Xcape from these rooms, if you can

CRIME-SCENE INVESTIGATION: In Chamber of Secrets, players must unravel the mystery of the death of a crucial witness.
Xcape from these rooms, if you can

KEY OF TERROR: One of the puzzles in Chamber of Secrets. Less than 10 per cent of players have escaped from this room.
Xcape from these rooms, if you can

THE LOST SYMBOLS: The writer found it daunting to solve the puzzles of Whisper of the Dead without any obvious clues.
Xcape from these rooms, if you can

PRISON BREAK: In Catch Me If You Can, players must decipher cryptic clues to escape a high-tech detainment facility.


    Aug 15, 2013

    Xcape from these rooms, if you can

    YOU'RE locked in a room, with no clear way out.

    The clock is ticking, screams can be heard and, with only an hour to solve four different puzzles to escape into another room, every minute spent deliberating is going to cost you.

    This room-escape reality game, which originated in Japan and was brought here by Xcape Singapore, features four themed rooms - Catch Me If You Can, Whisper of the Dead, Chamber of Secrets and Inception - which follow a chronological order that reveals a unifying storyline.

    Officially launched in April and opened to the public in June, Xcape Singapore seems relatively new, but has already been visited by more than 2,000 players.

    According to staff member Daphne Teo, matchmakers are also planning to use it as a platform for singles to bond and get to know each other.

    The demand by both corporate and event organisers has also been surprising, said Ms Teo, as the original intent for Xcape was to provide an interesting gathering place for groups of friends.

    My Paper was invited to a game in the Whisper of the Dead room, which registered only a two-star fear-factor rating on Xcape's official website.

    I thought I was game for anything that would come jumping out at me.

    Boy, was I wrong. This game is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

    After having the rules read out to us, we were locked in a dimly- lit room with creepy background music.

    I have to admit, with much embarrassment, that I was the worst player in my team of six, and would probably be the first to die if my friends and I were locked in an actual haunted room with no way out.

    Wielding two torchlights and a UV light, we set out to discover what lay ahead of us.

    Replicas of popular paintings lined the walls and we were tasked with solving four puzzles which led to another portion of the room. Each was harder than the last.

    Whatever observational skills I might have possessed were thrown out the window when we came face to face with clown masks and a fake casket.

    The only communication we had with the outside world was a bell that we could press when we found two hint cards.

    I rang the bell multiple times despite not having the prerequisites to get a clue.

    The task that I found most daunting was to solve these puzzles without any obvious clues. We had to rely completely on our senses and guts.

    The last puzzle proved to be the most difficult.

    A casket was placed in the corner of the room and indecipherable symbols were scrawled on the walls. With nine minutes on the clock, I reluctantly rang for assistance again and felt tremendously relieved when we "escaped" the room.

    These escape rooms seem a great idea for the courageous and the quick-witted. A group of four to eight would be ideal, as you would need a few helping hands and heads.

    However, I, will not be paying them another visit until I work on becoming a lionheart.