Escape Hunt

Room review: Escape Hunt: 27 Club

Their description: The 27 Club is a group of real-life famous musicians like Jimmy Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain who have died tragically at the age of 27. You are playing a famous rock star who will turn 27 soon, and an unexplained mystery has occurred in your dressing room. With 60 minutes to midnight, can you solve it or be the next addition to the 27 Club?

This room is a little silly, but I mean that in the best possible way. Escape Hunt’s rooms weren’t previously known for their sense of fun; 27 Club stands out for bucking that trend.

The room starts out straightforwardly enough, with logical puzzles of varying difficulty which also make good use of the dressing-room setting.

But then things start to get… interesting. The tasks and puzzles in the latter half of 27 Club are ridiculous, but for reasons unrelated to their underlying puzzle-logic. This means that — if your team is anything like mine — you shouldn’t have trouble solving them, but you’ll likely have a few laughs along the way. The endgame is particularly cute, and does actually provide a solution to the mystery.

Despite the would-be creepy room description, there’s nothing scary about this room either. In all, it’s a fun, occasionally quite creative ride that’s RECOMMENDED if you’re willing to be entertained more than challenged.

Puzzle difficulty: 3/5
Puzzle logic: 3.5/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 3/5

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

Their suggested number of players: N/A
My suggested number of players: 3 to 4

Room review: Escape Hunt: The Whitechapel Murderer

Their description: The year is 1888. You and your friends are famous London detectives who have been tasked with investigating the mysterious killings of the most dangerous and wanted serial killer in history. You have found what you believe to be the secret den of Jack the Ripper, and have 60 minutes to sneak inside to confirm his true identity before he returns and makes you his next victim!

This felt like an atypical Escape Hunt room, for good and bad reasons. There were a few fun physical flourishes and puzzle-solving mechanisms, which enlivened the experience and marked a step up from the lock-filled Escape Hunt rooms of old.

But this was also the first room in which Escape Hunt’s usual rigorous logic seemed to falter, with one puzzle featuring unused information that served as a red herring (as far as we could tell, anyway — we forgot to confirm this with the staff on the way out), another having a somewhat arbitrary final leap, and a third with slightly questionable ordering.

Nonetheless, it’s not a bad room. The decor and layout are fine (and not that scary — I’d say this room is kid-friendly despite the theme), there’s a decent mix of puzzles, and there’s at least one cool moment which alone makes it WORTH A TRY.

Puzzle difficulty: 3.5/5
Puzzle logic: 3/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 2.5/5

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

Their suggested number of players: N/A
My suggested number of players: 3 to 4

Room review: Escape Hunt: The Secret Assignment

Their description: A powerful Chinese entity called the Chen Corporation has stolen top secret nuclear launch codes from the government and plan to start an all out nuclear war in 60 minutes. Your mission as secret agents are to infiltrate Master Chen’s office, find the secret command centre and stop the nuclear launch before it is too late!

It was with some reluctance and scepticism that I returned to Escape Hunt after a long while, since I wasn’t the biggest fan of their original three rooms. But as it turned out, The Secret Assignment was a decent and satisfying experience, which makes me feel more keen to try out future Escape Hunt rooms.

The old Escape Hunt strengths of logical, scrupulously-clued puzzles are still there. Some other Escape Hunt staples are also still there; returning teams might find these a bit stale.

Still, there’s a simple but nonetheless welcome attempt at tying puzzles to the storyline, executed more effectively than in other Escape Hunt rooms. And there’s a little more creativity with tech and setting this time, including a late-stage mechanism that I found extremely cool, since I’d never seen it before (and having played over a hundred rooms by now, that’s not something I can say often).

Perhaps some of my enthusiasm for this room comes from the subversion of my originally low expectations. But The Secret Assignment is also a logical, beginner-friendly room with at least one cool moment, all of which makes it RECOMMENDED for beginners and WORTH A TRY for everyone else. Even if — or perhaps especially if — you’ve tried their earlier rooms and not been impressed, consider giving this room a go.

Puzzle difficulty: 3/5
Puzzle logic: 4.5/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 1.5/5

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

Their suggested number of players: N/A
My suggested number of players: 2 to 3

Room review: Escape Hunt: Spy in the Study

NOTE: This room no longer exists.

Their description: Play detectives solving a mystery of the stolen company documents from the biggest company in Singapore. The police have given you 1 hour to find who stole the blueprints, before the stock market opens and the company is forced to go public with the theft!

As usual, this room doesn’t have much in the way of dramatic flourishes. However, there’s a much more sustained attempt at integrating the puzzles with the plotline, which makes for a more satisfying experience than the other two Escape Hunt rooms.

The puzzles themselves are as logical as always, mainly due to their reliance on matching. Some are a bit more layered, which is nice.

If you plan to play one Escape Hunt room, this could be a good one to try. I did this in a team of three, and we took just over forty minutes.

RECOMMENDED for beginners. Experienced teams can give it a try too.

Puzzle difficulty: 3/5
Puzzle logic: 5/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 1/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 1.5/5
Storyline integration: 3/5

Their suggested number of players: N/A
My suggested number of players: 3

Room review: Escape Hunt: Bomb in the Cellar

NOTE: This room no longer exists.

Their description: A warning note has been sent to the Police about a bomb in the cellar of a wealthy businessman, who refuses to leave his house! Play detectives and race against time to find the culprit in 1 hour and before the bomb goes off.

This is meant to be Escape Hunt’s hardest room. Sadly, it doesn’t pose a very satisfying challenge.

First, as usual, don’t expect any frills or thrills. It’s code-locks all the way as usual. And the puzzles themselves? They were even less integrated into the storyline than usual.

In fact, I’d say that that was the biggest flaw of this room. Many puzzles were not at all site-specific; they might as well just have handed you worksheets to solve. Some puzzles did make better use of the setting, but still had some “busy work” elements such as matching or tedious arithmetic. There were few ‘eureka’ moments to be had.

There was one fairly inspired step on the way to the endgame, but for the most part it still felt anticlimactic.

I did this in a team of five, and we took forty minutes.

NOT RECOMMENDED, whether you’re a beginner or not.

Puzzle difficulty: 3/5
Puzzle logic: 4/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 1/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 1/5
Storyline integration: 2/5

Their suggested number of players: N/A
My suggested number of players: 4

Room review: Escape Hunt: Blackmail in the Bedroom

NOTE: This room no longer exists.

Their description: The incumbent president who is seeking re-election has been threatened by an unknown blackmailer with compromising photos. If the photos are released, he could lose the election. Play detectives and find who the blackmailer is before it is too late!

Not a very exciting room. First of all, don’t expect the thrills of secret doorways, unexpected puzzle mechanisms, or anything multimedia. You’ll have a lot of code-locks to solve; that’s it.

What about the puzzles themselves? Most of them are a matter of matching. There’s at least one puzzle which actively engages with the plot, which was nice, but for the most part they were uninspiring.

However, if you’re a beginner, this could make a good introduction to the escape room concept. You won’t face any new or alien locks, and it remains fairly clear throughout what you’re meant to do.

I went in a team of four, and we finished the room within twenty minutes. Make of that what you will.

RECOMMENDED for beginners; NOT RECOMMENDED for experienced teams.

Puzzle difficulty: 2/5
Puzzle logic: 5/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 1/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 1/5
Storyline integration: 2/5

Their suggested number of players: N/A
My suggested number of players: 3

Overall review: Escape Hunt

This review is left here merely as a record.

Escape Hunt has reinvented itself with new rooms which deliver a more well-rounded experience compared to their original three. I wouldn’t class the new rooms as unmissable, though, so it does ultimately come down to how much you’re willing to pay.

First, the obvious point: this is the most expensive escape room outfit in town if you’re playing in groups of fewer than five people. It’s $28 per person for a group of five or six, which is the most expensive rate you’d find at other companies. And it only goes up from there, to as much as $38 if you’re trying the room as a pair. It doesn’t help that Escape Hunt’s rooms don’t even require that many players; the rooms can reasonably be completed by a pair, and comfortably so by three or four players.

One advantage of Escape Hunt’s old rooms were their extremely logical, beginner-friendly, perhaps even “over-clued” puzzles. The three new rooms don’t necessarily live up to that, with some leaps of logic required. Nonetheless, the puzzles aren’t illogical by any measure, and compare favourably to the rest of the industry.

The new rooms have also (finally!) caught up with the rest of the industry, with some fun uses of technology. Each room contains at least one flourish that I haven’t seen anywhere else, and there’s a much more sustained attempt at keeping a storyline going.

Can smaller teams have a better time elsewhere, for a lower price? Certainly. But if money isn’t an issue, Escape Hunt’s new rooms are logical, fun, and even occasionally surprising, making them solidly WORTH A TRY for beginners and experienced players alike.

Staff: Attentive. Their policy used to be to drop into the room every fifteen minutes or so (not sure if that’s still the case), but you can request not to be visited. You also get to enjoy complimentary Twinings tea and biscuits afterwards, which is nice.

Hints: Staff may give hints when they drop by to check. They don’t reveal the answers directly, which is good. Hints can also be asked for using the door bell, and staff are quick to respond.

Will your group be combined with strangers? No. However, you have to confirm the number of people at the point of making the booking — something which some other escape companies are not that strict about.

Rooms tried: 3 out of 3 current rooms; 3 out of 3 older rooms

Recommended team size: 3 to 4 people

Specific room reviews

Current rooms
The Secret Assignment
The Whitechapel Murderer
27 Club

Former rooms
Spy in the Study
Blackmail in the Bedroom
Bomb in the Cellar

Escape Hunt Singapore