Lost Sg branded itself as the next generation of real escape games. Next generation here means puzzles that involve high tech mechanisms. So we decided to squeeze in one last game before we had to run for our bus back to KL.
Alcatraz was one of their earliest rooms therefore by the time we played it in Nov 2015, it wasn’t really ‘next generation’ anymore. Real escape game has evolved so much even since before I went on a year hiatus in 2015. If I had played this around the time when Alcatraz was still new, I would have been impressed. No doubt they do have some cool gadgets, beginners will be impressed but not a seasoned player.
Putting that aside, it is when playing Alcatraz we had a major realization. If you have been following our blogs, you would have known story immersion would score very high with Escman League. There were times when we were very impressed with the games, puzzles and set up of the rooms but there’s still something missing which we couldn’t pin point until we played Alcatraz and had a Eureka moment.
It was in Alcatraz when we realized we were switching between playing as a third person and a first person at different stages of the game. Therefore, it was hard to be immersed with the story. What do I mean?
The room started with the players as a third person watching a cool video introducing the Alcatraz, in which 3 prisoners disappeared. Did they safely escape from Alcatraz?
In the first stage of the game, we were the prisoners escaping our respective cells. And we need to help each other to get out of our cells. Cool!. (Very easy stuff here. Thou one of the puzzle has fault in its design, which could have been easily rectified.) Here, we’re like playing from the first person’s perspective.
Once we’re out of our cells, we were the third person again. (At this stage it’s a little brainwork and luck.) There were notes that retraced the steps of the prisoners’ escape. There were newspaper clippings, which reports incidents that happened after the prisoners had escaped. And in between all that we were hacking electrical boxes and codes as the prisoners.
The roles that we are playing were not distinctive and the gameplay does not lead us to answer the big questions.
Were we the players, the prisoners; and our success (or failure) determines the answer to the question of whether or not the prisoners escape safely?
Or were we the third person investigating the disappearance of the prisoners?
Hence we were merely solving puzzles and were not immersed in the story. The result, the room was fun but it wasn’t memorable.
Having said so, Alcatraz was one of Lost Sg earliest games, not the best, rated easiest and it is the only room that I played with them. So I’ll give them the benefit of a doubt and will look forward to play in their more challenging rooms.
Jing’s note: I agree that in most of the games we played, we are playing from the first person’s angle (ie we’re the prisoner, detective, or being lost in jungle). So, we’re somewhat confused in this game, jumping between the shoes of the investigator and prisoners. In the end, I don’t even know if the prisoners have successfully escaped AND SURVIVED. See, the prisoners may have escaped from the prison proper, the building etc.. Did they escape the huge seas beyond? I see no answer and hence there was no closure……
Featured image taked from Lost SG website.