I played 11 games across 5 companies. 3 took place in KL and the rest were scattered across Penang Island. For our Malaysian adventure there were 3 escapers, all seasoned hands. Our first game was in the magnificent Time Square shopping mall. I had been there previously but this was before escape rooms were a ‘thing’. Escaperoom stood adjacent to one of the largest indoor roller coasters in the world. Escaperoom has a whopping 29 escape room games spread across 3 continents in 11 countries. The Time Square venue boasts 9 games. The Great Chocolate vault is the most recent game and unique in that it has corporate sponsorship from Dutch Lady, one of Asia’s largest dairy firms.
When you play lots of escape rooms you are constantly on the look out for some thing different. A good room is a good room and I would never not play a good room just because it was one of the main archetypes of escape rooms such as bomb bunker, bank robbery, prison break or zombie outbreak but what I crave is something unusual. TGCV seemed to offer a quirky twist on an old theme. The room had only been open a matter of days and it was exciting to put it through its paces.
The room was slick, professional and had everything you want from an escape room. It was a particularly good room for families to do not because it is easy because it isn’t but because the environment is particularly well suited to having children around. There are lots of tactile puzzles and barely a padlock in sight. I will try and avoid mentioning the rubbish hint delivery system as as much as possible. Fortunately we didn’t need it. TGCV was superb and well worth playing. It may well be the only one that doesn’t face a lawsuit for trade mark infringement. Lots of the Asian rooms make no bones about not only ripping off popular movies but the worrying legal thing is they use much of the trade marked concepts and images in their publicity.
We hot footed it from Time Square to another company called Breakout. Breakout have two venues in KL with different games in each. The price is slightly higher here it compared to the UK it it makes a regional game seem pricey. We found the shopping mall, this time in the shadow of the Pertronas Towers. This company was highly recommended by a group of enthusiasts from FB. It was certainly impressive in terms of welcome and ‘reception area’.
Both were very different but very enjoyable in their own way. Westwood was too hard for 45 minutes but if you value highly cerebral games you will love it. The Marionette was creepy but not as creepy as the publicity would suggest. This is a really memorable game. If you play any games in KL go to Breakout. They will explain the silly character things to you but of you want a tip, more time is always preferable.
A few days later we were in Penang and yet another shopping mall. Mission Q had 5 rooms ranked by difficulty. What I particularly enjoyed about the Mission Q rooms were that they all linked together in someway. Sometimes loosely but for the two games we chose the link was overt. The first one we played involved a lot of climbing which I really enjoyed but this would obviously present a challenge for the mobile impaired. I’m not sure I would say there were many wow factors in either game but some simple, solid puzzles with a coherent theme. Having said that I have just checked their website to refresh my memory and they appear to have replaced the really hard one we did with a room about kidnapped penguins. This company was well worth the visit and better than most of the other rooms we played.
After a few days break, lounging in the sun and gorging on char kuey teow it was time for more escape rooms. One of the best shopping malls near to Batu Ferrenghi is Gurney Plaza and it was there we found Break the Code. Interestingly Break the Code has a two tier system. You can play upgraded rooms for a higher price. The upgraded or plus rooms have better technology. We played ‘Lost in George Town.’ This game had recently been rebranded from its previous incarnation as a rip of the TV series Lost. Escaping from a crashed plane=cool ( unless of course you are afraid to fly). Everything else was terrible. 45 minutes couldn’t be over quick enough. We asked for a hint and the game master game in with her friend and a young child. We were told the answer but still couldn’t understand why. After a while we all just sat waiting for the end in some kind of futile escape room strike. The duty manager seemed a little embarrassed about our experience and said that one of the head people had changed the average room with his ideas to make a really bad room. I think it was best expressed in the words of another who review her experience on FB. “I dont even want to give 1 star… theres one fat guy working there in gurney wanted to fight with me and my frens … He is 16 yrs old but damn fat… if i see him anywhere he will be dead…Break the Code as usual sucks dick!!! Better go to hell☺ The manager must fired the FAT GUY from the work!!! U better watch out FAT GUY!!! ….. Break the Code poor service” Sri Viinesh’s review was one for the slightly more moderates. Despite offering 4 other games we decided to cut our loses and return to the food paradise of Batu.
We were situated to find An escape room not in a shopping mall, this was new kid on the block Flee60. Flee60 is in a small shopping area just behind the hawkers area next to the night market. It offer 5 different room in quite a small area. They did a great deal for all 5 rooms. We played them all over a period of 3 days and were satisfied with all of then. Because space was at a premium a lot more thought had clearly gone into the design of the rooms. Rush hour was by far the best in terms of what you expect from a classic room but I’m not sure this was designed for people like me. This was perfect for escape room virgins, tourists seeking shelter in an air conned room or just those bored of shopping for convincing knock offs, it offered a buffet style taste of escape rooms. Bottom line, some were better than others but they were all really playable. At the price they were offering you would certainly feel like you had good value for money.