— Room reviews

Room review: Amazing Chambers: The Curse – Legend of Tanggang

Note: This room was first launched as Si Tanggang, The Ungrateful.


Their description: Tanggang is a classic tale of a poor villager who eventually became rich, marrying a princess, and acquiring his own galleon but with a twisted tale.

You have 60mins to unravel what sets this inevitable divine intervention into motion that led to Tanggang’s fateful demise.


This room felt fairly complex for an Amazing Chambers offering, with a couple of tricky puzzles in the mix. There’s at least one slightly head-scratching moment, but on the whole, the room’s logic was generally sound.

While the setting isn’t too dramatic, I appreciated the transition from the first space’s domestic feel to the other stages of the story. And while the narrative was mainly conveyed through sheets of exposition, its gradual revelation worked decently in line with our progress through the experience. (I did feel some emotional investment in the story, thanks in part to an early touch that aided immersion, though I might have been alone among my teammates in this…)

Finally, just to clarify: despite the updated poster for the game, there’s nothing scary or horror-like about it, so don’t worry!

The Curse isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s a solid experience that’s WORTH A TRY.

Puzzle difficulty: 4/5
Puzzle logic: 3.5/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 3.5/5

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

Their suggested number of players: Up to 10
My suggested number of players: 2 to 4

Room review: Amazing Chambers: The Invaders

Note: This room was first launched as Leftenan Adnan: The Battle of Bukit Chandu.


Their description: The Invaders have landed in Singapura. It is up to you and your platoon members from the Royal Malay Regiment to hold your fort at Bukit Chandu.

Step back to 13 February 1942 and join the Battle of Pasir Panjang. Experience the heroic bravery and courage of the Malay Regiment as they fought at their last stand in the defence of Singapura during World War II.

Enhance your interactive journey by using various high tech gadgets and communication equipment hidden in a secret bunker, to seek help.

You have 60 minutes to decipher the secret codes and radio for reinforcements before the Invading Forces capture your fort at Bukit Chandu.


This room’s strength does indeed lie in its various interactive and multimedia elements — though there’s also the risk that you might miss some of them due to technical malfunction, so watch out for that and don’t be afraid to call for help.

The puzzles and tasks are generally clear and logical, and there’s an effort to integrate most (though not all) of them into the premise and setting. Where the narrative is concerned, this room suffers from Amazing Chambers’ usual wall-of-text approach to exposition — though I did learn some interesting facts along the way, and there was at least one moment of narrative immersion which I thought was pulled off very well.

While The Invaders still has a standard Amazing Chambers feeling, it’s perhaps their most ambitious room in terms of interactivity, as long as everything works. While my team’s playthrough was slightly marred by technical hiccups, this was still a solid room that’s WORTH A TRY.

Puzzle difficulty: 3.5/5
Puzzle logic: 4/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 3.5/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 3.5/5
Storyline integration: 2.5/5

Their suggested number of players: Up to 12
My suggested number of players: 2 to 5

Room review: Virtual Room: Are We Dead?

Their description: In the year 2040 in a secret military base, it’s been 9 years since an infection devastated the planet creating a rampant Zombie population.

Scientists are about to discover an antidote and will be soon begin eliminating all Zombies off the face of the earth!

Form your team of Zombies and fight for your own race’s survival – it’s time to save the Zombie’s for once!


Virtual Room continues to deliver engrossing and entertaining experiences that I fully recommend to escape room enthusiasts — more so than many of Singapore’s surviving physical rooms, to be honest.

Their latest offering might sound more like a zombie adventure, but it still features much of the hands-on problem-solving style of ‘puzzling’ that characterises their two time travel missions. These are non-trivial tasks that require observation and creativity, in true escape room style.

Like the previous games, Are We Dead? also leans into the chief feature of VR: enabling gameplay that would be completely impossible in a real-world physical game. To say more would be to give spoilers; suffice it to say that I was incredibly charmed and amused by a major feature of the gameplay in this adventure.

“Charmed and amused” was also my general mood throughout the game. Are We Dead? has a delightful sense of whimsy and humour, which is obvious right from the premise (and the zombie bodies that you’ll find yourself inhabiting) and plays out in all sorts of fun ways, including in the problem-solving.

As with their two existing missions, Are We Dead? is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED as an incredibly fun romp that’s also full of rigorous puzzling.

Precautions have been taken against Covid-19, including pre- and post-game sanitising, and disposable eye-area masks that prevent your face from coming into direct contact with the headset. Face masks have to be worn throughout.

Game difficulty: 4/5
Game logic: 4/5
Gameplay variation: 4/5

Atmosphere and setting: 4/5
Exciting moments, effective use of VR: 4.5/5
Storyline integration: 4.5/5

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

Room review: Captivate: The Prestige

Their description: Two friends and fellow magicians become bitter enemies after a sudden tragedy. You’ll need to pay close attention, as things may not always be what they seem…


The Prestige replaces Kellar’s Magic Emporium; a couple of old fittings may be familiar to those who’ve played the latter, but rest assured that the puzzles are fresh.

I always appreciate when magic-themed rooms include some actual tricks and misdirection, and there are a couple of fun ones here. The puzzles are solidly logical, with one that’s both central to the narrative and particularly inspired.

The handmade feel of the room’s fittings is somewhat less magical, and the room as a whole isn’t groundbreaking. Still, this is a decent room that’s WORTH A TRY.

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

Atmosphere and setting: 2.5/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 2.5/5
Storyline integration: 2.5/5

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

Room review: Xcape: Azkaban

Note: Bugis Village (which houses Xcape’s entire empire of rooms) is slated for redevelopment, with existing tenants able to stay until March 2021. It’s not clear how or when this might affect Xcape — I’d suggest playing their rooms ASAP!


Their description: The imprisoned evil demon known as “Death Prophet” has entered the magical school and stole one of the Divine Artifacts, “The Holy Grail” from Headmaster’s room. If Death Prophet succeeds in gathering all the Divine Artifacts, it will revive and cause great calamity to the world. You and fellow wizards would travel from the Room of Requirement into the magical prison known as Azkaban to retrieve “The Holy Grail”. Ready for a magical adventure?


If you’ve missed the real-world nature of non-virtual escape rooms, Xcape’s Azkaban room will certainly scratch that itch, with magical flourishes and quite a bit of space to explore. These physical aspects are possibly the strongest part of this 75-minute room, which may not earn its runtime on the puzzle front (if you’re fairly good at solving puzzles).

Not that the puzzles are bad. They’re varied and generally logical, though one mid-room move might not seem like the most intuitive. It’s just that Azkaban isn’t the sort of room you play for its puzzles — it’s better enjoyed as an adventure. The setting’s production values are good; there are cool moments; the narrative is sustained throughout, and conveyed through more means than just text.

Azkaban is RECOMMENDED as a magical experience for newer teams or Harry Potter fans, and still solidly WORTH A TRY for veteran teams, though it may not challenge your jadedness too much.

Precautions have been taken against Covid-19, including pre- and post-game sanitising, and the provision of disposable gloves. Face masks have to be worn throughout.

Puzzle difficulty: 3.5/5
Puzzle logic: 4/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 3/5

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

Their suggested number of players: 4 to 6
My suggested number of players: 3 to 5

From limited-time event to daily game

After holding several sessions on June 6 and 13, Lockdown.sg is now offering their online escape event Virtual Agents on a daily basis, as a regular virtual escape game. Bookings can be made via their website.

I played their first session on June 6 and reviewed it over on my event blog instead. Interesting to see how the distinction between “rooms” and “events” blurs when things go online, I suppose! Regardless, Virtual Agents is more of a virtual escape game rather than an escape room, in terms of structure and puzzle types.

I’d say this game is RECOMMENDED if you’re used to Lockdown’s logical style and care more about puzzles than narrative (and if you want to support local companies), but I don’t know how it compares to what’s available out there, because I haven’t been playing many international virtual escape experiences. I will say that it’s a good game for people who hate videoconferencing (like me) because it doesn’t rely on that.

Room-in-a-box review: Lockdown.sg: Bearscape

Their description: You woke up from your deep slumber and stare ahead, but all you see are walls of grey and silver stretching to no end.

As you hear small distant explosions, you realise that your space station has been hit by meteors!


I’ve played quite a few escape-room-in-a-box games, both commercially-produced and indie ones — but haven’t reviewed any, since I figured there’d be multiple reviews available online. Clearly I had to make an exception for Bearscape, since it’s by a local escape room company.

Bearscape is pitched as an educational escape game, which seems about right. Each puzzle requires some math or science knowledge — my sense is that the content is suitable for PSLE or lower secondary students. Players who have long forgotten their school-era syllabus will probably still be fine, since the information required isn’t obscure. (Full disclosure: I did google once during the game.)

In general, content-focused puzzles run the risk of being little more than glorified trivia quizzes. Happily, that isn’t the case here. There’s a good mix of puzzle mechanisms, some of which are quite creative. As usual for Lockdown, the puzzles are faultlessly logical — though there’s also a helpful deck of hint and solution cards, if needed.

I tend to find that play-at-home games have a negligible storyline, but Bearscape does decently in maintaining one, aided by the fact that the narrative flavourtext for each puzzle contains clues.

Finally, the game’s production values are a delight, both in terms of the cute and polished illustrations, as well as the physical materials and print quality. The sturdy components mean that the game should stand up to multiple replays by different groups.

With its educational focus and polished production values, I’d say this is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for an enrichment class or a post-exam classroom chill-out setting.

For general escape room fans, the game is still solidly WORTH PLAYING. You might hesitate at the S$49.90 price (not least since the game can be played alone, as I did), but I considered it worth paying 1) to support a reliable local escape room company, and 2) because you can pass the game on to others after you finish. A good chance to introduce escape games to friends and family, perhaps?

Puzzle difficulty: 3.5/5
Puzzle logic: 5/5

Use of physical components: 3/5
Storyline integration: 3/5

Their suggested number of players: 1 to 5
My suggested number of players: 1 to 3

Room review: Xcape: Shutter Island

Note: Bugis Village (which houses Xcape’s entire empire of rooms) is slated for redevelopment, with existing tenants able to stay until March 2021. It’s not clear how or when this might affect Xcape — I’d suggest playing their rooms ASAP!


Their description: Waking up not knowing who you are in an unknown place is a scary thought. What if it couples with a patrolling mad doctor (or whoever he is!) Will you be able to rise to the challenges of finding your identity, differentiating friends from foes, and getting out from that facility?


Shutter Island is a frustrating room: full of ambition and potential, and therefore all the more disappointing in failing to live up to this.

The first impression is a strong one, with an atmospheric and extensive set. The occasional appearance of a live actor (from whom players have to hide) spices up the experience — I’m glad to see that such actors (known as NPCs in some countries) are now in Singapore too.

Unfortunately, the rest of the experience is less satisfying. A lot of effort has clearly been put into the narrative, with revelations and plot twists even in the finale video. Yet all this is mostly unrelated to puzzle-solving, and it’s thus easy to end up ignoring the story altogether — which is a shame. Incorporating plot elements into puzzles would have given players a reason to care about their own personal backstories and therefore improved the gameplay.

And there’s certainly a lot of room for adding more puzzles. Because Shutter Island breaks a major rule of escape rooms: it uses the same code more than once. I’m breaking my no-spoiler policy here, because I think that teams can easily and unfairly get stuck simply because they don’t expect to have to use the same code more than once.

The endgame stretch of puzzle-solving, at least, is quite complex and rigorous. But because of the four-way (!) split start, there aren’t actually that many puzzles for each player to try.

If you don’t mind the relatively small amount of puzzle-solving, Shutter Island is still WORTH A TRY for its sense of adventure. I just wish this had been a room that I could confidently recommend, instead.

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

Atmosphere and setting: 4/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 4/5
Storyline integration: 2.5/5

Their suggested number of players: 6 to 8
My suggested number of players: 4 to 6. Note that there’s a four-way split-start.

Room review: Xcape: Busan Express

Note: Bugis Village (which houses Xcape’s entire empire of rooms) is slated for redevelopment, with existing tenants able to stay until March 2021. It’s not clear how or when this might affect Xcape — I’d suggest playing their rooms ASAP!


Their description: In 2040, a mysterious virus spread across the world. Everyone infected by the virus turned into bloodthirsty zombies. You are one of the selected groups of lucky citizens to be transported to the Busan quarantine zone. Welcome aboard the Busan Express. Will your life be saved?


My favourite part of this train ride was its emphasis on setting and narrative, from the compartment where the journey begins, all the way through to the dramatic finale. Narrative is conveyed in some refreshing ways (rather than the usual pages of text), and good use is made of the train’s layout. It would be spoiler-y to even hint at some of the aspects I enjoyed the most, but suffice it to say that as an adventuresome experience alone, Busan Express is well worth playing.

The puzzles themselves aren’t particularly integrated into the narrative, but that’s true of most rooms in Singapore. There’s still a good mix of puzzle types and tasks that should keep most teams satisfied.

As for the question of how scary the room is… I’d say that it’s definitely a thrilling experience (with some quite clever scares!), but you’d be missing out if you stay away just because you don’t like horror. Conversely, if you’re a horror fan, do note that the horror elements aren’t relentless — there’s in fact quite a bit of time for calm puzzle-solving. In short, whether or not you enjoy horror, this train ride is RECOMMENDED for an all-round experience with solid production values.

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

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

Their suggested number of players: 4 to 5
My suggested number of players: 2 to 5.

Room review: Amazing Chambers: Princess Radin Mas Ayu

Full disclosure: After I emailed some unsolicited feedback on the two games I played during their soft launch, Amazing Chambers offered me 50 per cent off this room and/or 1603 Changi Naval Battle. After playing a third room (undisclosed to them), where I saw that one of my general feedback points from a previous room might indeed have been taken up, I accepted the discount for this room.

Their description: Princess Radin Mas Ayu is a tale of a beautiful Javanese princess with the plots of love, deceit and betrayal.

You secretly amassed the villagers to search Tengku Bagus’ home after receiving a tip-off about the possible kidnapping of the Princess’ father.

Discover what happens next as the plot thickens.


Amazing Chambers rate this as their second-hardest room, and I was glad to discover that this was for the right reasons. Its main strength is simply its lack of obvious flaws, allowing for unmarred satisfaction.

Unlike their Badang and Sang Nila Utama rooms, Princess Radin Mas Ayu did not have any red herrings or misleading aspects. It included multiple clever and rigorous puzzles (whereas other rooms tended to have a single standout one). Of the rooms I’ve played so far, this also required by far the closest engagement with the storyline (and I did learn a lot, having not known anything about the Radin Mas story beforehand).

I don’t want to oversell the room, mind. It still suffers from obviously anachronistic tech — though at least one instance is used to cool effect — and immersion-breaking moments. The exposition remains wall-of-text-y, although there’s more of an effort made than usual to integrate it into the setting. And despite the need for storyline engagement, most puzzles are not part of the narrative per se.

Nonetheless, out of the four rooms I’ve played so far, this is the one room at Amazing Chambers that I can say is RECOMMENDED for experienced teams, with some rewarding puzzles in store. Beginners should try one of their other rooms instead.

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

Atmosphere and setting: 2.5/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 3/5
Storyline integration: 3/5

Their suggested number of players: Up to 10
My suggested number of players: 3 to 5. For logistical reasons, it helps (but is not strictly necessary) to have more than 2 players.