— Room reviews

Trapped – Jigsaw

Their description: There have been numerous ghastly murders in the local town that resembles the work of a serial killer who is known to be dead for decades. Whilst investigating the murders, you end up being kidnapped and now lay helpless in his lair. Little did you realise; the murdered victims and you are somehow connected to the murderer.

Save yourselves, uncover the truth and make your way out before you be his next victim.


Trapped recommends this room as their most challenging one, with its 75-minute runtime reflecting this. Happily, it’s challenging for the right reasons (though we did finish comfortably within the time limit).

This is a satisfyingly substantial room, containing some clever puzzles and fun surprises. The narrative is sustained and developed throughout, with reveals conveyed in various ways.

The production values may not be the most polished, nor are the puzzles all narratively coherent. But I’d still say it’s RECOMMENDED, particularly for puzzle-focused teams, as a solid experience full of little discoveries and ahas. While there’s a bit of creepiness, the room is well-lit and generally coward-friendly.

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

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

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

Trapped – Hide and Seek

Their description: You and your group of reckless friends breaks into the house of an unsuspecting blind man, thinking you will get away with the perfect robbery. Much to your horror, your victim is not who you think he is.

Spend the next 60minutes in hiding and avoid being captured by the demented mad man.


Trapped’s rooms tend to be less scary than they’re made to sound. While Hide and Seek is one of their scarier rooms, cowards (like myself) should still be fine. As the description implies, there is an NPC in this room, but they’re quite forgiving in their behaviour. It also helps that the room is well-lit, which facilitates puzzle-solving too.

The puzzles themselves are decent, with a couple of satisfyingly complex and interesting ones in the mix. The overall experience includes some clever or cute touches, with flashes of dark humour.

Apart from one or two red herrings, Hide and Seek is a solid experience that’s well WORTH A TRY, even if you’re not a fan of horror.

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

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

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

Captivate – Gretel & Hansel: Witch Hunters

Their description: They escaped from the witch’s hut in the woods but then Gretel realised she has left her phone behind! Why would anyone go back?


This new Captivate room has some cool aspects and ideas; it’s just a shame that it ends so soon.

If I’d encountered this room as a beginner, I’d likely have been impressed. The room opens with a simple but effective setting. There are fun hands-on aspects, cool flourishes — including a setpiece that genuinely impressed us, despite how jaded we are by now — and clever ideas, and the puzzle logic feels entirely fair throughout.

But there simply isn’t that much content; we were out of the room in under half an hour. (The premise also suffers from some incongruity, with the idea of retrieving a phone from a witch’s hunt.)

There are enough interesting bits that I’d say this is RECOMMENDED for beginners; but perhaps NOT RECOMMENDED for veterans who want an extensive experience.

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

Atmosphere and setting: 3/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 4/5
Storyline integration: 2.5/5

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

Amazing Chambers – 1603: Changi Naval Battle

Their description: The year is 1603.

Your crew and you are part of the Dutch Armada. The Dutch had four battleships – Zerikzee, Hollandsche Tuin, Maagd van Enkhuysen and Papagaaiken.

You have received instructions from your Commander, Vice Admiral Jacob Pietersz van Enkhuysen, to get your battleship ready in 1 hour to prepare for battle with the Portuguese Armada.

Your battle is to break the Portuguese Armada’s blockade of the Johor River.

Which side will triumph and emerge victorious?


For better or for worse, this is a very representative Amazing Chambers room: some inspired ideas and cool touches; a sustained if perhaps slightly confused effort at having a themed setting; boards of exposition; and one or two unfortunate flaws.

The puzzle logic was generally smooth, and there were some fun ideas. Given the layout, you never really feel like you’re on a ship, but there were still some cute setting touches. There’s just one annoying, somewhat unintuitive snag near the end that might necessitate calling for a hint. But overall, this naval-themed room is still WORTH A TRY, especially if you’re accustomed to the Amazing Chambers style.

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

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

Their suggested number of players: Up to 10
My suggested number of players: 2 to 3

Online game review: AveLIVEX: Guardians of the East: The Awakening

Official website

Format: Point-and-click room, alongside Google Meet with live gamemaster
Price: Currently S$15 per person (usual price S$25 per person)
Gameplay duration: 1 hour

(I don’t usually review online games here, but this is by a local company that’s also running a competitive tournament on June 20, so I thought it might be particularly relevant to readers of this blog.)

I’m not a huge fan of point-and-click escape rooms when there are much more interesting interactive options out there (including the amazing and hilarious latest offering by SCRAP, which I recently reviewed), but I did appreciate the “multi-perspective” nature of this game.

AveLIVEX seems to be building a connected universe of games, with four main characters. In this game, each player gets assigned the point-of-view of one character (so if there are more than four of you, two people may have the same view). Think of it as a split-start virtual room, with lots of collaboration required over the Google Meet. This elevates it over other point-and-click games where everyone has the same info and can just solo their way through things.

The puzzles are generally rigorous, and while there are strong Chinese cultural elements, you don’t need to know Chinese to solve them. (The gamemaster later said that they were set by someone who didn’t know the language, ensuring that they can be solved without that knowledge.)

You might run into some technical glitches or less-than-intuitive aspects of the interface, but the gamemaster is around to help, and to provide a debrief if needed. The finale is also rather cute.

Overall, the game is WORTH A TRY for its interesting format, and is particularly value-for-money as part of the current S$35-per-person package, which includes tournament entry and an online murder mystery (which I’ve also played, quite enjoyed, and need to get around to reviewing…). At full price, however, I’d probably recommend some interactive international games instead, unless you’re fond of the point-and-click format.

The Escape Artist – Escape Room: Trials of Tartarus

Their description: You’ve been invited to take part in a world-wide escape room competition, currently in it’s 12th year, with a grand prize of $12million! However, as the game begins, you start to feel that not all is right and that some larger scheme is at play..
You’re no longer concerned about the prize but your life.


My favourite thing about this room is its coherent theming, with the 12-item thread running throughout. There are some clever and fun puzzle ideas in the mix, including a couple that make good use of the physical setting — which does improve later on, despite a not-that-polished initial impression.

Sadly, there are still a couple of minor puzzle presentation issues and logical snags that prevent me from giving a whole-hearted recommendation. I’m also conflicted over whether some endgame moves are too clever/tricky, haha.

Nonetheless, I’d still say the room is RECOMMENDED for puzzle enthusiasts (if you’re willing to overlook a couple of things), and solidly WORTH A TRY for teams that are less focused on puzzles.

Puzzle difficulty: 4/5
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
Storyline integration: 3.5/5

Their suggested number of players: n/a
My suggested number of players: 2 to 5

The Escape Artist – Dr Frank: The Lion’s Den

Their description: The disappearances started with a woman named Mary. Ever since then, more women have gone missing, seemingly vanishing without a trace. Your investigations lead you to the hospital where Mary worked at, and after repeated interrogations, her colleague Dr Frank Shelley finally agrees to give you critical information. Arranging to meet him at his house, you arrive only to find the door ajar, and no response from within. As you step through the entrance, the door swings shut, locking itself behind you and a hissing sound fills the room as gas begins seeping in. You awaken to find yourselves imprisoned and chained. Your only hope lies in working together to find both a means to escape as well as the culprit.


Dr Frank was a mildly frustrating experience, with good ideas but various small flaws that made gameplay less smooth than it could have been. There are some stand-out moments that made the room worthwhile, for me: one stellar puzzle quite early on, and another clever move in a late stage.

But it’s easy to get lost or muddled in the initial stages (don’t be afraid to ask for help!), and one mid-game puzzle suffers from ambiguity and an input mechanism that seems prone to error (ask for help if you think you have the right answer but it isn’t working).

As for the atmosphere, it’s suitably creepy. But while the room does have a few scares in store, don’t be put off by (or have too high hopes for) its fear factor rating of “four ghosts” — it’s perfectly manageable even for cowards such as myself.

It’s certainly WORTH A TRY — for me, that early puzzle alone justified the whole room — but do adjust your expectations.

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

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

Their suggested number of players: n/a
My suggested number of players: 2 to 4

Black Lake Facility – The Research Lab

Their description: Time is ticking, and the reactor will blow up in the matter of minutes! The contamination has begun and soon it will be impossible to undo the mistakes of the science team that has mysteriously vanished. The Head Scientist in charge of the laboratory has a strange fascination that she is trying to hide… Your investigation team has been assigned to power down the reactor in time and find out her secret before the inevitable happens. It is a race against time.


The Research Lab’s greatest strength is its shiny and fairly interactive set, which younger players might find particularly exciting. If you appreciate a sense of setting, this room delivers quite well.

The gameplay itself is generally smooth. The puzzles aren’t flawless — there are some distracting elements in the beginning, a questionable mid-game task, and a minor annoyance in an otherwise pleasingly layered late-game puzzle — but the flaws don’t detract much from the overall experience.

Elevted by a cute ending, The Research Lab is RECOMMENDED as a solid if not groundbreaking adventure.

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

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

Their suggested number of players: n/a
My suggested number of players: 2 to 5

Black Lake Facility – The Medical Centre

Their description: Step inside the Medical Centre where accidents and emergencies are dealt with. This facility holds the answers to the unimaginable horrors and experiences faced by the soldiers during the previous mission. It is up to you and your team to get to the bottom of the mystery and gain a searing insight into their plight. Can you escape before the mind-blowing and grueling revelation destroys the last strands of your sanity?


Despite the blurb, The Medical Centre is at most creepy, rather than being a proper horror room, so fellow cowards shouldn’t be afraid to give it a try. The room’s strongest point is probably its unsettling narrative, built up from the beginning with well-integrated details, and leading towards a visually striking climax.

It’s a shame, then, that the experience is marred by some logical leaps. Some early connections between clues and locks felt arbitrary, for example. But the real issues came later, with multiple puzzle flaws that meant we ended the room on a sour note.

Our gamemaster offered an in-narrative explanation for the massive logical leaps needed at the end, but these didn’t make them feel less unsatisfying. If not for the endgame puzzles, I would have been able to recommend the room as a solid adventure. As it is, I can only say that it’s WORTH A TRY, but you should be prepared to call for help.

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

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

Their suggested number of players: n/a
My suggested number of players: 2 to 5

Black Lake Facility – The Armoury

Their description: The soldiers’ living quarters bear witness to the secret and intimate conversations between soldiers. Get a close in on the inexplicable and peculiar mysteries surrounding the seemingly innocent common military spaces. You and your team are about to find out that the nondescript bunk holds a dark and sinister secret. One warning though, leave the place before it’s too late!


What’s frustrating about The Armoury is that it could have been a great experience, with high production values and fun ideas — but various flaws get in the way. (While I’ve given feedback to the team behind the rooms, I don’t know if/when changes will be made; if you’ve played the room and would like to share some thoughts, please do get in touch!)

The very beginning demonstrates this, with a rigorous puzzle that would have been perfectly fine if not for ambiguities in clueing. Generally, The Armoury’s puzzles have solid underlying ideas, but some are marred by implementation.

The middle stage of the experience is the strongest in terms of atmosphere and drama, with some cool moments and physical touches — so it’s a shame, again, that its puzzles have frustrating aspects. The endgame stretch, too, contained both clever ideas… and tiny annoyances.

One thing I did appreciate was how this room’s narrative is conveyed through the setting and physical discoveries, rather than text-based exposition. More is suggested than revealed, which feels in keeping with the Black Lake Facility’s overall sense of mystery.

I wish I could recommend The Armoury, but based on my playthrough of it, I can only say it’s WORTH A TRY — and be prepared to call for help. If it’s improved since then, I’d love to know.

Puzzle difficulty: 3.5/5
Puzzle logic: 2.5/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 4/5

Atmosphere and setting: 4/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 3.5/5
Storyline integration: 3/5

Their suggested number of players: n/a
My suggested number of players: 2 to 5