WORTH A TRY for the puzzles that it does contain.

Given the non-escape-room nature of the experience, here’s a trimmed version of my usual rubric:

Puzzle difficulty: 3/5
Puzzle logic: 4/5
Variation of tasks: 4/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3/5
Storyline integration: 3/5

Their suggested number of players: n/a
My suggested number of players: 4 to 6

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