LOST SG

Room review: LOST SG: Mausoleum

Their description: Built to protect the Emperor in his afterlife, the Terracotta Army are clay figures of Emperor Qin’s army in an underground mausoleum.

You together with your group of friends decided to visit the Terracotta Army world heritage site one day. Intrigued by the history of the mausoleum, you wandered deep into the restricted area to feed your curiosity and unfortunately lost your way.

Cut from all forms of communication, everyone panicked and entered the restricted area in an attempt to escape. Everything is unfamiliar and you can’t shake the uneasiness creeping in.

Going deeper, you found a door and led everyone in. Little did anyone expect the door to be shut from the outside. It appears to be a trap door! As everyone panicked about the situation, you notice a reflective liquid filling up the room.


We were excited at the prospect of a new LOST SG room, given our decent experiences at their other ones, but unfortunately their newest room is a bit of a letdown.

First, the good stuff. LOST SG’s old strength of high-tech mechanisms is still very much in evidence, with barely a standard lock in sight. But whether flashy gadgets are suitable for an old Chinese tomb is another question. Some effects are both exciting and appropriate for the setting, with one mid-game highlight giving a frisson of tomb-raiding; many others are, unfortunately, a little out of place.

That applies to the setting and narrative more generally: although some effort has clearly been made, the room is still relatively unconvincing as a tomb, and the puzzles are vaguely thematic in form but not so much in substance.

The puzzles also have other weaknesses: an early one is (in my view) fairly impossible without reading the setter’s mind, and the endgame puzzle makes unintuitive and partial use of given information. Unless you really enjoy exciting effects, Mausoleum is unfortunately NOT RECOMMENDED.

Puzzle difficulty: 3.5/5
Puzzle logic: 2.5/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 2/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3.5/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 4/5
Storyline integration: 2/5

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

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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.

GRIM FATE AWAITS US, I FEAR THIS WILL BE OUR LAST…


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: LOST SG: Exodus

Their description: Enslaved and oppressed with forced labor, life as an Israelite in Egypt was tough and difficult. Often beaten up and yelled at, it was not long before the Israelites lost all hope and fell into despair.On a scorching afternoon, a mysterious stranger came to town. An Israelite by birth, he demanded the Pharaoh to release his people from slavery. That moment changed the fate of the Israelites.

It took long before the Pharaoh relented. And on that fateful night, they followed him as the new leader and made their way out of Egypt; hearts filled with hope and joy. Regretting his decision shortly, the Pharaoh made his chariot ready and took an army with him to give chase.

THE FIGHT FOR FREEDOM HAS BEEN LONG AND HARD, CAN THEY ESCAPE THE CLUTCHES OF THE PHARAOH?


I don’t know about you, but that struck me as a rather bizarre room theme to have! LOST SG generally appears to pay a lot of attention to room storylines, what with their introduction videos and the use of real-life details. This room, however, is a perplexing mix of Egyptian tomb-raiding and a ~spiritual journey~, with a rather surreal endgame.

But erratic theme attempts aside, Exodus is a fun, adventuresome sort of room, full of exciting hands-on triggers and hidden mechanisms. You’ll have to do various interesting things in the process of puzzle-solving.

The puzzles themselves are largely serviceable and logical, with one or two nice twists. The exception is a bizarrely straightforward-yet-over-clued puzzle in the middle that could easily be over-thought.

Unfortunately, with great use of technology comes great risk of malfunction, and this happened fairly early on in Exodus. I know of at least two other teams that faced the same issue. If you think you’ve got the right answer but nothing’s happening, it’s worth calling for help.

RECOMMENDED for beginners or players who like fun, hands-on aspects. Those who care more about puzzles will be unimpressed.

Puzzle difficulty: 2.5/5
Puzzle logic: 4/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 3/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3.5/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 4/5
Storyline integration: 2/5

Their suggested number of players: 4 to 10
My suggested number of players: 4 to 6. You really don’t need anywhere near as many as 10.

Room review: LOST SG: Alcatraz

Their description: Alcatraz Island prison housed the most dangerous felons in America during its operation from 1934 to 1963. Surrounded by hazardous currents of the San Francisco Bay, no inmate was thought to have ever successfully escaped the maximum-security facility. One fine morning, wardens discovered the disappearance of 3 inmates. Did the inmates make it out of Alcatraz Island braving the unforgiving currents or did they perish into the dark waters of San Francisco Bay?

Relive and uncover the last moments of the inmates and take on the journey to escape from Alcatraz using your analytical thinking, logical reasoning and observational skills.

WILL YOU SUCCEED OR WILL YOU SUCCUMB TO THE HANDS OF FATE?


Alcatraz makes decent use of the “split players up at the start” format, requiring teamwork that’s a little more nuanced than just passing items around. The puzzles themselves aren’t particularly exciting or innovative, but there are several fun hands-on elements, and interesting trigger mechanisms that liven up some simple puzzles.

The room is full of real-life details of the actual Alcatraz escape, and some puzzles do attempt to fit the premise of escaping from a prison, but I wouldn’t expect too much narrative immersion here.

Be warned that an early puzzle is very poorly phrased in English, although the accompanying Chinese text is perfectly serviceable. If you’re stuck on a puzzle that you think might be that one (and you can’t read Chinese), look out for an apparently odd use of an English word and consider what the writer might have been trying to convey.

That aside, it’s a fairly fun room with sound puzzle logic, and WORTH A TRY for both experts and beginners.

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

Atmosphere and setting: 3/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 4/5
Storyline integration: 2/5

Their suggested number of players: 4 to 12
My suggested number of players: 5 to 7. You’ll be split into three groups at the beginning, so take that into account.

Overall review: LOST SG

LOST SG seems to pride itself on its use of technology, and that’s certainly one big selling point. Its rooms are full of fun mechanisms and triggers. Some of them are genuinely part of a puzzle; others liven up what could otherwise just have been the standard box-with-a-number-lock method of hiding the next clue.

It’s not just all style and no substance, though. The puzzles themselves are fairly solid and sometimes imaginative, with a good mix of puzzle types in each room. There’s the odd red herring, but so far, this hasn’t seemed unfair.

There’s also a short video you’ll have to watch for each room before you try it, which is a nice effort on their part (even if it doesn’t necessarily add much!).

Though each room tends to have one or two annoying flaws, LOST SG is a great addition to Singapore’s busy escape room scene. RECOMMENDED as a good all-round escape room company: fun tech, solid puzzles, decently atmospheric rooms, and friendly staff. It’s just a shame about their policy of combining smaller groups.

Staff: Generally friendly and not overly strict, and happy to talk about other groups’ experiences with the room you’ve tried.

Hints: Three (?) hints, obtained via intercom. Staff seem generally cautious about revealing too much unless you ask for it, which is good.

Will your group be combined with strangers? Yes, unless you book the room for at least 7 players.

Rooms tried: 5 out of 5 current rooms; 1 older room

Recommended team size: 3 to 5


Specific room reviews

Current rooms
Exodus
Alcatraz
Castiglione
Aokigahara
Mausoleum

Former rooms
Isometrick


LOST SG
http://lost.sg

Room review: LOST SG: Isometrick

Their description: While exploring for new study materials to better engage his students, Professor Rubik invented the Rubik’s Cube. Overwhelmed with the sudden onslaught of attention, Professor Rubik fell into the claws of depression. Driven by heavy criticisms, Professor Rubik remained unfazed and began working on a new project. Back at school, students are concerned about Professor Rubik’s absence and decided to drop him a visit. They soon found out from his family that the Professor went into the lab, and he has no intention of coming out.

Where is Professor Rubik and what is he doing? Your assignment, should you choose to accept is to unearth the mysteries within and find Professor Rubik.

CAN YOU FIND PROFESSOR RUBIK AND MAKE IT OUT IN TIME?


Isometrick is meant to be LOST SG’s most difficult room. I would say that that’s because it’s really more of a puzzle room than an escape room.

Rather atypically, there are lots of instructions included, and most of the difficulty comes in the execution rather than figuring out what to do. But unlike some other rooms where the execution is difficult because it is tedious, Isometrick does pose some genuine intellectual challenges, which is appreciated.

The storyline is basically irrelevant. Still, at least the room design is stark and stylish, and there are fun technical flourishes which liven things up.

RECOMMENDED only for teams which like puzzles more than the experience of escaping, and don’t mind if the puzzles are basically context-free. NOT RECOMMENDED for casual players and those looking for a particularly fun or immersive room.

Puzzle difficulty: 4.5/5
Puzzle logic: 5/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 2/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 4/5
Storyline integration: 1/5

Their suggested number of players: 4 to 10
My suggested number of players: 4 to 5

Room review: LOST SG: Castiglione

Their description: In the 1860s during the Second Opium War, the British and French Empires invaded China. In the midst of the war, all 12 of the zodiac head statues designed by Giuseppe Castiglione for QianLong Emperor miraculously disappeared from the Imperial Summer Palace. Rumours and news soon spread that the 12 statues were kept hidden in the hometown of the zodiac’s designer home. Take on the role of a secret agent and unravel the mysterious hidden castle belonging to Castiglione.

Your mission is to recover the 12 zodiac heads and escape from the Castle. But BEWARE, there might be guards on patrol.

Escape, Survive & Recover the 12 Zodiac Head Sculptures.


LOST SG prides itself on its use of technology, and that’s very evident in this room. Expect lots of exciting trigger mechanisms and room interactivity. There’s limited use of multimedia in conveying the puzzles, but the execution can get very hands-on, which is always fun.

In terms of content, the puzzles are of a good mix of types, and mostly go beyond simple matching. There’s also a strong and sustained attempt to tie them in with the framing storyline, and the setting is decently atmospheric.

The only real quibble I have is with one particular puzzle in the middle, where the clue wording doesn’t properly lead you towards the solution. We had to ask for a hint at that stage, and without that, I’m not sure we would have realised the rather counter-intuitive thing we needed to do. So if you feel stuck at a certain point despite thinking you’ve got the answer right, consider asking for a hint.

Overall, a solid, satisfying room (except for that one aforementioned puzzle). RECOMMENDED for experienced teams. Beginners might find it a little tough. Less mobile players may have difficulty at various points.

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: 5/5
Storyline integration: 4/5

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