Having only played 2 rooms in Singapore you can take most of what I say with a pinch of salt or dash of Soya. I was heavily jet lagged playing my first game. Captivate – Escape Rooms was a professionally kitted out company with 4 different themes rooms. As with nearly all Asian escape rooms get used to air conditioned shopping malls.
The room itself was good. The decor unusual but cool, the story a little weak but that didn’t matter too much. With an hour and fifteen minutes to escape there was plenty to do. Here’s a tip; don’t get stuck. We got stuck once and were horrified when the young lady ran into the room, asking us what we were working on, then telling us how to do it.
The next game we played was in another shopping mall on the other side of town. Lockdown: the final escape bills itself as a replay able game. We debated how that was possible. Were there key aspects that changed? Was it so hard that you barely made any progress first go and after addiction set in you needed another try? Nah, the answer was that most of the puzzles were skill based so you could play again to increase your exit speed. The final part was quite frankly ridiculous. Let’s just say prior arcane knowledge was required. Some cool tech used but not really an escape room. I yeah I forgot to mention it was meant to be scary. I forgot to mention it because it simply wasn’t. What was very cool was the cafe/ games room areaa. Like most good experiences you pay by the hour… Well however long you use it. You could easily have hung out there playing pool, PS4, board games all day. Light refreshments were included.
Captivate was good. Lockdown was Ok but don’t think of it as an escape room and you will definitely enjoy it more.
Istanbul was a real find. Apart from the ancient buildings, mix of east and west, religious and secular, Istanbul had some outstanding Escape room. The price has to factor into visiting this magnificent city. Rooms are typically 9 pounds per person for a game of two. The 6 rooms we played were all centrally located (none in the old town) and had very high production values and language was not an issue.
Our first company we tried was Istanbul’s first ever escape room. Opened for several years now ,Istrapped continued set a high standard of game play. There library Room was solid game with varied puzzles and authentic interior. Istrapped’s other game is in a different location, in the Culturl quarter of Istanbul. ‘The Artist’ sets the standard for Escape Room opulence. The scale of the room and the beautifully fashioned decor most certainly suspends all belief regarding where you are. I enjoyed it from start to finish. My ‘partner in escape’thought some of the puzzles a little clunky (whatever that means) but I really liked them.
Istanbul is also where we played our first horror themed room. Odadan Kacis had two games in Istnbul but others in different cities such as Ankara. They give you an option when booking on the website to have a thriller experience or full blown toe curling horror experience. With the story of Belis we opted for Thrill. Nicole was a big scary cat. Belis’ 70s AmityVille feel was the perfect setting. After finishing just a bit outside of the time allocation we made our way to the othe room 5 mins walk away. The hosts had convinced us to go with the horror experience for House of Nightmares. One of the most terrifying thingsisnt even part of the game, it is when you knock on the door. There is precious little to indicate it is the right place, no waiting room and few instructions, this gets your heart racing straight away. One of my best escape room memories is from this room. Nicole and I had been been separated and she was in the dark, in her words paralysed by fear. After a few minutes I found a piece of paper with a clue for Nicole. When she asked what it said, I replied with a grave voice “Nicole is going to die”. Of course it didn’t say that but her reply was priceless “it doesn’t say that, they don’t know my name”. Highly recommended.
Cage 404 was in the heart of the posh bit of Istanbul. This did not stop them from turning a swanky apartment into an Alcatraz prison cell. One of the best Prison escapes I have played. Excellent attention to detail and first rate puzzles.
Our final game in Istanul was Quest. After 5 brilliant games I thought our luck has to run out soon. Quest just blew my mind. It has a great way of delivering clues (not that we needed many!) Again like the others the size of the escape room was magnificent. Had this been in the Uk it would have been 4 escape rooms not 1. Size sometimes does matter and with just two of us we were spoiled with this clever adventure. This is has to occupy one of the top spots in my Escape room hall of fame.
Escape room tourism to Turkey is probably very low down on people’s list at the moment but when things settle down Istanbul is an absolute must. It’s not only cheap but the experience is the difference between McDonald’s and fine dining.
If you have read my first post you will know how much I rate The Room in Berlin. On Twitter several months ago I started a discussion on “you always remember your first”. “My first”was Escape From East Berlin quickly followed by the Beast of Berlin. Both rooms were very different but very cleverly designed with ultra high production values. While we were there Humbolt-the lost treasure was being built. It has been up and running for about a year now. Definitely time to return soon.