Lockdown.sg

Room review: Lockdown.sg: CSI: A Good Night to Die

Their description: A suicide has occurred in the premises of a hotel. The police suspects that there is more to the death than meets the eye, but they are unable to solve it and the suspects will be released soon. You have been invited to help the police solve this mystery and find more evidence that the initial investigation may have missed. Will you be able to solve the mystery before the murderer goes scot free?

This is not a normal escape game, but a real life CLUEDO game brought to you exclusively by the Lockdown team. If you like investigating murder mysteries, come together with your friends and families to experience the new breakthrough in escape games!


As stated, this is very much not a normal escape game. I’d say it’s not an escape game at all, but a murder mystery — and that’s why it is absolutely worth playing.

While the escape room market in Singapore is pretty developed, there are few murder mystery options. Some companies have organised one-off events, but (apart from a notable exception) these are often large-scale affairs that don’t really give you a good sense of cracking a case.

With CSI: A Good Night to Die, you get the room and the investigation entirely to yourself. Even better, it’s a cleverly interactive game, in which you take pictures of evidence and send them to be analysed. The hotel room setting is also convincing, increasing the sense of immersion even further.

In fact, comparing this game to real-life Cluedo is selling it short. Unlike Cluedo’s rather boring method-of-elimination process, this game contains a substantial plot that unfolds throughout the investigation. You’ll have to juggle motives, alibis, and evidence to not only deduce the culprit, but get a full picture of the story behind this crime scene.

Speaking of which, I consider this the closest easily-available experience to that excellent Korean gameshow Crime Scene, which is high praise (as anyone who’s watched the show will know). [edit, September 2017: this is no longer the case, as Singapore now has a room that is directly modelled upon Crime Scene – Xcape’s Shanghai 1943, which is therefore the closest experience to said awesome show]

You do pay for this, quite literally. The experience can’t be booked via Lockdown’s normal booking engine; instead, you’ll have to contact them about a booking, and be prepared to pay rather more than you would for a normal escape room. But as I said, this isn’t a normal escape room, and the degree of interactivity helps justify the price.

I can’t really rate this on my usual rubric, so I’ve tweaked the criteria below. Suffice it to say that the room is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED — or indeed, unmissable — if you’ve ever wanted to solve a mystery. And who hasn’t wanted to do so, seriously?

Case difficulty: 3.5/5
Case logic: 4.5/5
Multimedia aspect of investigation: 4/5

Atmosphere and setting: 4/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 4.5/5
Storyline integration: 5/5

Their suggested number of players: 3 to 8
My suggested number of players: 3 to 6

Advertisements

Room review: Lockdown.sg: Circus of the Dead

Their description: As an aspiring group of performers craving for fame, you have been invited as a back up for a performance and were assigned to an abandoned dressing room due to a lack of facilities.

After entering the dressing room, strange things start to happen and your performance is starting in an hour. Will you be trapped and lose your mind like the others before you?


Circus of the Dead isn’t the flashiest of escape rooms, but it has enough tricks up its sleeve to make for a pretty cool experience, with a solid core of puzzles underneath.

The atmosphere is suitably eerie but never scary enough to impede solving. While the setting is on the bare side, it gets the job done — and, perhaps just as importantly, it’s meaningfully incorporated into most of the puzzles.

The puzzles themselves are a decent mix. Some are forgettable or lean a bit too much on execution, but none of them felt disappointing, and one genuinely clever setpiece elicited a collective “wahhh” from my very jaded escape room team.

The storyline felt rather superfluous at the start, but the narrative link to the puzzles was strengthened by the end. For its all-round competence and cohesiveness, and for that one great puzzle in particular, I’d say Circus of the Dead is RECOMMENDED — as long as you’re not seeking a scary experience.

Puzzle difficulty: 3.5/5
Puzzle logic: 4.5/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 3/5

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

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

Room review: Lockdown.sg: The Forgotten Temple

Their description: Archaeologists claimed to have discovered an ancient temple that has been forgotten for centuries. All the tomb raiders are now trying to locate it but you seem to be the first to find it after a long search. Will you be able to find any treasures before the others reach?


As the escape room scene in Singapore evolves, older industry players are reinventing themselves — and doing so rather well, if some of Lockdown’s new rooms are anything to go by.

For a start, the Forgotten Temple boasts higher production values than one might have expected. We were impressed and pleasantly surprised upon setting foot into this temple’s depths, and that feeling only grew as the temple revealed its secrets. While the use of tech is usually accompanied by the danger of malfunction, we didn’t experience any problems here.

The puzzles are also solid. There’s a decent mix of puzzle types, and though they’re all manageable, they’re not too easy (although experienced teams may not feel challenged) — the endgame in particular has a nice mini “aha” moment built into it. Apart from the somewhat lacklustre first puzzle, there’s barely a code-lock in sight, and you’ll have to do a range of fun and storyline-appropriate things in order to progress.

Speaking of which, there’s a sustained attempt at building a storyline and tying the puzzles into it, which I always appreciate. In all, The Forgotten Temple was a fun adventure: RECOMMENDED for beginners or anyone who appreciates the experience at least as much of the puzzles, and still very much WORTH A TRY otherwise.

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

Atmosphere and setting: 4.5/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 4.5/5
Storyline integration: 4/5

Their suggested number of players: 3 to 8
My suggested number of players: 2 to 5

Room review: Lockdown.sg: Break-in (Part 1)

NOTE: This room has been rebranded as End of the World – Break-In, a zombie-themed room. However, all the puzzles are the same.


Their description: A tip-off from your source brought you to this house in the quiet neighbourhood. The owner is supposedly a private collector in the illegal trade of stolen art pieces, but you did not notice anyone going in or out of the house after a week of stakeout. Running out of patience, you decided to sneak in to find out for yourself..


This room is advertised as Part 1 of this particular plot, and there’s clear effort put into the physical setting, so it’s a little confusing that the puzzles themselves are basically entirely divorced from the plotline.

The puzzles are also rather arbitrary, though at least they take several different forms and are presented in interesting ways. There’s a lot of handholding, so more experienced teams might find this room unchallenging. But there are also fun touches that could add to the enjoyment even if you’re experienced.

Overall, a pleasant experience, but not the strongest room. WORTH A TRY, particularly for beginners.

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

Atmosphere and setting: 3/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 3.5/5
Storyline integration: 1/5

Their suggested number of players: 3 to 8
My suggested number of players: 3 to 4

Room review: Lockdown.sg: Haunted?

LOCKDOWN SUNTEC IS NOW CLOSED.
This review is left here merely as a record.


Their description: Every school has its own secrets. Eager to impress your seniors, you agreed to meet them at night for an orientation school party. No one showed up but you noticed a classroom with its lights on. It was a normal music room, but you realised the door was already locked when you tried to leave…


One of Lockdown’s strongest rooms, Haunted? combines multimedia aspects, a range of puzzle types, and a convincing integration of puzzles into the setting, making for an overall satisfying experience.

That third point is especially important, in my opinion. Too many escape rooms just hide their puzzles around the room, but Lockdown’s Haunted? room incorporates some of its clues naturally into the setting, for a more immersive experience. It might be the best example I’ve seen of an escape room doing this.

As usual for Lockdown rooms, it’s relatively low on frills, but there’s at least one cool moment and the sense of setting is strong. The room is also non-linear, but not punishingly so, which some players might appreciate. And despite their description above, the room isn’t particularly scary, so don’t be put off by that.

Do note that this room is located at Lockdown’s Suntec outlet, not at The Central.

RECOMMENDED for experienced teams. Beginners might find it a little tough.

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

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

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

 

Room review: Lockdown.sg: Trafficking

Their description: A reporter friend of yours got a lead on an incredible story, but did not return the next day. Fearing for her life, you followed her tracks in hope of finding her. Are you ready for the truth?


The first thing to do, if you’re an experienced escape room team attempting this room, is to adjust your mindset. Don’t overthink puzzles. Go for the most obvious answer.

I say this because this room managed to stump the experienced team I went with, mainly because we assumed that some of the puzzles were much harder than they were. (We took several hints and almost the full hour to escape from this — in contrast, we cleared a harder Lockdown room with no hints and in just over half an hour.)

That’s not to say that every single puzzle in this room is easy. There’s some variation in puzzle difficulty and puzzle types, including a verbal puzzle, which I always find refreshing. However, apart from one somewhat cool moment, this is a relatively no-frills room.

WORTH A TRY for beginners. NOT ESPECIALLY RECOMMENDED otherwise.

Puzzle difficulty: 2/5
Puzzle logic: 3/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 1/5

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

Their suggested number of players: 3 to 8
My suggested number of players: 2 to 4

 

Room review: Lockdown.sg: Bail Out

NOTE: This room has been replaced and no longer exists.


Their description: Framed. Set-up. Betrayed. Wrongly imprisoned in the sheriff’s office, you will be sentenced in court the next morning for a murder that you did not commit. Will you be able to escape before then?


This is quite a good beginner’s escape room, but even experienced teams should enjoy parts of it.

The storyline is basically negligible, and one or two puzzles seem a little arbitrary. However, this is more than made up for by a chain of clues at the end, which are structured and flow very well — making for one of the most satisfying endgames I’ve experienced. If you like to end your escape room experiences on a triumphant high, this is a good one to try.

RECOMMENDED for beginners, not bad for experienced teams either.

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: 1.5/5
Storyline integration: 1/5

Their suggested number of players: 3 to 6
My suggested number of players: 3 to 4

Room review: Lockdown.sg: Top Secret

Their description: “Our main competitor will be bidding for the project tomorrow. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to retrieve the tender documents of our competitor.”

Just when you sneaked into the office…


This is meant to be Lockdown.sg’s hardest room, and it’s also arguably their most enjoyable. Although the room is a little spartan, there are several fun multimedia touches and use of gadgetry.

All the puzzles are linked to the storyline, and their solutions are logical rather than arbitrary. There’s also an overarching puzzle which is satisfyingly tough yet makes sense, and provides a great ‘eureka’ moment when you figure it out.

RECOMMENDED for experienced teams. Beginners might find it tough.

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

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

Their suggested number of players: 4 to 6
My suggested number of players: 4 to 5

 

Room review: Lockdown.sg: Kidnapped!

NOTE: This room has been replaced and no longer exists.


Their description: Backpacking was all fun and enjoyable, until you and your friends hitchhiked a ride to your next destination. Will this be your final destination?


How you feel about this room depends very strongly on how you feel about arbitrary puzzles. I played this in a group of five, and although we solved it in under 30 minutes, we found the experience unsatisfying because the puzzles felt divorced from the setting and some required rather random linkages to be drawn.

There are a few creative touches, mainly to do with the room set-up, but you’re better off trying the other Lockdown.sg rooms, which are much more cohesive.

NOT RECOMMENDED unless you don’t mind arbitrary puzzles.

Puzzle difficulty: 2/5
Puzzle logic: 2.5/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 2/5

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

Their suggested number of players: 3 to 6
My suggested number of players: 3 to 4

Overall review: Lockdown.sg

NOTE: This review has been updated to better reflect Lockdown’s current mix of rooms


Lockdown.sg is a hard escape room company to make generalisations about. It’s updated itself with some strong new additions which even experienced teams will enjoy — but your experience there still depends very much on picking the right room.

Of their newer rooms, both The Forgotten Temple and Circus of the Dead are a great bargain even at the peak price of $22, with fun flourishes that you’d expect from pricier companies, as well as solid puzzles. Both rooms also make a sustained effort to maintain a storyline.

Top Secret is the sole room remaining from when Lockdown first opened — but perhaps that also attests to its quality. It features some satisfying puzzles and good use of multimedia.

On the other end of things, Break-in (an earlier version of what is now known as End of the World – Break-in) is worth a try but nothing special, while Trafficking might work for beginners but was disappointing to my team.

If you pick your rooms carefully, I’d say that Lockdown.sg is RECOMMENDED for both beginners and experienced players.

Finally, I have to mention CSI: A Good Night to Die, which is not an escape room at all, but an interactive murder mystery in a room. It is also great fun, a good challenge, and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if you have any interest at all in mystery-solving.

Staff: Friendly and attentive.

Hints: Unlimited hints via intercom phone. The last time we visited, staff were generally careful not to give away too much, which we appreciated.

Will your group be combined with strangers? No.

Rooms tried: 5 out of 5 (+ one excellent murder mystery)

Recommended team size: 3 to 5 people


Specific room reviews

Current rooms
Top Secret
Trafficking
The Forgotten Temple
Circus of the Dead
Break-in [rebranded as End of the World – Break-in]

Not an escape room: CSI: A Good Night To Die

Former rooms
Kidnapped!
Bail Out
Haunted? (Suntec)


Lockdown.sg
http://lockdown.sg/