This is probably one of the worst escape game ever made. Here’s the reasons:
1. No theme/storyline at all, players are just gathered in the room, told that we are locked inside, go find some random puzzles pasted on the wall, then go out run around the mall, search for some random puzzles and solve it then come back to the room. Puzzles are totally random, no theme at all.
2. Time constrain, there are perhaps more than 10 random puzzles scattered around and players need to run around the mall to find those clues and solve it, then run back into the hall and complete some random challenges again within one hour, which was unrealistic. When we managed to gather all those clues around the mall the time was up already. A typical escape room with 45mins time limit has average of 5-7 puzzles within a confined space. This kind of format is more similar to a treasure hunt game which typically runs for at least 2-3 hours.
3. Forced purchase in the game. It was part of the mission for every player to get a treasure so that we can re-enter the hall to complete the game. The so-called treasure is actually a goodie bag to be bought at Chillacup cafe for RM10. Every player has to buy it, then hand it back to the staff in the hall, and they will so-called donate it to an orphanage as charity. Come on lah! I can imagine when they donate those goodie bags they will get photographers and PR to take photos of those bags with big Chillacup logo printed on it as if Chillacup really donated those stuff but in fact they forced the players to pay for it as their cheap PR stunt. How low can you get to gain PR mileage?
4. The worst sin of any puzzle game design… Most of the correct answer to the clues given is totally unreasonable. A good puzzle design should makes you feel that you know that’s the right answer when you found it, like a mathematic equation that can be calculated with a definite formula. But the puzzles given here are totally unreasonable to a point that you really has to be a brain cell in the game designer’s twisted mind to get it.
My overall verdict… 221b Real Escape Game is a disgrace to the real escape game category to be called a real escape game. It’s more of a treasure hunt game, a badly designed treasure hunt game in disguise as real escape game to monetize on the trend of real escape game. And the organiser keep making association and mentioning that they are the first one to brought the Real Escape Game from Japan into Malaysia, which I doubt so. Because REG in Japan is actually an established event and all their overseas franchise events bears their logo and identity, which was no where to be seen in this game. I suspect this organiser just saw and attended their event somewhere else and tried to make a rip-off in Malaysia using their name without paying the royalty.
I hope those people who played a real escape game for the first time in this event won’t be traumatised and perceive all escape game as such quality. 221B Real Escape Game owes all players and designer of real escape game an apology!
Image taken from 221b Real Escape Game’s website.